The Beginning of a Bookstore

You may have noticed a post here on I<3PGH a few weeks ago about the East End Book Exchange.  Book lover and occasional I<3PGH blogger Lesley Rains is exploring the idea of setting up a used book store here in Pittsburgh.

This is hopefully good news for Pittsburgh.  Not so long ago, there were many a book shop to be found in the east end…

  • Sq. Hill Bookshop (which is now Massage Envy on Forbes)
  • Atlantic Booksellers (also on Forbes ave – but I am not sure what is there now)
  • Pinocchio Books (a kids book store that was located in the basement of Shadyside Village on Aiken)
  • Jay’s Book Stall (was located on Forbes in Oakland)
  • Three Penny Books (was located at 1827 Murray Ave)

These little guys were replaced by bigger guys and we said hello to Barnes and Noble and most recently Borders in East Liberty.

The end of a book shop on Highland Ave

Maybe things are coming full circle and back to the little guys.  One of the things I have noticed over the past few years in Shadyside is that Walnut Street – which had become lined with national chains has seen some more independent shops return.  While Max and Erma’s closed – locally owned Elbow Room has moved to Walnut Street and expanded with a new restaurant in their old Ellsworth location.

And things are going well for the Big Idea Bookshop, which is moving to a bigger space in Bloomfield.  Thanks to Karen the Small Press Librarian for the heads up.  Check out Karen’s blog for more info about book shops.

Pop Up Shops

So maybe that means that Pittsburgh is ready for another independent bookshop.  One way to test the waters is with a “pop up shop.”   Pop up shops are popping up everywhere for every product imaginable.  Here is a post from The Thread Austin about a pop up popsicle shop.     John Morris just posted an interesting article about cities and pop up urbanism over on the blog DiggingPitt. Looking for more info on pop up shops – check out this post from Inc Magazine “How to Open a Pop-Up Store“.

The East End Book Exchange will test the Pittsburgh waters with their first pop-up shop at the Pittsburgh Public Market this Sunday.

East End Book Exchange debuts at the Pittsburgh Public Market
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Facebook Event –

Lend some support by stopping by to say hello and to browse some books at their table at the Pittsburgh Public Market.

Can’t make it to the market? Visit their blog and follow East End Book Exchange on Facebook.


About Lindsay

Lindsay has been writing about Pittsburgh for as long as she has been blogging - but fortunately there are lots of great things about Pittsburgh to share. She likes pretzels from the Pretzel Shop on Carson St., used book stores, her rollerblades and she hopes to learn to skateboard someday soon. Lindsay is also working on BlogLocal which is building a map of blogs with local content.

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