410 South Craig Street, Pittsburgh PA 15213 - mail orders: 412-242-9040 - shop: 412-681-9111 - info@calibanbooks.com

About Us

410 S. Craig St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 681-9111

HOURS (Caliban Book Shop and Desolation Row)

Monday-Saturday 10am-5:30pm*
Sunday 12pm-5:30pm
*open most Thursdays until 8pm

Our large open shop contains roughly 40,000 titles covering just about every subject.  Our specialties include local history, fine arts, poetry, philosophy, Americana, literature, children's books, fine printings, and leather-bound books.

We are located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, a brief stroll from the Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Natural History Museum, Phipps Conservatory, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Our storefront is also home to Desolation Row, a small, independent record store specializing in Indie Rock, Sixties Pop, Punk, Americana, Folk, Blues, and Jazz owned and operated by Kristofer Collins. Desolation Row now carries a small selection of new books on music and pop culture. Don't see what you're looking for? We order new vinyl, CDs and books in all fields!  412-681-9111 or desolationrowcds@yahoo.com. Also check out our Blog --and-- Facebook for updates on new releases.

Wilkinsburg, PA.  Open by appointment.

HOURS: For phone inquiries, please call Monday-Friday between 10am and 5pm. If we don't answer please leave a message -- we will get back to you within 1 business day.

Visits are welcomed, but by appointment only.

Located just a short drive from our shop in Oakland, our warehouse houses nearly 150,000 books.  Roughly 60,000 of these titles are catalogued and can be browsed here on our website.  Our stock is constantly changing, with over 100 new titles added every day.  Curious to browse more?  Our warehouse can be visited by appointment, Monday-Friday, just call ahead!


Caliban Book Shop buys, sells, and appraises books, autographs, photographs, printed material, and original art.  We purchase anything from single items to entire libraries, contemporary releases as well as rare items. 

Interested in selling?  We make free house visits in an extremely wide radius around the Pittsburgh area (we're talking thousands of hectares). We pay generously and remove promptly.  We also purchase items brought into our shop during business hours (please call ahead if you are bringing in items to ensure a buyer is present).

Co-owner John Schulman is a seasoned appraiser for estate, legal, tax and insurance purposes. We work closely with a number of honest antique dealers, auctioneers, and estate sale professionals; we also consult with a number of libraries in the area and can facilitate the donation of unwanted books.

Caliban Book Shop is a member of the ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers' Assocation of America), the main professional organization of book dealers and appraisers specializing in rare books, etc.  Mr. Schulman has spent several years appraising for PBS's Antiques Roadshow, most recently in Atlanta (Summer, 2011). He also organizes the Discovery Day appraisals for the ABAA-sponsored antiquarian book fairs in Boston and New York City.


(Google Map)

From the North:

From I-79, travel south and take the 279-S Exit. Go about 4 miles and take Exit 2-A, Veteran's Bridge (579-S), across the Allegheny River and toward beautiful downtown Pittsburgh. Exit following signs for 376E/Oakland/Monroeville and merge on to Boulevard of the Allies going east high on a bluff overlooking the Monongahela River. About 1.5 miles later, take the Forbes Avenue exit and go uphill through Oakland's business district. In about a mile, you will see the Cathedral of Learning (University of Pittsburgh's tallest building) on your left and the sculpture of Dippy (a diplodocus dinosaur with a long neck, near the entrance to the Natural History Museum) on your right. A block later is S. Craig St.; turn left and look for parking - we're a few doors up on the left.

From the South:

Take 79-N to Exit 59-A, 376-E. Stay on 376-E for a little over 8 miles; it will take you downhill and through the Fort Pitt Tunnel and across the Fort Pitt Bridge. At the end of the bridge, turn right to stay on 376-E and go 2 miles to Exit 72-A, the Oakland/Forbes Avenue exit. Stay on Forbes Avenue 1.6 miles, with the same landmarks as above, and turn left on S. Craig St.

From the East:

From the Pennsylvania Turnpike, take Exit 57 to 376-W and take that just over 11 miles (you'll pass by the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh and through the Squirrel Hill Tunnel toward Oakland and Pittsburgh's downtown) to Exit 73-B Bates St./Oakland. Take Bates St. uphill to the stoplight at Boulevard of the Allies. Turn right on Boulevard of the Allies, and left a couple blocks later on Dawson. Turn left at the end of Dawson on S. Bouquet and take that up to Forbes Avenue; turn right and go a couple blocks (passing Schenley Plaza and the Natural History Museum on your right) and turn left on S. Craig St.

From the West:

If traveling on the PA Turnpike, take 76-E to Exit 28 and follow signs for 79-S and then the directions are the same as from the North (see above). 

If traveling on I-70, proceed East toward Washington, PA and follow signs for 79-N and then directions are the same as from the South (see above).


Caliban Book Shop is co-owned by John Schulman and Emily Hetzel. Both of them have a deep background and history with books. John Schulman first started working in used bookstores while in his early teens, eventually cutting his teeth at Academy Books in NYC in the early 1980s. He has been a full-time dealer in used and rare books since 1987 and joined ABAA-ILAB in 1993. He and Emily opened Caliban Book Shop in 1991. Emily Hetzel has a background in fine arts and photography. Her father, Frederick Hetzel, was the longtime chief editor of the University of Pittsburgh Press. Together, they bring to the business a wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of the rare book trade. Their specialties include poetry, scholarly books, books in the fine arts, Americana, exploration, and rare books in all fields.

Caliban Books currently employs a number of knowledgeable and friendly assistants who work either at the shop or the warehouse, among them: Scott (resident rocker/wordsmith, jazz head), Seth (#2 golfer his age in the city, #1 mensch), Callen (official grump/secret sweetheart, renaissance woman), Mike (lord of the mailroom, voted best dimples 1997), Kris (moonlights as the Books Editor at Pittsburgh Magazine, publisher of Low Ghost Press), and several part-timers.

Our Friends and Other Places for Local Book News:

Pittsburgh Literary Calendar

The New Yinzer

The New Yinzer Presents (blog)

Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures

Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series

Carnegie Museums and Library
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