Bindlestiff Books has reopened

5 Jun

For the next few weeks, we will be open on a limited basis as the city eases out of the “Yellow” period. We ask during this period that all customers wear masks, that no more than 5 customers are in the store at a time, and that customers keep a reasonable distance from other customers. We are minimizing contact for payment by accepting Venmo, and enabling tapping for credit cards that do not require insertion.

We will endeavor to be open the following hours:

Wednesday & Thursday, curbside pick-up only. Please call 215.662.5780 to make sure we have the book (or to arrange for it to be ordered) and arrange for it to be handed off to you. We hope to be open Noon – 7 on these days.

Friday & Saturday, open to customers. Noon – 7. If you prefer, you can phone and arrange curbside pickup.

Sunday, open to customers. Noon – 5. If you prefer, you can phone and arrange curbside pickup.

Bindlestiff Bestsellers

11 Jul

These are our best-selling titles for the last month, in descending order of sales:

Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins and Ann Hazzard, Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice

Marc Martin, A River (picture book)

Kimberly Ridley, The Secret Bay (picture book)

Ibram Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

NK Jemisin, The City We Became

Jason Reynolds and Ibram Kendi, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow

Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half: A Novel

Robin Diangelo, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

Angela Davis, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement

Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Madeline Miller, Circe

Zora Hurston, Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”

Robin Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Gaia Cornwall, Jabari Jumps (picture book)

Samuel Otter, Philadelphia Stories: America’s Literature of Race and Freedom

Tami Charles, Freedom Soup (picture book)

Octavia Butler, Lilith’s Brood

Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot

Adreienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good 

Saidiya Hartman, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals

Closed July 4

2 Jul

Bindlestiff Books will be closed Saturday, July 4. We will be open Sunday, July 5, for curbside orders/pickup only.

My Indoor Adventures children’s writing contest

14 Jun

The deadline for the My Indoor Adventures submissions has been extended to July 1. details at:

Here’s a link to a short video about the project:

People’s Books and Culture closes

13 Jun

Sadly, one of West Philly’s oldest bookstores has closed. People’s Books & Culture (formerly Penn Book Center) did not survive the pandemic, which hit just as the new owners were in the process of transitioning the store to a more community-oriented space (for many years it relied on textbooks to support its always eclectic offerings),

Online story for children 7-9

26 May

Reopening Friday, June 5

23 May

The city and state have announced that businesses will be allowed to reopen June 5, and we are looking forward to seeing you again. We will be open Noon – 7 pm Friday and Saturday, and Noon – 5 pm on Sunday, June 7. After that, hours may be a bit irregular as we reconnect with our volunteers and rebuild the schedule.

On Wednesdays, we will have special curbside service. Customers will be invited to phone in their requests, and a staffer will pull them from the shelf (or order them for future delivery, if necessary), for a contactless delivery.

As part of our efforts to mitigate the risks of infection we will be cleaning the counter and other surfaces before opening each day, keeping windows open to promote air circulation, asking customers to wear face masks (and doing so ourselves), opening up as much room in the store (taking down the table and clearing boxes from the back room, where we keep most of the nonfiction) as we can to make it possible to keep some distance from other customers, and keeping the number of customers in the store at any one time down. (And, of course, we ask customers and staffers who aren’t feeling well to take the day off.)

We can handle contact-less payments through Apple pay and dipping-enabled credit cards, or by Venmo.

Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Available May 19

8 May

Bindlestiff Books has received a case of Suzanne Collins’ The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, set in the years leading up to her Hunger Games trilogy. Copies will be available on May 19. The book is 528 pages, and costs $27.99, hardcover.

We are accepting pre-orders for the book, and exploring options for some sort of physically-separated release celebration. Otherwise, we would arrange deliveries in the neighborhood the morning of the 19th. We can take payment by Venmo, check, etc.

Deadline Extended: My Indoor Adventures Children’s Story Contest

21 Apr

The A Book A Day program, in partnership with Bindlestiff Books, is inviting young writers and illustrators (K-5) in West Philadelphia to submit their illustrated short story,  comic, or  picture book:

* This contest is open to multilingual submissions.
* Our program values visual literacy, and we welcome comics and wordless books.
1st place: $125 gift card to Bindlestiff + 3 new books
2nd place: $75 gift card to Bindlestiff + 3 new books
3rd place: $50 gift card to Bindlestiff + 3 new books

Extended Deadline for final submissions: July 1, 2020.
Winners will be announced on July 14, 2020

Bindlestiff Closure extended through June 4

15 Mar

Update: The state has extended the closure through June 4. We are planning to reopen that weekend, likely with restrictions on the number of people in the store at any given time.

The city of Philadelphia ordered all “non-essential” retail businesses to close March 16-27. Inexplicably, bookstores are not included on the list of “non-essential” businesses (although “box stores” and appliance and camera stores are), and so we are obliged to close. We do have shipments of books due which include books customers have placed special orders for; we will endeavor to contact all affected customers to see if we can make arrangements to get you your books. Authorities permitting, we will reopen at Noon on Saturday, March 28.

Special Order Customers who have not yet been able to retrieve their books can email us at to make arrangements to have your books dropped off.