Joseph Fox Bookshop
I have lived three blocks away from the Joseph Fox Bookshop (1724 Sansom Street) for the last five years, and until today, I had never walked up the half-flight of stairs to check them out. Located half a block away from the Rittenhouse Square Barnes and Noble, it had never occurred to me to go any further, although I’ve never been satisfied by that mass-market chain.
What took me there today was a desire to finally get my hands on a copy of the Wissahickon Trail Map that I’ve been wanting since January. The Friends of the Wissahickon website listed a variety of places around the city where their maps were available, and the Joseph Fox was the closest to me. Walking in, I immediately experienced sensory overload, in a way I love. Every inch of space is covered with books, and I couldn’t proceed more than a couple of feet beyond the door, because I wanted to take it all in. They have so many amazing books, stocking only single editions of most things, so that they can maximize the variety of options available to shoppers.
I easily found my trail map, and also ended up picking up a copy of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I’ve been wanting the book since it came out, and they happened to have several autographed copies left over from the store’s signing that the author gave recently.
These days buying your food locally is all the rage. I recommend you try to buy your books locally and independently as well.