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Explore Our Store

a Reader, a Plan,

a Neighborhood, 

a Bookstore

A Reader, a Neighborhood, a Bookstore


Sheila Allen Avelin opened Big Blue Marble bookstore in November, 2005. She chose to locate in Mt. Airy Village for its diverse residents who value education, the strong draw of other neighborhood businesses, and the area's commitment to shopping locally.

Big Blue Marble is very much a reflection of our neighborhood - racially and economically diverse, politically engaged, funny, full of parents and grandparents looking for the best children's books, LOTS of writers, and quite a few lesbians and Jews.  We stock books we love and trust that our customers will recommend any great books we have missed.  We've always had writers on staff, who also keep us on our toes and connected to lesser known and up-and-coming authors.




The Books Start Out Front

Welcome to our store! We have a beautiful Little Free Library, so you can start browsing for books before you come in. If the Earth flag is out, we're open. In the summer, check our sidewalk sale table for great deals.

First Floor Front

Come on in! In addition to your friendly neighborhood bookseller at the front counter, you'll find: Indie bestsellers for adults and kids, Politics, Economics, African American History and Community,  Science, Ecology, Gardening, Gender and Sexuality, Creativity, coloring books, Philadelphia fiction, nonfiction, and guidebooks, and lots of great gifts

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In the middle of our first floor you'll find: Fiction, Mystery, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Poetry, Memoir, cards, puzzles, games and art supplies for kids, plush book character toys, and gifts

Our Kids' Section

At the back of our first floor, down a few steps, you'll find our kids' section, with: picture books, board books, chapter books, early readers, children's poetry, comics and graphic works, nonfiction including religion, myth, history, biography, science, and nature, games, activities, toys to buy AND toys to play with

Second Floor - Events Space

Most of our events happen on the second floor. Shelves roll back, folding chairs come out, maybe a screen and projector pop up, and we have space for story times, movies, author visits, book clubs, and more. During the day, the space has a small sofa, comfy chairs, and and tables for reading and working. Yes, we have wifi, and yes, it is free!

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Second Floor Books - Make It, Bake It, Fix It, Enjoy It

Head up the stairs to find: Crafts, Self-help/Relationships, Religion, Parenting, Cookbooks / Food Writing, Comics/Graphics, Young Adult fiction and fantasy, Pets, Music books, and SALE BOOKS, with recent hardcovers for 40% off, and paperbacks for 25% off

Reading Deck

When the weather is good head out to our Reading Deck, off the back of the 2nd floor.  Tables and chairs, reading chairs for kids and adults, and umbrella for shade. Food and drinks are welcome, and wifi is available.

Third Floor Community Room

Due to construction issues our community is closed to the public until spring 2020.