Queen Village, A Book Lover’s Mecca in Philly

Philly is light on bookstores, as are sadly most places now. But Queen Village is home to three, two used bookstores and one independent bookstore with new titles.

Mostly Books at 529 Bainbridge is a huge used bookstore. Fifty thousand books and 5000 square feet, according to their website.

It is room after room of mostly nonfiction.

There is a small literature section in the back where I got my first find of the day.

Book nerd comment #1: Ken Kalfus lives in Philly, and his wife is Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron. This book is dedicated to her.

The front of the store has a Philadelphia section where I got my second find of the day.

Book nerd comment #2: One of the stories in this collection is by Duane Swierczynski, a formerly Philly based crime writer I actually know.

Next stop on my book tour was Brickbat Books at 709 South 4th.

A very different looking used bookstore with neat shelves and a tin ceiling.

The store is a mix of fiction and nonfiction with some antiquarian books.

At Mostly Books I saw some of the Wicked sequels, which reminded me Wicked is one of those books I always meant to read. They didn’t have it. At Brickbat I sat on a stool to look at lower shelves and this is the first book I saw.

That seemed appropriately magical, so I bought it.

My last bookstore stop was Head House Books at 619 South 2nd.

This independent bookstore sells mostly fiction with a focus on more literary titles.

The back of the store is dedicated to children’s books from board books to young adult novels.

Here I got my last find of the day.

Book nerd comment #3: Nathaniel Popkin is a local author I recently met at a book signing for his nonfiction book, Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City. The publisher is New Door Books a local small press. I used to own a small press, so I’m always glad to support them. One of the blurbs on the back is from Ken Kalfus, which brings this Philly book story full circle.

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