Amelia : The Best Bookstore Cat That Ever Was

Amelia crossed the Rainbow Bridge on April 11th, 2018. We are holding a celebration in her honor.

Amelia Cat Day 2018

SAT, APRIL 28th 10am-9pm

We are celebrating the 6 years that Amelia Cat has been with us. Unfortunately on April 11th we lost her to a very fast developing Intestinal Tumor. I did not want to cancel this beautiful day, but rather use it as a way to celebrate her life. She was the most-loved cat in all the land, and I want us to come together to celebrate her warm and fuzzy existence. The day (full of treats, giveaways, surprises, and cats) will be a loving reminder of the darling cat she was.
This year we are partnering with BRENDA’S CAT RESCUE. We will be raising money for their organization in Amelia’s name and they will be bringing 3 cats ready for adoption from 12-3pm.
Check out the details and schedule below!
10am : Treats & Coffee – to start the day off right!
We will also have a stack of our much-loved Amelia coloring sheets available for the kids to color.
10am – 9pm :
++Every purchase receives a raffle ticket for the Amelia Gift Basket* & exclusive Amelia sticker
++Spend $25 & receive a goody bag with a free Spiral Tote Bag and other fun treats.
++Spend $50 and receive the exclusive Out-of-Print Bookstore Cats Button Set.
++Spend $75 and receive your very own AMELIA Candle –
The Keeper of Tales! (Our gorgeous collaboration with North Ave Candles) Candles will also be available for sale the day of the event for $15.
++Spend $100 and receive a copy of BOOKSTORE CATS featuring – you guessed it – AMELIA
(while supplies last – we suggest stopping by early!)
*Raffle : Amelia Gift Bag Buy a ticket to win two catastic books – Star Trek TNG Cats & Bookstore Cats (featuring Amelia!), a limited edition AMELIA candle, and a $25 Spiral Bookcase gift card.
>>>Ticket Sales go towards Brenda’s Cat Rescue >>1 free ticket per purchase, additional tickets $1 each or $5 for 10.
A personal note: Amelia’s passing is very difficult to move through.  After adopting her those many years ago on a cold and rainy night she moved into our hearts and then into your hearts.  I take solace hearing stories about how she brought joy and love into your lives.  She was showered with accolades and with love in the six years we had her.  She won Best Bookstore Cat in 2014 via a Quirk Books contest, was featured in articles from to to and so many others.  She was included in the Bookstore Cats book published last year and was featured on national merchandise from Out-of-Print clothing.  Does this give me comfort?  Yes, some.  But what gives me the most comfort is knowing that she made you happy- on bad days, on good days, and every day in-between.  She convinced you to adopt a cat of your own, or that solace can come in the form of a fuzzy warm ball, or that a little bookstore cat can really make a big difference.  I will be here all day on Saturday to tell my own stories, celebrate, and listen to your stories of Amelia.  Let’s celebrate.  Love, Ann

Victoria’s Magickal Gift Guide

Bookseller Victoria here! I’ve rounded up some of my favorite weird & witchy picks for the holiday season–and they make great gifts for your stranger sisters, unusual pals & otherworldly co-workers. Take a peek below and knock some gifts off your shopping list!

image4 (2)PF Candle Co. Spiced Pumpkin Soy Candle, $16

image5“Her Body And Other Parties” by Carmen Maria Machado, $16

image3House of Good Juju Sacred Space Smudge Mist, $15

image2Natural Values Explorer Bat Pin, $12

image8 (1)The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath, $17.00

image5 (1)ZoliaVera Poison Apple Soap, $9.95

image4 (1)Denik Crazy Ideas Layflat Notebook, $9.95

Holidays at Spiral : Event Calendar


The Spiral Bookcase will help to make your holidays magical & bright with our remarkable books, magical gifts, and charming events.  We are known for our warm and cozy atmosphere and that feeling of delicious comfort and wonder only grows during the holidays.  Come and celebrate the magic of the season at your favorite neighborhood bookshop.


THURS IN DECEMBER: Holiday Portraits + a special appearance by KRAMPUS on Thurs, Dec. 14th.

HOLIDAY WEEKENDS: Enjoy complimentary Coffee + Brunchy Treats

FRI, NOV 24TH 12pm-8pm: BLACK FRIDAY + There will be a special in-shop offer for all those customers who have a must-have list that needs to be filled.

SAT, NOV 25th 10am-9pm : SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY + A day to celebrate!  We will have goodie bags for every purchase as well as very special free gifts for certain purchases.  Coffee & Brunchy Treats will be available.  This is truly a wonderful day for us and we hope to see your smiling faces! RSVP HERE.

SAT, DEC 2ND 11am-5pm: Take a Child to a Bookstore Day : Buy a Book, Give a Book. We are happy to welcome Brian Biggs back in the shop to celebrate the release of his newest kids book.  Also, for the third year we will be donating gently used kids books to a local school.  All you have to do is buy a book, and we’ll donate one forward.

