Emitting a warm brilliance from its storefront, Brickbat Books welcomes the multi-faceted, deep recesses of your mind. Whether you’re seeking the ultimate collection of essays about an old rock band or an art book consisting of Studio Ghibli drawings, the bookstore contains many rare items on its shelves.
Located in the Queens Village neighborhood, the independent book shop is run by co-owners Noelle Egan and Patrick Richardson Graham. The store houses stacks of books against its walls, creating an open space for customers to search for rare and first editions of literature.
“I think of it as a pretty special place where people can come to discover books that they maybe sort of heard of, or something that catches their eye,” said Egan. “It’s a place of discovery more so than a place that you come in with an expectation of finding a specific thing.”
According to Egan, the bookstore mostly seeks to purchase contemporary art and fiction pieces, but on some days, the process behind picking certain pieces entails having more of an instinctive mindset.
“We know what our taste is and we know what we’re looking for in books,” said Egan. “And so there’s the basics of making sure that whatever we buy is a clean copy and doesn’t have writing in it or damage to the book. We want to be excited about what’s in the shop, so [if we’re] looking at a title, and we are intrigued by it, then we’re going to buy it.”
With these collections of intriguing books, Brickbat Books also sets the scene for being an exciting community hub for South Philadelphians. From music events to poetry readings, the bookstore hosts community artists in many ways.
According to Egan, Brickbat Books currently has a series of events that is being hosted by Bill Nace, owner of the record label Open Mouth Records. Featuring experimental musicians, these events feature artists that are associated with Open Mouth Records and will be performing at Brickbat Books during spring 2023.
Looking to visit Brickbat Books? You can find them at 709 South 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147.