B is for Books: local bookstore offering free books to help increase literacy

HOMESTEAD, Pa. — “B is for Books,” a free bookstore, is now officially open for business in Homestead.

When you walk in, the first thing you see is a bright, colorful and comfy reading space with a hand-painted mural and sitting area.

Hundreds of children’s books are also on display for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens.

It looks like a regular bookstore, but at this bookstore, the books are free.

It’s the first of its kind in Pittsburgh.

“We want to increase the number of the access to books for families who don’t have necessarily the funds to purchase all those fancy books, they’re expensive,” said Mary Denison, Executive Director of Reading Ready Pittsburgh.

B is for Books is operated by Reading Ready Pittsburgh, a nonprofit that promotes early literacy and increased access to books.

Most of the books are donated and are gently used. Donations are welcome and accepted at:

But some books are new, paid for by grant money.

“New books that have a greater variety of diversity and are more culturally sensitive than the books that you and I may have grown up with so we’re making sure those books are available as well,” Denison said.

Kids can shop around and take home up to three free books.

According to Reading Ready Pittsburgh, free bookstores are needed in underserved areas like Homestead.

“This is a way to empower children to have their own libraries to inspire level reading by opening a book. I worked in education before this. I was a reading specialist, so I understand just how important it is to have one in the home,” said Mark Sepe, Outreach Coordinator of Reading Ready Pittsburgh.

The community is invited to the bookstore for an open house on February 17 from noon until 3 p.m.

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