SAT, DEC 2nd 7pm-930pm: Moon Manifestation: Gathering & Spell Crafting + Are you curious about spellwork or magick? A beginner or a solitary witch that would like to meet other like-minded individuals? This is the night to join us. We will have supplies to craft your own full moon manifestation spell ($5 per spell).  MORE DETAILS & RSVP HERE.

SUN, DEC 10th 3pm-5pm: The Great Cookie Swap & Contest + What’s tastier and cozier than sharing cookies with friends and neighbors? Join us at the bookshop to participate in a fun, traditional cookie swap.  We will also be picking our favorite cookie – and that baker will receive a special $25 gift card for their delicious efforts. We will provide coffee and tea for the event.  RSVP REQUESTED (SPACE LIMITED) RSVP HERE or email

FRI, DEC 15th 7pm-11pm: Night Market at Tattooed Mom + A night filled with strange, unusual & beautiful wares.  We will be there with author extraordinaire Carmen Maria Marchado who will be signing copies of her must-have book “Her Body and Other Parties.”  We will also have a selection of new and used books available to purchase.

SAT, DEC 16th 7pm-930pm: SOLSTICE HOLIDAY PARTY!  There will be food and drink provided but please consider bringing something to share.  IT’S TIME TO PARTY!  RSVP HERE.




Witch Weekend 10/27-10/29

witch weekend

Join us for this magickal weekend! 

Friday, Oct. 27th : The Witching Hour : An Evening of Conversation & Spell Crafting.  Are you curious about spellwork or magick?  A beginner or a solitary witch that would like to meet other like-minded individuals?  This it the night to join us.  We will have supplies to craft your own spell ($5 per spell) – herb/flower, crystal, satchel, and written spell included. Wine & Cider will be provided, feel free to bring treats to share.

Saturday, Oct 28th 530pm-8pm : Trunk Show with Diamond Tooth Taxidermy : We are so pleased to welcome Diamond Tooth Taxidermy aka Beth Beverly into the shop for a very special trunk show and meet and greet. Shop her gorgeous and unusual wares while discussing the finer points of taxidermy.

We will also have supplies to craft your own spell ($5 per spell) – herb/flower, crystal, satchel, and written spell included. Wine & Cider will be provided, feel free to bring treats to share. We hope you can join us for this strange & exquisite evening. Check out our other magickal events scheduled for Witch Weekend:10/27-10/29 at & facebook.
Beth Beverly is a State and Federally licensed taxidermist who graduated from the Pocono Institute of Taxidermy in 2010 with high marks. She has a deep respect for this craft and those who strive to preserve it.
Sunday, October 29th 1130am : Spooky Storytime : Get ready for Halloween & enjoy spooky stories and Halloween Treats with Bookseller Betz.  All Children’s books including our special Halloween selections will be 13% off all day long!

Calling all Poets!

Calling all local poets!

To celebrate April Poetry Month, The Spiral Bookcase will be reviewing, selecting, and publishing your work in a very special Poetry Zine. You have until May 7th to submit your best work, following the guidelines below. There will be a Zine Release Party on Saturday, May 20th – a perfect time to meet and mingle with other poets and celebrate the published authors. Each selected poet will receive a copy of the Zine, and other copies will be available in-shop while supplies last. 

Accepting submissions now through May 7th
One poem per person
One page maximum
Previously unpublished preferred, if published include publication details 
Specify any formatting styles with submission
Include Name, Phone number, and Email
Submit to Keenan in-shop or send to with Subject: April Poetry Submission
Staff & Local Authors will be reviewing submissions and selecting poetry for the Zine.

Accepted Formats
Word document (.doc) files
Rich Text Format (.rtf) files
Text (.txt) files
Portable Document Format (.pdf) files
Word Perfect (.ppf) files

Small Press Book Subscription


We are so pleased to announce our new subscription mail service – the Small Press Book Subscription – for adventurous readers only!  Are you ready to take the literary leap?  For more details and to subscribe you can click the tab above <Small Press Book Subscription> or click HERE.  Welcome aboard!


Spiral’s Essential Reads to Give & Get

Here are some of our favorite books to give & get this holiday season – and beyond!  Any and all of these are suggested reads to begin a literary new year.

And now you can purchase direct with Spiral right here-  Just click the links below to connect to our online Square E-Commerce site.  Shop Spiral this holiday season and all year around!




We are fans of the Gaiman’s entire oeuvre, but you need to read AMERICAN GODS now!  A cross-country & cross-mythological journey that will bring you deep into a world that you always wanted to experience.  Plus, we can’t wait for the STARZ Original Series take on the book to come out in 2017.



Not going to lie – this is SPOOKY & CREEPY & I just couldn’t get enough.  This was my favorite read of the year, the illustrations and the re-told fairy tales wound around me and the imagery still holds me hostage.  Good for those who like a bit of a scare – suggested age 13years and up.




Years ago, I received a special copy of Ariel by Plath as a Christmas present, and shortly after delved into the rest of her works.  Specifically her poems capture you with their strange beauty- read them on a quiet winter day when you have space to savor each stanza.



