ArtsJanuary 31, 2013 at 5:22 am

Philly’s Offbeat Bookstores

It's book week in Philly, so check out some of the city's indie book stores, they’re only a short trip away!

1. Garland of Letters527 South Street 

Getting There: Take the 40 bus down Spruce; get off at 5th Street.

Yes, the massive lion sculpture guarding the door may seem intimidating. Keep going, though, and you’ll find an incense–scented hodgepodge of books on yoga, Eastern religion and alternative medicine. Sections include homeopathy, astrology and “freedom of thought.”

Check Out: The gorgeous display of meditation crystals.



2. Wooden Shoe Books
704 South Street

Getting There: Take the 40 bus down
Spruce; get off at 7th Street.

This bookstore and anarchist collective
served as a hub for protestors during
the Occupy Philly movement. Spend
some time thumbing through the diverse array of zines or their shelves of
books on, among other things, labor
and identity politics.

Check Out: T–shirts with slogans like
“capitalism is organized crime.”




3. Joseph Fox Bookshop
1724 Sansom Street

Getting There: Take the 21 bus down Chestnut Street; get off at 17th Street.

As well–curated as it is charming, Joseph Fox features terrific literary fiction and a stunning collection of art– and architecture–related titles. You won’t go wrong with almost anything you grab.

Check Out: The selection near the door of smaller books; the coffee–table books.



4. Bindlestiff Books
4530 Baltimore Avenue

Getting There: Walk up Baltimore Avenue.

The quaint blue storefront houses a stellar assortment of literature and children’s books. Bindlestiff’s attention to detail makes up for the small size: it’s clear that every title is carefully selected, and the cottage–like atmosphere is sure to delight.

Check Out: The graphic novels.




5. Book Trader
7 N. 2nd Street

Getting There: Take the Market–Frankford Line; get off at 2nd Street.

All the staples of a great used bookstore: volumes piled high in stacks on the floor; a section of one–dollar titles; that distinctive old–book smell. You might not find exactly what you need, but you’ll have a lovely time looking.

Check Out: The sofas upstairs—grab some books, sit down, stay a while.


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