Next Event:

Hill + Nester + Ervin + Krampus


Saturday, December 5th, 7pm – 9pm

Hill + Nester + Ervin + Krampus

Join us and come listen to and hang out with three remarkable authors and one anti-Santa Claus. (Okay, Krampus may or may not actually attend our festivities.) 

James Tate Hill is the author of Academy Gothic, winner of the 2014 Nilsen Prize for a First Novel. He serves as Fiction and Reviews Editor for the literary journal Monkeybicycle, an imprint of Dzanc Books. His fiction has appeared in Story Quarterly, Sonora Review, The South Carolina Review, The Laurel Review, The Texas Review, and elsewhere. He holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Hollins University and an M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he served as Fiction Editor of The Greensboro Review. A native of Charleston, West Virginia, he is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College and West Virginia University. Currently he lives in Greensboro with his wife, Lori.

Daniel Nester is the author most recently of Shader: 99 Notes on Car Washes, Making Out in Church, Grief, and Other Unlearnable Subjects (99: The Press 2015). Previous books include How to Be Inappropriate (Soft Skull, 2010), God Save My Queen I and II (Soft Skull, 2003 and 2004), and The Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody, 2014), which he edited. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Morning News, The Rumpus, Best American Poetry, Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll, and Now Write! Nonfiction. He is an associate professor of English at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.

Andrew Ervin grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs and has lived in Budapest, Illinois, and Louisiana. He has a degree in philosophy and religion from Goucher College and completed his MFA in fiction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His short fiction has appeared in Conjunctions, The Southern Review, Fiction International, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Philadelphia with his wife, flutist Elivi Varga.



With the new Avengers movie hitting screens, I was thinking -

What would Spiral recommend to this spectacular cast of superheroes?

Well, I can’t resist a bit of character analysis and and jab of whimsy, so I decided to give it a shot.  Here’s what I recommend – now pick up a book and get to it!




Hey there Captain – We all know you are a bit sensitive and certainly a powerhouse out of time.  I’ll think you’ll appreciate this story of a fish out of water and how, inevitably, you can’t re-write history.





Let me just explain one thing to you Stark – You have free will.  Everyone else is a robot.  Wait, wait, wait, I mean -You are a robot, and everyone else has free will.  Okay, maybe not – but I think you’ll appreciate this biting satire, even if you’re a robot with free will.





Hey Thor, this little girl has some Power < yep, with a capital “P”.   Her family is mean, her teacher is the worst, but she finds support in a comely teacher and learns to take control.   I think you’ll clench your teeth at the mean-spirited humans she has to deal with – but remember, we’re not all bad.





Bruce – I think you’ll like this one.  It is creepy, I won’t lie.  But I think you’ll be taken by the narrator’s descent into psychosis and come to find a deep understanding within these pages.  Perhaps a bit of insight into your own malady?





This is a dark book, Natasha, but I just need to recommend it to you.  It’s tragic, it’s stunning, it’s everything that you escaped.  The story will make you cry, but sometimes it’s good to remember our demons.





Okay, this one might hit a little bit close to home, Clint, but like Natasha, I think you’ll appreciate it.  Circus freaks, familial strain, unfettered emotions - have I got you yet? Draw a bubble bath and jump in.

geek love




Loki – I think you’ll be lost forever trying to figure this one out – Have at it.



Those are my very specially selected recommendations.  What would you recommend to The Avengers?  Let us know on facebook and twitter – #spiralavengers

These books can be found or ordered by emailing or stopping by the shop!




A delirious selection of books for those seeking something a bit off-kilter.

Call 215-482-0704 to order any of these titles, mention MARCH MADNESS, and get 15% off your order or free shipping.  (We ship anywhere in the US and our flat-rate shipping fee is $2.50.)


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illus. by Camille Rose Garcia

A stunning edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  You will feel wonderfully mad as you navigate through Camille Rose Garcia’s trippy & creepy illustrations.


The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

Have you wondered if you or your boss/co-worker/friend/mother-in-law is a psychopath?  This is the book for you.  Jon Ronson explores the concept of psychopathy through discussions with mental health specialists, descriptions of odd and unsettling treatments, and the lens of mass media.  Ultimately, an engaging look at how psychopathy is viewed and treated in our world.


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

There is a reason everyone is reading this.  For those of you with voyeuristic tendencies (I know you’re out there), read this book.  Three perspectives – three versions of the truth.  The perfect thriller.


The Devil and Sherlock Holmes by David Grann

A motley collection of heroes and rogues from around the world.  Strange non-fiction, the best kind perhaps?  Tumble along these tales and leave wanting more.


