1. A Novel Idea
East Passyunk

Alexander Schneider and Christina Rosso-Schneider opened this community-focused bookstore in late 2018 and have supported local writers and small presses ever since by stocking their works and hosting events like author readings and book clubs. The cozy East Passyunk shop has shelves full of everything from new releases, fairy tales, cookbooks, mysteries, feminism, and so much more.

2. Big Blue Marble
Mount Airy

A bookstore staple since 2005 when Sheila Allen Avelin opened up shop, Mt. Airy’s Big Blue Marble Bookstore has long stocked diverse titles touching on race and racism in America, novels for LGBTQ teens, and nonfiction works about the climate crisis. They got a newly renovated kids room, perfect for young readers to curl up with a book while adults browse the shelves.

3. The Book Trader
Old City

The first thing you notice upon walking into The Book Trader is the sheer amount of used books crammed into every spare inch. The second thing is the delightful scent of lovingly weathered pages. This secondhand bookshop dates back to 1975 and stocks every conceivable genre, plus records on the second floor. Don’t forget to say hello to the shop cat.

4. Brickbat Books
Queen Village

Stocking new and used books and records in Queen Village, Brickbat Books specializes in lovely or rare editions and artfully-created books like a hardcover of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, illustrated by Gustave Doré circa 1885. The inviting window display spotlights everything from children’s books to brand new bestselling novels, easily convincing you to come inside.

5. Giovanni's Room
Washington Square West

Originally located on South Street, Giovanni’s Room has been a haven for LGBTQ and feminist works since it was first founded in 1973, making it the oldest LGBTQ bookstore in the country. Now run by Philly Aids Thrift and located in the Gayborhood, Giovanni’s Room stocks thousands of new and slightly used LGBTQ fiction, nonfiction, music, artwork, comics, and more. The bookshop fosters community through readings, a book club, and author talks, so get in on the action.

6. Hakim's Book Store
Cobbs Creek

Philadelphia’s oldest Black-owned bookstore was founded by multi-hyphenate scholar, author, lecturer, and publisher Dawud Hakim in the late 1950s and has been going strong for over half a century. Historically, Hakim’s stocked rare works that addressed the history and culture of African Americans. Today, readers are imbued with that history as they peruse through the selection of biographies, children’s books, and historical texts devoted to African American history.

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