9th Ave: Paul Yamazaki with Vanessa Martini

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 - 7:00pm

This event will be held at our 1231 9th Ave location in the Inner Sunset. 

Cover of Paul Yamazaki's Reading the Room: A Bookseller's Tale. The cover is a photo fo Yamazaki smiling toward to camera, sitting with shelves of books behind him.
Join us on Tuesday, May 14 at 7pm PT when Paul Yamazaki joins us for the release of his book, Reading the Room: A Bookseller's Tale, with Vanessa Martini at 9th Ave!

Masks Encouraged for In-Person Attendance
Or watch online/Livestream link available soon

Praise for Reading the Room
"I love this little book…It's a love story to books and City Lights…Browsing is everything, and curating [City Lights’] space—its magic, possibility, and freedom––is Paul’s unique gift and genius." —Karen Tei Yamashita, author of I Hotel and Tropic of Orange

"Paul Yamazaki has raised up generations of booksellers. He teaches by example, including the lesson that discernment and commitment need not compromise kindness and generosity. In Paul’s peaceable kingdom, engagement, listening, and curiosity are the marks of greatness, and enthusiasm the work. We are lucky to live in the time of Yamazaki."—Jeff Deutsch, Seminary Co-op Bookstores

"A wry, stirring, profoundly uplifting ode to bookselling––complete with riffs on capitalism, San Francisco, jazz, even the meaning of life––from one of the underappreciated literary titans of our time."—Hua Hsu, author of Stay True: A Memoir

About Reading the Room
Reading the Room is Paul Yamazaki's love letter to the work of bookselling and an engaged life of the mind.

Over twenty-four hours, Paul Yamazaki leads us through the stacks of storied City Lights Booksellers in San Francisco; the care and prowess of his approach to book buying; his upbringing in a Japanese American family in Southern California and moving to San Francisco at the height of revolutionary foment; working with legendary figures in the book publishing industry like Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Sonny Mehta, and others; and his vision for the future of bookselling. Navigating building trust with readers and nurturing relationships across the literary industry, Yamazaki testifies to the value of generosity, sharing knowledge, and dialogue in a life devoted to books.

About Paul Yamazaki
Paul Yamazaki has been the principal buyer at City Lights Booksellers, the legendary San Francisco bookstore and publisher founded by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter Martin, for more than fifty years. A champion for national and global literature, writers, publishers, and independent bookstores, Yamazaki was the recipient of the National Book Foundation's 2023 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. He has mentored generations of booksellers across America.

About Vanessa Martini
Vanessa Martini
is head buyer at Green Apple Books. She previously worked at City Lights Books alongside Paul Yamazaki, from whom she learned the value of conversation, curiosity, and a cold drink. She lives in San Francisco with her cat, PJ. 

Pre-Order Now Badge
Reading the Room: A Bookseller's Tale By Paul Yamazaki, Rick Simonson (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Paul Yamazaki, Rick Simonson (Foreword by)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781958846698
Availability: Coming Soon. Pre-Order Now!
Published: Ode Books - May 8th, 2024

Reading the Room is Paul Yamazaki's love letter to the work of bookselling and an engaged life of the mind.

Over twenty-four hours, Paul Yamazaki leads us through the stacks of storied City Lights Booksellers in San Francisco; the care and prowess of his approach to book buying; his upbringing in a Japanese American family in Southern California and moving to San Fran


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