About Us

Welcome to Caliban Book Shop! We buy, sell, and appraise books, autographs, photographs, printed material, and original art. We carry everything from quality paperback fiction, poetry and philosophy, to scholarly books in many fields, to rare books dating back to the 16th Century. We have a robust online business as well as a thriving open shop in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. In our store, you'll find a great selection of books in all fields for readers, collectors, and the intellectually curious. We also sell a choice assortment of indie books and zines by local authors.

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.

Our shop is located in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh at 410 S. Craig St., and our hours are Monday-Saturday 10am - 5:30pm ('til 8pm on most Thursdays), Sundays 12pm - 5:30pm. Call ahead if you have questions about hours, books in stock, our purchasing policies, etc. (412) 681-9111. Need directions?

Our warehouse is located about five miles to the east in Wilkinsburg and contains approximately 150,000 books. All of our online and mail order services take place from this location and all of the books we list can be found there. Questions regarding books found on this site or possible visits to the warehouse should be directed to (412) 242-9040. Calls on Monday-Friday, from 10am-5pm please, and we also respond quickly to emails (info@calibanbooks.com). If you are local, we can certainly bring items of interest from the warehouse to the shop in Oakland.

410 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

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.


Wilkinsburg, PA. 

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.



Quite often, we'll hear back from satisfied customers.  Recently we heard...

"Dear sir, the book arrived, well packed, good condition. Yours, Denis." (Jan. 22, 2016)

"I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful packing job. The package was left on my exposed porch in the middle of a torrential downpour, and by the time I returned home the next day the outside of the package was thoroughly soaked by the rain. I had resigned myself to the book's being water damaged, but was pleasantly surprised when I opened the package to find enough layers of packaging within that the book itself was dry as could be, untouched by the rain. Thank you for your attention to quality packing; anything less would have resulted in the book's being damaged beyond repair." (Dec. 29, 2015)

"I've just come off the Reference Desk at the end of my afternoon. The elevator lets me off just outside of the mail room, so I wandered in there. Much to my delight, I found there the package which you sent. I expect that someone there went to school to study 'packaging science'. The item was safe and secure at the bottom of the largish box. I like the way the document is 'bound'. Thank you for your care and your concern. Everything is safe and sound." (November 11, 2015)



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. We have a great well-read staff who would be happy to recommend books to read, books for gifts (birthdays, retirements, special occasions), or books to collect.

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).

We also do appraisals. 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. Also, we do free verbal evaluations in-shop.


(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. 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.


Our Friends and Other Places for Local Book News:

Pittsburgh Literary Calendar

The New Yinzer

Littsburgh - Literary Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series

Carnegie Museums and Library