In the Media

City Books owner behind the counter balancing a telephone on her shoulder while typing on a laptop.
Arlan Hess (owner). Photo by Tereneh Idia for City Paper.

Since 1984, City Books has been a center for discussion, creativity, and healing in Pittsburgh. Read what people are saying about us in the media. Click on title to read full article. Scroll down for links to podcasts. Past episodes of Shelf Life (PCTV) are available here.


Apr 8, 2022. “Check out what Pittsburgh’s North Side (and North Shore) has to offer.” 

Dec 1, 2021, “City Books owner Arlan Hess on classic styles, oversized sweaters, and sustainable fashion.” Pittsburgh City Paper.

Nov 17, 2021, “City Books releases Love Actually parody video urging Pittsburgh to shop local.” Pittsburgh City Paper. 

June 25, 2021. “City Books announces its fall 2021 Writers-in-Residence.” Pittsburgh City Paper. 

Mar 5, 2021, “30 Pittsburgh women who led during the pandemic are honored by Pittsburgh Professional Women.”

Mar 4, 2021, “City Books partners with Jailbreak, providing juvenile inmates with greater access to books.” The Northside Chronicle.

Mar 3, 2021, “City Books creates fund to provide books to incarcerated youth at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center.” Pittsburgh City Paper.

Feb. 10, 2021, “City Book’s Writing Residency creates space for local writers.” Pittsburgh City paper.

Dec. 1, 2020, “The 12 Days of Indies, Day 1: City Books.” Littsburgh.

October 2020, “On Books and Their Harbors: City Books by Deesha Philyaw.”

July 8, 2020, “City Books on Pittsburgh’s North Side to reopen.”

June 24, 2020, “Kim Rooney named City Books’ second Writer-in-Residence.” Pittsburgh City Paper.

February 15, 2020, “City Books Launches Writing Residency for Local/Regional Writers.”

Feb. 1, 2020, “11 Comfy and Cozy Pennsylvania Books Shops to Get Lost In On a Snowy Day.”

Jan. 30, 2020, “The Best Bookish Versions of the Dolly Parton Challenge.”

May 13, 2019, “Walkabout: Food drive to help North Side pantry, strengthen bonds among merchants.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

April 29, 2019, “Take a Tour of Pittsburgh By the Book.” Pittsburgh Magazine.

April 12, 2019, “How Libraries Help Authors Boost Book Sales.”

March 25, 2019, “The Best Bookstores in All 50 States.”

November 15, 2018, “City Books hosts memorial reading to honor victims of Tree of Life shooting.” The Northside Chronicle.

November 8, 2018, “Tree of Life Memorial Reading to Benefit Immigrant-Aid Group.” WESA-FM 90.5.

October 7, 2018, “The Oldest Used Bookstore In Pittsburgh Will Be Your New Favorite Destination.”

March 2, 2018, “Northside Chronicle.”

December 7, 2016, “Pittsburgh’s indie-bookstore revival continues.” Pittsburgh City Paper.

November 15, 2016, “Lessons on Love & Landscape.” Arts Local.

November 19, 2016, “BookTV: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.” C-SPAN2.

Summer 2016, “Rust Belt Boy: Stories of an American Childhood, a Review.” Arts Local.

May 27, 2016, “Real and fictional people and places help readers travel without leaving home.”

May 9, 2016, “Local Business Spotlight: City Books.”

April 10, 2016, “‘Jungle Book’ film puts new attention on British author Kipling.”

March 22, 2016, “City Books’ new ‘edition’ blends many genres.”

March 20, 2016, “A Bookstore Resurrected.”

March 16, 2016, “City Books reopens as Northside’s first indie bookstore.” The Northside Chronicle.

March 14, 2016, “Retooled City Books re-opens tomorrow on Pittsburgh’s North Side.” Pittsburgh City Paper.

March 14, 2016, “Diana Nelson Jones’ Walkabout.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

December 17, 2015, “Littsburgh’s Year in Reading: Part Two.”

December 24, 2014, “Endpaper: After 30 years, South Side’s City Books is closing.” Pittsburgh City Paper. (Former owners at South Side location.)


Apr 1, 2022. “The Pulse of the Bookseller.” The Writer Shed podcast. 

Feb 21, 2022. “Arlan Hess Reads a Cozy Mystery Series.” What’re You Reading? podcast.

Feb 21, 2022. “Running a Bookstore.” Content and Capable podcast. 

Nov 1, 2021. “A Bookstore Check-In.” The Writer Shed podcast. 

Aug 15, 2021. “The Pulse of the Reader.” The Writer Shed podcast.

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