Old-world charm & modern customer service

Writers Abeer Hoque and Deesha Philyaw in conversation at City Books.
Writers Abeer Hoque and Deesha Philyaw in conversation.

Since 1984, City Books has been a home for creativity, discussion, and literature in Pittsburgh. The bookshop features great lighting, a gender-neutral bathroom, free Wi-Fi, and soft jazz. Despite the ongoing pandemic, City Books continues to provide vital resources to the greater Pittsburgh community. Masks are required without exception. Please consult our COVID updates before visiting.

A man is reading a book while standing in front of a bookshelf.
Store hours are Wed-Sun 11-5.

For 38 years, City Books has offered an exceptional inventory of used and collectible books. We are pleased to fulfill special orders of new & old books, and custom curation requests to suit all budgets. In addition, we offer a small selection of branded merchandise. Domestic shipping is available for a small fee. Readers are welcome to take a quick peek or enjoy a long afternoon browse. 

Arlan Hess, owner of City Books stands over a dictionary. Photo by Elan Mizrahi.
Arlan Hess, City Books owner (Photo by Elan Mizrahi)

A former professor of literature & creative writing, Arlan Hess purchased City Books in 2015. She hosts Shelf Life, a book show about Pittsburgh authors, leads Arts & Literature tours around the old Allegheny West neighborhood, and directs the City Books Writer-in-Residence program. She is also a regular contributor to The Writer Shed, a podcast hosted by David W. Berner of WBBM/WXRT radio in Chicago.

Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.

Virginia Woolf


Wednesday-Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM. Tuesdays by appointment only.

We are closed on Mondays & Tuesdays. (Tuesdays by appointment.)


(412) 321-7323



908 Galveston Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Allegheny West/Northside

City Books is a member of the American Booksellers Association and the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association.