Friday, June 16, 2017

Classic Lines Books & More - Pittsburgh, PA

Classic Lines Books & More, Pittsburgh, PA
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Duchess on duty at Classic Lines.  
Classic Lines is located on a very busy street of retail businesses in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  It is conveniently next door to the Commonplace Coffee Co., a great fit.  I'm assuming that this neighborhood got its name a few centuries ago when local citizens noticed an abundance of squirrels.  Unfortunately, on my visit I saw no signs of squirrels.   But I did see tons of books in a great little indie.  And I also met Duchess, one of the booksellers and just the dog to protect Classic Lines in case the squirrel overlords retake the neighborhood.

This indie has been around for almost three years and happily things are going very well.  They started out offering used books and it went so well that they shifted their focus and now offer almost exclusively new books.  The bookstore is a one-level space of medium size and this space was formerly a women's dress shop.  The fitting rooms of the dress shop are now little nooks of unique sales rooms.  The store also offers a few sidelines including greeting cards, journals, reading glasses, and jigsaw puzzles to name a few.  But, as Mary Sue, one of the staffers told me, the books are the thing here and they are going very well.

The store is involved with a variety of events but one of the best things is that they are the bookstore that provides the books for the city's lecture series, a great stroke of success for any bookstore.  What more could this store want in terms of success?  How about Duchess the bookstore dog?  If nothing else, you have to come here and meet Duchess.  Prepare to be charmed.  

I had a great time meeting Duchess and her owner, Mary Sue.  Mary Sue told me lots about the store and the area and I came away with a lot of optimism about the future for Classic Lines.  Dan, the owner, was not here on the day of my visit but he and his staff have done a super job.  Everything is quite well arranged and displayed.  They have a good core of regulars but also many out-of-towners as well.  I will tell you that if you drive here, parking can be challenging in this area.  But don't give up, your patience will be rewarded when you see this great place.

If you don't see any squirrels in this neighborhood, pay a visit to Duchess at Classic Lines.  You can thank her personally and check out the books.  I felt perfectly comfortable and safe from squirrel marauders at this terrific Pittsburgh indie.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Nix, Nathan Hill.   

An extremely rare photograph of two renowned celebrities.  Duchess on the left and earnest readers of this blog will recognize the celebrity on the right.  Yes, that's my mom.  This is how you may be welcomed to the store.  

This is a great front window display, difficult to see though due to the glare.  

The mantra of every indie.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

A nice wall display to the right of the front entrance.  

Another great display to the left of the front entrance.  

Two comfy chairs to try out a book.  

If you're in Pittsburgh, look for something about the Pirates.  Or Penguins.  Or Steelers.  

Some of the authors coming to Pittsburgh.  

These items are located in a room that used to be a fitting room in a former life of the store.  

A very unique way to display their reading glasses.  

Due to the popularity of the store and the high sales, Duchess needs to take frequent breaks from bookselling and squirrel guarding.  

A partial view of the children's section.  

View looking from the back of the store toward the front entrance.  

With Mary Sue on the right, one of the fine booksellers at Classic Lines.  Thanks for a great visit.  


  1. Thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit and I'm sorry I wasn't here to meet you in person. Safe travels and come back soon. Dan,owner, Classic Lines.

  2. Thanks Dan. Keep up the great work and make sure you guys give Duchess plenty of breaks! Bob