When on the search for the perfect book in Pittsburgh, step away from chain stores and mass retailers and step into one of these amazing independent, specialty stores. Independently-owned bookstores may seem like a thing of the past, but in Pittsburgh, the indie bookstore scene is thriving. From comics to sci-fi to vintage and rare books, these stores have the specialty books that are hard to find anywhere else in the city.
3585 Brodhead Road
Monaca, PA 15061
Book Tree is located just 25 miles north of Pittsburgh in Center Township and promises a collection of over 100,000 second-hand and hard to find collectible books. If you are searching for an old, out of print title or a title so specific that a mass retailer won’t have it, Book Tree is the place to look. Not sure if you want to journey north to browse in the physical store? Book Tree has a fabulous feature that lets its patrons browse and purchase the goods online! In affiliation with Amazon.com, Book Tree has nearly 3,000 books in its inventory that is searchable with a constantly updated “warehouse” on Amazon.com. Be sure to check out Book Tree’s website for the fun story behind the shop’s mascots: Red and Milo, two pals who bonded during a trying time for Red.
Related: Five Best Books About Pittsburgh
1047 Perry Highway
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
A good comic book store is hard to find in Pittsburgh but Duncan Comics has been upholding the tradition of genuine comic book stores for the past 20 years in the North Hills. Duncan Comics is one of the last places you can buy, sell and trade sci-fi, mystery and comic books. The shop prides itself on carrying only fiction so that its customers are sure to find the goods they’re looking for. The owner is also very in touch with what his patrons want. With over 45,000 titles in stock, Duncan Comics promises to have something for everyone interested in this genre. This store also prides itself on spotlighting up and coming authors in the comic, sic-fi, mystery and fantasy genre by keeping 400-500 brand new publications in stock. Follow a small, obscure quarterly published graphic novel series? Odds are you’ll be able to track it down in this shop. Plan on spending extra time here to browse around the impressive collection of action figures that line the walls.
Caliban Book Shop
410 S. Craig St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
On the border between Oakland and Shadyside, Caliban Book Shop is tucked into bustling South Craig Street. Stepping into Caliban is like stepping into a vintage shop for books. This shop specializes in rare and collectable books and adds in the convenience of appraising books for book lovers who want to know if the really old looking book they found in a relative’s basement is worth something. 40,000 books from every genre take up residence in the shop and over 150,000 more books are available for purchase by appointment in Caliban’s warehouse just a few minutes away in Wilkinsburg. Lovers of local authors will also find new zines and books by Pittsburghers in this lovely shop.
Sally Turkovich Wright lives in her beloved city of Pittsburgh with her husband, Jason and German Shepherd, Zeus. She is a policy analyst by training, an eyewear stylist by trade and an amateur healthy-living advocate by choice. She also writes a column for Twoday Magazine. Catch up with her there at twodaymag.com. Her work can be found at Twodaymag.com.