Jillian by Halle Butler

Two secretaries, Megan & Jillian, a malcontent and a short-sighted optimist.  They will test your patience, yet you can’t help but feel for them.  Somehow humorous, somehow distasteful, completely great. If you like staring at car crashes, this is your book.  (Meet the author and get a signed copy : March 4th, 630-900)


The Year of No Mistakes by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

After all of these maddening reads, cleanse your palate.  Poetry has a beautiful way to return you to yourself, and Aptowicz deftly and simply presents moments of personal struggle, joy, and insight.  This isn’t sugar sweet, but life isn’t either.


I hope you enjoyed our foray into madness – and if you do like our recommendations, please remember to SHOP INDIE!  We are happy to get these books into your hands (just call!), and I bet your local indie is ready to help too.

Book Notes : Dave Housley’s “Commerical Fiction”

MEET Dave housley : SAT : FEBRUARY 28th : 630-900



This article was originally published by on 2/24/14.  Dave will be reading and signing copies of his latest short story collection: If I Knew The Way, I Would Take You Home.  PURCHASE SIGNED COPY HERE

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.



cfDave Housley’s short story collection Commercial Fiction is filled with humor, pathos, and popular culture, with each story drawing inspiration from a specific television commercial.

Matt Bell wrote of the book:

“With Commercial Fiction, Dave Housley once again stakes his claim as the poet laureate of pop culture. No one else could take the cynical manipulations of commercials and extract from them so much humor and empathy and heart.”

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In his own words, here is Dave Housley’s Book Notes music playlist for his short story collection, Commercial Fiction:
As you’ll quickly notice when you read the titles of these stories, this is a book of short fiction based on television commercials. In assembling this playlist, I’m trying to do what I tried to do when I wrote the stories, which is not so much to make fun of the source material (which would be too easy, and not even very much fun) but to use these mostly ridiculous commercials as jumping off points, to take them at face value and try to see what might happen if these people  were actual people, with actual complicated, messy lives concerned with more than fast food and cars and beer and erectile dysfunction (spoiler alert: a good deal of the book was written during football season).

Continue reading

Book Notes – Tara Murtha’s “Bobbie Gentry’s Ode to Bille Joe”

Meet Tara Murtha : Sat : February 28th : 630-900

Story & Song : Rock and Roll Edition 


This article was originally published by on January 28th.

Tara Murtha’s Bobbie Gentry’s Ode to Billie Joe : PURCHASE SIGNED COPIES HERE

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Tara Murtha’s fascinating 33 1/3 book on Bobbie Gentry’s Ode to Billie Joe album explores the mysterious recording artist’s life through the lens of her work.

The Utne Reader wrote of the book:

“Murtha pulls free the threads of truth from a tangled knot of personal mythology and contradictions. Her book is likely to be a hit with casual listeners and pop-culture obsessives alike.”

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In her own words, here is Tara Murtha’s Book Notes music playlist for her book Bobbie Gentry’s Ode to Billie Joe:

I still clearly recall the first time I heard Eddie Rabbitt’s “I Love a Rainy Night.” My cute mom stopped dusting the furniture long enough to start dancing in our living room while singing along. I love to hear the thunder, watch the lightning! Most people don’t have a flashbulb memory around hearing “I love a Rainy Night.” I only do because it gilds a fond scene.

Almost universally, though, people remember the first time they heard “Ode to Billie Joe,” especially when it first hit the charts in the summer of 1967. Bobbie Gentry said fans felt compelled to share with her where they were and what they were doing—usually driving—when they first heard her sing her signature spooky story-ballad about a teenage suicide in the South.

Continue reading

A Sweet Deal – A Second Bite at the Apple


Featured Book – A Second Bite at the Apple by Dana Bate

Looking for a Valentine’s Day gift (for yourself, or someone else)? Why not give two gifts in one! Dana Bate and The Spiral Bookcase have teamed up for this sweet deal.  With every purchase of this delightful foodie rom-com, we will be donating a gently used book to Inter-Faith Housing Alliance, an organization that provides housing and services to homeless families in the Philadelphia area.

Buy a book, give a book. It’s a win-win! We are happy to ship anywhere in the USA – all you have to do is order direct from the shop : 215-482-0704, or order here: A Second Bite at the Apple

“Funny, sweet, & a perfect read to rid the winter doldrums” – Ann 

LIBER LIBRI LOVE Contest & Photo Gallery

LLLShow the world why you LOVE The Spiral Bookcase! 

