Independently owned and operated since 1962! 

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce that the Penn Book Center will stay open, thanks to new owners Matt Duquès and Diana Bellonby! 

As a result of all the publicity generated by your efforts to keep us in business, Matt and Diana, who were in the process of moving from Alabama to Philly, contacted us and opened negotiations for purchase in the spring.

We think Matt and Diana are the perfect people to build on the legacy of the Penn Book Center.  As academics, they understand what makes the Penn Book Center unique, and they have the vision and energy to make it a viable trade store. 

Both Duquès and Bellonby have PhDs in English. Bellonby, who grew up in Northern Virginia, is a scholar of Victorian literature. Duquès, a New Jersey native, has a background in retail and hospitality and has been an English professor at the University of North Alabama for the last five years.

We felt terrible about closing, and we are so grateful to the many people who organized to save this wonderful institution -- to Penn faculty and students led by the amazing Chi-ming Yang, to our customers, to the Penn real estate folks, and especially to Matt and Diana.

You can meet Matt and Diana at a reception on September 6th from 6-8 pm.

Ashley Montague and Michael Row



Please join us for a reading and discussion with
Kate Phillippo
author of


Seeing the consequences of competitive school choice policy through students’ eyes

Kate Phillippo follows a diverse group of Chicago students through the processes of researching, applying to, and enrolling in public high school, finding that the students are powerful policy actors who carry out and redefine competitive choice. Phillippo challenges meritocratic and market-driven notions of opportunity creation for young people and raises critical questions about the goals we have for public schooling.

"Finally, a smart, thorough, in-depth examination of the impact of high-stakes competitive high school admissions processes on the young people who engage it. A Contest without Winners holds a mirror up to the district, showing what the costs are for policy decisions to heavily invest in a few elite schools rather than ensuring that all students in the district have access to high-quality schooling."
—Amanda E. Lewis, coauthor of Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools

KATE PHILLIPPO is associate professor of cultural and educational policy studies at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Education. She is author of Advisory in Urban High Schools: A Study of Expanded Teacher Roles.

A Contest without Winners: How Students Experience Competitive School Choice Cover Image
ISBN: 9781517904340
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Univ Of Minnesota Press - March 19th, 2019

Event date: 
Monday, October 21, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Hidden Indie Bookstore Walking Tour

Welcome visitors and residents.  We love this beautiful map designed by JS Wu, a graduate student in Penn's English Depatment, highlighting great indie bookstores and magazine shops in University City. We hope you'll take the tour and drop in to PBC to say hi!