How and when local bookstores reopen | Literary Arts | Pittsburgh

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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham

Inside the Asylum City 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 which independent stores are open and when below.

Reopened: Sun May 24
Hours: Squirrel Hill: Sunday to Thursday. 12pm-9pm, Fri 12pm-7pm
Downtown: Sun: 12 p.m.-4 p.m., Mon-Thu: 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday: 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m.

In addition to opening their doors, Amazing Books & Records is now offering book packages (think Book of the Month, but local and personalized) that are available for one-time purchase, subscriptions, or gifts. Learn more here.

Reopens: Currently by appointment only
Hours: Mon-Fri. 11am-5.30pm, Sat. 10am-5.30pm, Sun. 12pm-5.30pm
Browse Caliban Books by booking a private browsing appointment for yourself or a small group. The store is preparing for general admission at a limited capacity but is not ready to do so yet. In the meantime, staff are on-site five days a week and, in addition to private browsing appointments, they can help with book recommendations and curbside pickup. Call (412-681-9111) or email ([email protected]).

City books. 908 Galveston Avenue, north side.
Reopens: Wed July 8
Hours: Wed. and Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and by appointment
City Books will start by opening two days a week and slowly add an additional day every two weeks until the store is fully open again around Labor Day. Sailing appointments can also be made outside of their regular hours. They are in the process of reconfiguring the store layout so that there is more room in the aisles to allow healthy browsing from a distance. City Books is still selling out online through their Instagram account and books can be shipped or picked up curbside. These services will continue after they reopen to accommodate customers who pose a higher risk as they enter the store. In addition to online books, City Books now offers mail-order care packages through Etsy, personalized gift certificates (for use in store upon opening), and a customer loyalty program. Learn more here.

Asylum City Books. 40 W. North Ave., north side.

Reopens: Currently by appointment only

Hours: Tue-Sat 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

Reopened: Wed 3 June
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10am-5pm, Thu 10am-7pm

Mystery Lovers is still adjusting to how to keep our customers safe and happy. So for now no more than five customers will be allowed inside at the same time, unless they are family. Also, their shelves aren’t as full as they usually are and require patience while they restock. Titles not available in stores can be ordered for you and their online store is always open.

Penguin Bookstore. 417 Beaver St., Sewickley.
Reopened: Sat 16 May
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10am-4pm
Credit cards are preferred at Penguin Bookshop at this time, and no more than 10 people (including staff) will be allowed in the store at any one time. Their online store is still open and they plan to continue with contactless home drop-off for local orders or off-the-bench pickup. They also have contactless pickup inside the store for prepaid orders.

Riverstone Books. 8850 Covenant Ave, North Hills.
Reopened: Monday May 18
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 12pm-4pm

The first hour of the day, Monday through Friday (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.), at Riverstone Books is reserved for at-risk customers. Browsing appointments set before the store opens for its regular hours can also be scheduled. Contact Robin (260 573-9614) and she will arrange a time between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. 20 customers are allowed inside the store at a time. Curbside pickup 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. Dial 412-366-1001. Online orders also remain an option.

Sparks books. 14 Brilliant Avenue, Aspinwall.
Reopened: Fri, June 5
Hours: Tue. by appointment, Wed.-Sat. 10am-4pm
Only one person or household is allowed in Spark Books at a time, so there may be a bit of a wait. For those who prefer not to wait, appointments are available on Tuesdays. E-mail ([email protected]) to schedule a time. VSCurbside pickup is available and free shipping for those within 5 miles of the store with a $25 purchase.

The Little Bookstore. 1130 Perry Hwy, North Hills.
Reopens: To be determined
Hours: Tue-Sat 12 p.m.-5 p.m., via

video shopping appointment
The TIny Bookstore is not aplan to be open for walk-in shopping until social distancing measures have eased, so for now they will continue to offer curbside pickup and video shopping appointment. VSeverything or text to set a time (412-585-2651).

About Herbert L. Leonard

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