How and when local bookstores are reopening | Literary Arts | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

How and when local bookstores are reopening

click to enlarge How and when local bookstores are reopening
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Inside The City of Asylum Bookstore

Allegheny County is officially in the green phase. For book lovers, that means you can once again browse the aisles of your favorite local bookstore. Find out what indie stores are open and when, below.

Reopened: Sun., May 24
Hours: Squirrel Hill: Sun-Thu. 12-9 p.m., Fri. 12-7 p.m.
Downtown: Sun: 12-4 p.m., Mon-Thu: 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday: 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Along with opening their doors, Amazing Books & Records now offers book packages (think Book of the Month, but local and personalized) which are available for one time purchase, subscriptions, or gifts. Find out more here.

Reopens: Currently by appointment only
Hours: Mon-Fri. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sun. 12-5:30 p.m.
Browse Caliban Books by booking a private browsing appointment for yourself or small party. The shop is preparing for limited capacity general entry but is not ready to do so yet. In the meantime, the staff is on-site five days a week and besides private browsing appointments can assist with book commendations and curbside pickup. Call (412-681-9111) or email (

City Books. 908 Galveston Ave., North Side.
Reopens: Wed., July 8
Hours: Wed. and Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and by appointment
City Books will begin by opening two days a week and slowly add an additional day every couple of weeks until the store is fully open again around Labor Day. Browsing appointments can be made as well at times outside of their regular hours. They are in the process of reconfiguring the layout of the store so there is more room in the aisles to accommodate healthy distance browsing. City Books is still selling online via their Instagram account and books can be shipped or picked up curbside. Those services will continue after they reopen to accommodate customers who are at higher risk when coming into the store. Along with books online, City Books now offers mail-order care packages via Etsy, customized gift certificates (for use in-store upon opening), and a Customer Loyalty Program. Find out more here.

City of Asylum Books. 40 W. North Ave., North Side.
Reopens: Currently appointment only
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 12-5 p.m.
City of Asylum Books is currently open by appointment only, which can be scheduled here. There is a separate option for seniors and at-risk shoppers. The store is also still accepting online orders with contactless curbside pick up as an option.

Classic Lines Bookstore. 5825 Forbes Ave. Squirrel Hill.
Classic Lines on Facebook
Reopened: Fri., May 29
Hours: Tue., Wed., Fri., Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thu. 12-7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
About 5 customers are allowed in Classic Lines at once. Online ordering is still an option. Email to order.

Mystery Lovers Bookshop. 514 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont.
Reopened: Wed., June 3
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thu. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Mystery Lovers is still in the adjustment phase of figuring out how to keep their customers safe and happy. So for now, no more than five patrons will be allowed inside at one time unless they are family. Additionally, their shelves are not as full as they usually are and ask for patience as they restock. Titles not available in store can be ordered for you and their online store is still open.

Penguin Bookshop. 417 Beaver St., Sewickley.

Reopened: Sat., May 16
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Credit cards are preferred right now at Penguin Bookshop, and no more than 10 people (including staff) will be allowed in the store at once. Their online store is still open and they plan to continue with non-contact home drop off for local orders or outside bench pick-up. They also have contactless inside store pick-up for prepaid orders.

Riverstone Books. 8850 Covenant Ave., North Hills.

Reopened: Mon., May 18
Hours: Mon.-Sat.10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 12-4 p.m.
The first hour of the day, Monday through Friday (10-11 a.m.), at Riverstone Books is reserved for at-risk customers. Browsing appointments set before the store opens for its regular hours can be scheduled as well. Contact Robin (260 573-9614) and she will arrange a time between 9 and 10 a.m. Mon-Fri. 20 customers are allowed inside the store at once. Curbside pick up is available and home delivery is an option for those living in North Hills, North Shore, Penn Hills, Forest Hills, Swissvale, Churchill, Shadyside, Friendship, and Mt. Lebanon. Call 412-366-1001. Online orders are still an option as well.

Spark Books. 14 Brilliant Ave., Aspinwall.

Reopened: Fri., June 5
Hours: Tue. by appointment, Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Only one person or household is allowed in Spark Books at one time, so there may be a little wait. For those who prefer not to wait, appointments are available on Tuesdays. Email ( to schedule a time. Curbside pickup is available and free delivery for those within 5 miles of the store with a $25 purchase.

The Tiny Bookstore. 1130 Perry Highway, North Hills.

Reopens: TBD
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 12-5 p.m., via
video shopping appointments
The TIny Bookstore doesn't anticipate being open for walk-in shopping until social distancing measures have eased, so, for now, they will continue to offer curbside pickup and video shopping appointments. Call or text to set up a time (412-585-2651).

White Whale Bookstore. 4754 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield.

Reopened: Tue., June 16
Hours: Tue.-Sun. 12-5 p.m.
White Whale has set a limit of 5 people in the store at once and set up a one-way browsing route and contactless payment system. Curbside pick is available. Call (412-224-2847) or email (

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