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Yearning for the charm of a local book store in Chestnut Hill?

The Friends of the Chestnut Hill Library are opening up a used book store called Hilltop Books at 84 Bethlehem Pike. Our building crew at Bowman has been working hard over this past year to renovate the space dated back to the 1870s in preparation for the arrival of many generously donated books by the community. The Friends organization is a voluntary, non-profit organization that was founded in 1970s. The volunteers have helped to raise money for the library, keep the library grounds beautiful, assisted librarians, organized books and helped planned many events. These giving volunteers have spent countless hours making the Friends organization’s vision of a used book store in Chestnut Hill a reality. One of the biggest tasks was sorting through hundreds of used books that might have just gone to a landfill. These volunteers have worked tirelessly to sort through different genres of books in preparation for putting them on shelves.

Bowman Properties graciously allowed the Friends to use one of our vacant properties as a storage and sorting location since there were so many books to sort through. The Friends organization is very grateful to the many members of the community who have donated books to “Hilltop Books” and will be having more book donation days in the future. Click here for more information about donations or becoming a volunteer.

When purchasing books at the bookstore, you can be assured that your money is going to a terrific cause, supporting the Chestnut Hill Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia and promoting literacy in the community.

When you step into the store you will get a warm, fuzzy feeling of being right at home. The volunteers at the store are very friendly and are eager to help you find a particular book or guide you to right spot to find something up your alley. They have divided the bookshelves into different sections such as home & garden, murder mysteries, or young adult and it’s very organized so finding a book in a particular genre is very easy.

The kid’s section has a beautiful, hand-painted mural of woodland creatures that is very fitting and adorable. They also have a “Family Night Game Rental” club, where games or puzzles can be rented out each week. For only $15 a month you can take home two games or puzzles each week and exchange it for another two the next week. If you have games at home that you no longer use you can also drop them off as a donation for other families to enjoy.

Chestnut Hill Library Board Member and Interim bookstore manager Laura Lucas has big plans for the bookstore. Bowman Properties is working with her to  create an outdoor terrace area for enjoying reading outside and hosting fund-raising events. She also is organizing book club meetings. One of the book club groups will be a Murder Mystery book club which will be a great way to get involved in the library and find some friends that share common interests. Additionally, she has plans to develop an online presence with book sales for local pickup.



Opening a store during a pandemic is no small feat, but they have done a great job at making the bookstore a safe spot to shop. Recently the bookstore was offering shopping by appointment only, however starting March 20th no appointments will be needed. They will be following the city’s guidance for restrictions on how many people are allowed in at once and their maximum is 10 guests at a time with social distancing, masks required, hand sanitizing, and credit card payments¬† preferred. Please check their website for more updates as things are always changing during this time.

Hilltop books is a great addition to the neighborhood and makes shopping local that much easier. Now leaving Chestnut Hill to shop at big box name stores can become a thing of the past, we can save books from going to a landfill and give them new life. Welcome to the neighborhood, Hilltop Books! Bowman Properties is proud to have helped transform the beautiful space for the bookstore to be enjoyed by the community for years to come!