pradipta ray

The NYPL Rose reading room

I love to read, and have a special interest in book, cover and poster illustrations. I used to write many moons ago, but that habit is all but gone, save for scientific writing. Read my article on fireplaces in book illustrations. I have a blog inappropriately used for a walkthrough of "How to Shoot an Amateur Naturalist", by Gerald Durrell.

Project Gutenberg is a non-profit organization which is dedicated to building digital copies of all public domain books. Become a volunteer ! Or at the very least, get around to reading that-book-you-would-have-bought-but-you-didnt-knowing-it-was-public-domain.

I also maintain a guide to Pittsburgh bookstores. The guide follows. All bookstores, libraries and for-profits and non-profits working with books in the city, both past & present (& future) are reviewed and described (occasionally with references). Present day bookstores in Greater Pittsburgh are briefly enumerated, including chain stores, and comic book outlets. The review is followed by a list of what categories of stores were NOT reviewed. The author is unaffiliated with ALL of the shops. Shops in the city are clustered by neighborhoods. Shops in suburbia are clustered by either their type (chain store / comic book store) or their access (serviced routes). Since I have moved to Texas for a post doctoral appointment, hence this list will no longer be maintained.

Libraries and bookshops past and present in the 'burgh:

Pittsburgh has always had, and continues to retain more than a fair proportion of libraries and bookshops for a city of its size (see this article for comparison. To see how the scene has evolved, read this article and this one about the changing Pittsburgh book landscape of the 2000s, or this article from 1995 about antiquarian book sellers in Pittsburgh in the 1990s. Or this article about the late 1980s. Or this article (Part 1, Part 2) about used book stores in Pittsburgh from the mid-1980s. Or this one (Part 1, Part 2) from the early 1980s. More articles from the '80s are here (Part 1, Part 2) and here. Figures of library circulation here.

For a glimpse into an even older landscape, read this article about the man behind the Pittsburgh Almanac here, and an article on the bookstore and library scenario in the early 20th century here.


South Side

Squirrel Hill


North Side

Strip District




Polish Hill

North Hills neighborhoods

East Liberty

Hill District

The South Hills neighborhoods

The West End neighborhoods

Mt Washington

Homewood, Hazelwood, Lawrenceville


Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area

Chain retailers or co-ops

Carnegie Libraries

Besides the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and the Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny, Andrew Carnegie helped fund and build numerous other libraries in the Greater Pittsburgh areas. The first few libraries, including the Allegheny and Pittsburgh ones, were built with a foundation in place, even though today they are mostly funded with taxpayers' money. The later Carnegie libraries were built with the agreement that the state paid primarily for the upkepp. The first Carnegie Library was built in Andrew Carnegie's village of Dunfermline, in Scotland, in 1883. The following libraries were then built : The very last Carnegie library was built here. To read two articles about the heritage of Carnegie Libraries in SWPA, read this and this.

County-wide Public Library Systems

Comic book stores in the Greater Pittsburgh area

US 30 - Lincoln Highway

PA 56

US 19

PA 8 - William Flynn Highway

Mon - Yough Valley

PA 28 - Allegheny Valley Expressway

PA 65 - Ohio River Boulevard


What is not listed