City Lights Bookstore * 3 E. Jackson Street, Sylva, NC


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To help slow the spread of Covid-19, we are only allowing nine browsers at a time. Please wear a mask and give other folks a six-foot berth. Book orders will mail for 99 cents.
Curbside service remains available during our curtailed hours: 10-6 Mon.-Sat.

#GiveBooks - Buy Gift Cards for use online or at the bookstore

Used Book trade-ins limited to small batches, considered on Wednesdays and Saturdays until 5 p.m. 

Telephone: 828-586-9499


Even As We Breathe, These Mountains, F*ckface

While enjoying a beer across the porch from my neighbor, the author David Joy, it struck him that my bookstore could offer our customers a fine trio of fiction later this summer. Here's the plan: we'll bundle David's forthcoming novel, When These Mountains Burn, with the two best debuts to come out of Appalachia in 2020: Leah Hampton's collection, F*ckface, and Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle's novel, Even As We Breath. These three books also represent three adjoining counties and the Qualla Boundary, all in southwestern North Carolina. Pre-order them now, and readers will get signed first editions--one in July, one in August, and one in September--delivered to any U.S. address for free. We'll also discount the third book in your order by 20%, applied after checkout before we process your payment. So, if you've already pre-ordered one or two of these titles from us, just reference the "Even As We Breathe, These Mountains, Fuckface" promotion to receive the discount on the third. Order online or phone us at 828-586-9499. We'll leave it up to you how to handle the expletive when you call. - Chris, prop. City Lights Bookstore

Pre-Order Now Badge
F*ckface: And Other Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250259592
Availability: Coming Soon: available for pre-order now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - July 14th, 2020


Do you find the title of this book off-putting? Please, read the poignant title story, which upsets any preconceived notions that the name conjures. Such prejudice is an apt chord to strike at the beginning of a collection of stories set in the southern Appalachians, a region too often dismissed and demeaned by outsiders unwilling to grapple with nuance once they've made up their minds. F*ckface marks the debut of a major literary talent and is a fresh addition to the southern Gothic canon. I predict that having read that first story, you'll find yourself drawn into the rest of this excellent collection. Enjoy the richness! -- Chris Wilcox

Pre-Order Now Badge
When These Mountains Burn Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525536888
Availability: Coming Soon: available for pre-order now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - August 18th, 2020

In When These Mountains Burn, David Joy tackles the heavy issues of the people and mountains he has come to love. He accomplishes this with what I love most about his books: fast-paced and heartfelt prose.

-- Eon Alden

Pre-Order Now Badge
Even as We Breathe Cover Image
ISBN: 9781950564064
Availability: Coming Soon: available for pre-order now
Published: Fireside Industries - September 8th, 2020

We can't wait to read this debut! -- 

COVID-19 Precautions

City Lights Bookstore is offering phone, curbside, and online service, and at this time, we are allowing entry to as many as nine customers at a time. Please wear a mask and allow others a six-foot berth. Our curtailed hours are 10-6 Mon.-Sat.  We are monitoring this NC Dept. of Health and Human Services page and this CDC page for the latest guidance.

We had scheduled some events for the coming weeks — we've canceled in-store events for the foreseeable future. 

We are taking common-sense precautions and hope you will, too:

  • wiping down all hard surfaces with disinfectant throughout the day
  • not accepting book trade-ins for now; we'll resume once NC restaurants can offer dine-in service again
  • waving hello, not shaking hands
  • maintaining > 6-foot social distance 
  • washing hands often
  • wearing face masks
  • avoiding touching our faces
  • staying home if sick


We hope that all will be well. We want to be here, selling books, etc., for another 35 years. But we do need to sell books to pay the rent, utilities, meet payroll, and so on. Things have been going okay, but if you can't visit us, we would greatly appreciate:

Thanks for reading!


Cedric's Favorites

Cedric Relaxing


Shopcats: Cedric and Rowena, relaxing

Brother and sister snuggling




Rowena birdwatching
The late, great, Rowena

Cedric is an excellent public kitty who arrived, along with his sister, through the good graces of PAWS of Bryson City. He lost his littermate, the great Rowena in September 2017.  Here are some of Cedric's favorites:

Familiars Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807157497
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Louisiana State University Press - August 14th, 2014

How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety: And Abstinence, Drugs, Satanism, and Other Dangers That Threaten Their Nine Lives Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451494924
Availability: No new copies on our shelves but maybe in used, now or arriving soon. Ask us.
Published: Three Rivers Press - October 4th, 2016

SKU: cat-treats

I really like Whiskas Temptations treats. Buy yours from my store and I'll mark-up the price enough to buy myself a pack!

Staff Pick Badge
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316262873
Availability: No new copies on our shelves but maybe in used, now or arriving soon. Ask us.
Published: Hachette Books - March 28th, 2017

We understand you but cats just want to be understood by you. It would make life so much easier for us both, so please read this insightful book and learn what we've been trying to tell you for ages. 

I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats (Gifts for Cat Lovers, Funny Cat Books for Cat Lovers) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781452110585
Availability: No new copies on our shelves but maybe in used, now or arriving soon. Ask us.
Published: Chronicle Books - August 15th, 2012

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You (The Oatmeal #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781449410247
Availability: No new copies on our shelves but maybe in used, now or arriving soon. Ask us.
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - October 9th, 2012

The Bird Watching Answer Book: Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy Birds in Your Backyard and Beyond Cover Image
ISBN: 9781603424523
Availability: Backordered at our warehouse
Published: Storey Publishing, LLC - November 4th, 2009

Henri, le Chat Noir: The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat Cover Image
ISBN: 9781607745105
Availability: Backordered at our warehouse
Published: Ten Speed Press - April 30th, 2013

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Dig Sylva LogoOur Neighbors: City Lights Cafe