To Enter:
1) Follow us on Instagram @spiralbookcase
2) Post a photo of why you love The Spiral Bookcase
* perhaps a book you recently acquired or a picture of Amelia Cat
3) tag your post #spiralbooklove
4) tag @spiralbookcase
* contest ends on March 6th * you do not need to be present to claim prize *
Winner will receive a $25 Gift Card and A Stack of Signed Books
First Friday  March 6th, 630pm – 930pm
On March 6th, join us in-shop while we celebrate this outpouring of love!  YOUR PHOTOS will be displayed throughout the shop.  Feel the love, show off to your friends, and bring home a 4×4 print out of your photo.  Light refreshments will be provided. BYOB.

Winter Stockpile Sale!


Dana Bate at Huntingdon Valley Library



Please join Dana Bate & The Spiral Bookcase at the Huntingdon Valley Library, Tues, February 3rd at 6:30pm. Dana will be discussing her delicious and humorous new book – A SECOND BITE AT THE APPLE.  This foodie rom-com is the perfect read to beat the winter doldrums.

The cherry on top –  For every copy of A SECOND BITE AT THE APPLE we sell, we will be donating a gently used book to The Inter-Faith Housing Alliance, an organization that provides housing and services to homeless families in the area. Buy a book, give a book. It’s a win-win!

See you there!



Monday : 10am – 5pm
Tues, Weds, Thurs : 10am – 8pm
Friday, Saturday : 10am-9pm
Sunday : 10am – 7pm


 events : (see our weekly promotions below!):

(click on each link to discover more–check back as links are added!) 
Friday, Nov. 28th : 10am – 9pm
Black Friday 
Pick up a coupon at the shop to enjoy  20% off any one book on Black Friday. 
Saturday, Nov. 29th : 10am – 9pm
Authors become booksellers-for-a-day to help YOU find perfect books to get & give. Grab special in-store deals and load up on coffee and seasonal treats.
Friday, Dec. 5th : 6pm – 9pm
We love Shaak’s brilliant & intricate designs.   Prints will be available for sale as well as one-of-a-kind holiday cards.
Saturday, Dec. 6th : 10am – 9pm
Brian Biggs, local children’s book author & illustrator will be on-site for a drawing lesson.  Buy & Give : With every book purchase, we will donate one gently used children’s book to North Light Community Center. 
Friday, Dec 12th : 6pm – 9pm
Grab a glass of wine, unwind, & enjoy a special night kid-free.  (Dads welcome too!)
Saturday, Dec. 13th : 3pm – 5pm
A great holiday tradition – bring, share, and keep an assortment of cookies.  The baker of the best cookie (chosen by our Spiral Staff) will win a special prize! 
Friday, Dec. 19th : 6pm – 9pm
Solstice Party 



Every Tuesday in December (2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd) :
Enjoy 15% off your entire purchase 
Wednesdays in December (3rd, 10th, 17th) :
Storytime at 1pm 
Thursdays in December (4th, 11th, 18th) :
Holiday Portraits : 6pm – 9pm 
Saturdays in December (6th, 13th, 20th) :
Tea & Cookies (first come, first serve)



now aren’t you glad you have a neighborhood, independent bookstore?  ENJOY! 


Hi There! It’s been a while…

Hello everyone!

It’s been quite a busy year at Spiral!  From Art Openings, to Author Soirees, Writers’ Conferences, and Book Signings, we’ve flown through the first part of 2014.   But, we have oh, so much more to share with you.

You may have noticed that Ann has been very busy with little Zelda over the past year.  Now that Zelda is getting bigger (14 months!) and Ann’s maternity leave is coming to a close, she’s able to dive back into the shop full force and start working on many many many wonderful things.  New stock! New blog posts! Special deals! Fancy new celebrations of all things literary!  We cannot wait to share them all with you.

You will also see some changes on the website.  You’ll see – more event postings! more reviews! more books!  All things Spiral.  Aren’t you excited?!  If you are hankering for even more Spiral, follow us on Instagram @spiralbookcase, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Now for the fun part – a handful of pics from the past 6 months.  Enjoy and hope to see you soon!

Zelda loves books!

Zelda loves books!



Behind the scenes at Asymptote's 3rd Anniversary Party

Behind the scenes at Asymptote’s 3rd Anniversary Party

Barrelhouse Conference

Barrelhouse Conference

Arcadia Salon

Arcadia Salon

Bert Kreischer at Helium

Bert Kreischer at Helium

True Detective Display

True Detective Display

New Recommendations

New Acquisitions

New Acquisitions

...and let's not forget the snow!

…and let’s not forget the snow!