This page is visible exclusively via the link on our TikTok profile page. From here, you can explore the rest of our website using the links provided. I made this page so, even if you don’t live near an independent bookshop or are trying to avoid Amazon (THANK YOU!), you can still support an indie bookstore or its projects from wherever you are.

City Books is a community-oriented, independent used bookstore located Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is owned by me, Arlan Hess, the person you see & hear on TikTok. I am a sole proprietor with no full-time staff – although a couple of college kids volunteer once in a while in exchange for book credit.

During COVID, we are open by appointment only (which is why I have so much time to make TikTok videos). If you live in Pittsburgh or will be passing through the area while we are still in lockdown, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page to make a reservation. I would love to meet you in person.

IF YOU LIVE OUTSIDE OF THE US and would like to support City Books, please consider donating to the Shuman Library Fund. All money collected goes toward developing the Shuman Detention Center’s library for incarcerated children. Unfortunately, I am unable to send books or merchandise internationally, so this is the only way to support us if you live outside of the country. Of course, you can donate if you live in the US, as well.

If you are in the US and you want to buy a USED BOOK, follow City Books on Instagram where I post 4-5 used books almost every day from what is IN STOCK in the bookstore. Comment on the book you are interested in, or send me a DM, and I will confirm the sale. You can then pay via Venmo or PayPal and I will send out the book. (US addresses only.)

If you are looking for a USED BOOK that you DON’T SEE on Instagram, use the contact form at the bottom of this page to check if I have it in stock or if I can get it for you. I am connected to used bookstores all over the US. If it’s out there, I can find it. Most of the time, I can have it shipped directly to you. (US addresses only.)

If you are looking for NEW BOOKS, please visit our digital storefront on Bookshop.org. There you can search for anything in print, as well as browse curated lists – several of which benefit Pittsburgh charities. Please note that gift certificates purchased via Bookshop are good only on Bookshop purchases. (US addresses only.)

Follow these links if you are interested in City Books t-shirts or tote bags. (US addresses only.)

Follow this link to our iconic Blind Date with a Book. (US addresses only.)

Along with three other Pittsburgh-based, women-owned businesses, City Books offers a whimsical care package that includes two 2 oz. candles, two artisanal tea blend samples, one randomly chosen Blind Date with a Book, and a library card bookmark. These have been a BIG success during lockdown. These are great gifts to send across the miles. (US addresses only.)

Before you leave this page, I would like you to know that City Books is a Silver Certified Sustainable Business which believes that Black Lives Matter and acknowledges that it is located on Tribal Land.

City Books can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest as @citybookspgh. I (Arlan) do it all, so if you reach out on another platform, know that you will be getting me wherever City Books can be found.

If you’d like to get in touch with City Books, please email us at citybookspgh@gmail.com or use the contact form below.