This was the third Kerouac book I’ve read, but it left the biggest impression. Both frenetic and solitary, if you liked On the Road you will love Dharma Bums.  This semi-fictional book travels deeper and farther, from city life to complete isolation.  For those seeking something more.



This is probably one of my favorite books of all time.  I am a huge Margaret Atwood fan, but The Handmaid’s Tale is exceptional.  This dystopian novel is set in the near-future, and describes a totalitarian theocracy which has overthrown the US government.  This is a terrifying look at women in subjugation in the context of a new regime.  Be sure to read it before the show hits HULU in 2017.



If you haven’t read this book, get it now.  Funny personal essays that tackle the supremely relevant issues of feminism and politics.  Roxane Gay’s intelligent and empathetic dialogue will make you a believer- and then you’ll recommend this book to everyone you know.



A necessary addition to any fairy tale library.  NECESSARY.



Illustrated by Edward Gorey – this book is his personal selection of favorite stories that go bump in the night.  The master of the macabre knows how to make your skin crawl, with stories from Algernon Blackwook, L.P. Hartley, Bram Stoker, and M.R. James to name a few.  And, my personal favorite – The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs.



The perfect book for anyone who wants to enjoy Philly in all its glory.  Ahem- including a mention of ye olde establishment, The Spiral Bookcase.



THE book to celebrate all that is weird and wonderful in this glorious state.  Penned by our good friend, MATT LAKE, this book needs to go on your bookshelf.  Also – ROAD TRIPS!



We cannot keep this book in-stock.  For good reason, it a fascinating history of the much loved historical figure Dr. Mutter- the medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country’s most famous museum of medical oddities.  Perfect for your weird uncle or your scientist brother, and really anyone who appreciates a great and readable history book.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of some of our very favorite books. We’d love to get these essential reads into your hands. Click the links and purchase direct with Spiral – you can either request pick-up or shipment for any of these titles.   Happy Reading!






Holiday Calendar!


Amelia Update!

photo (69)

Hello Amelia Admirers!

We wanted to share some good news and offer a huge THANK YOU for donating to Amelia’s medical fund.

In the spring, Amelia was diagnosed with Feline Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine (hormone) disorder that affects cats. It creates a wide range of symptoms resulting from the overproduction of thyroid hormone made by the thyroid gland.  A common disease for senior kitties (Amelia is a whopping 15 years old!) it can be maintained by a special diet and medication.  When Amelia was diagnosed she began a special prescription diet and needed several blood tests to determine if her treatment was working.  That was when we asked for your help.

You gave generously and raised enough money to cover food for the past four months as well as for one appointment and blood test.  We are so touched by your love and concern for our little Amelia.  She brightens our days and we know what a cuddle of comfort she is to everyone who walks in the door.

Amelia just had a follow up appointment and she had great results!  The blood test deemed that the prescription food was doing its job and her system has stabilized.  This is a life-long disease, so we will maintain her health through regular blood tests and through her special diet.

Thank you again for your beautiful generosity.  We always tell people we have the best customers and friends, and once again – it’s pretty obvious that we do.  Come give Amelia a snuggle and a “job well done.”

Love,  Amelia’s dedicated minions.

thank you amelia

Books & Broads: A Feminist Book Club


Books and Broads is a feminist book club that will focus on intersectional identities in fiction. We prioritize the writing of women of color, queer, trans, and gender non-conforming people, and women with disabilities. We welcome feminists of all gender identities to our reindeer games and believe that talking about our perspectives and experiences around a story helps us to understand it, ourselves, and one another better. Club members get 10% off their order of the book and 15% off by ordering three month’s worth of books in advance. Books and Broads will meet on the third Tuesday of every month. You can join our facebook group here.

July: Dietland by Sarai Walker (Facebook RSVP)

August: Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

September: The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman

October: Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson

November: Southland by Nina Revoyr

December: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

PLEASE DONATE – Philly High School needs copies of THE GREAT GATSBY



Do you happen to have your old copy of THE GREAT GATSBY?  Do you want to support a local high school by sharing the gift of literature?

Copies of THE GREAT GATSBY are needed (see details below). Deadline Monday, Jan. 25th. Drop off location – The Spiral Bookcase, 112 Cotton St., Philadelphia, PA 19127.  Mailed copies are also welcome as long as they are here before the deadline.

We are an accelerated high school for over-aged and under-credited students in Philadelphia; essentially a second chance school for students who have dropped out or have been unsuccessful in the traditional school setting. Because we are an alternative school, we don’t have a great deal of funding or resources, and because most of our students are from low income families, we do not require that they purchase any books or textbooks of their own. This often makes it difficult for teachers to provide students with the materials they want and need.

The English Department has been on a hunt for used copies of The Great Gatsby, but has been struggling to find enough copies (looking for around 30) at an affordable price. If anyone is willing to part ways with their copy of Gatsby, it would be going to a great school of students who, despite their obstacles, have made the mature decision to reenter the school system and get their high school diploma!

The Spiral Bookcase, 112 Cotton St. Philadelphia, PA 19127