Robin’s Books, Philadelphia’s Oldest Independent Bookstore, Has Closed

We got a little scared for this back in 2007 when an email with a misleading title made us think the venerable bookstore was shuttered. It turned out then that the store was just moving. But this news is not misleading, and it turns out this time, Robin’s Books is closed for good.

The store, which has been open in various locations since 1936, officially shut down for good this past Saturday. And while it is a sad sign of something lost, and a cultural institution at that, Robin’s is not without its legacy. On top of all of the people who have spent time there, and all of the authors Larry Robin (and his family before him) gave a stage, Robin’s maintains a special place in U.S. history: Back in 1966, Robin’s Books was prosecuted (by Arlen Specter no less) for selling Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, a banned book. Robin’s lost the court case, but then a similar case made its way to the Supreme Court, and the ruling was reversed, because — and we’re paraphrasing here — censorship is lame.

For more on the history of the shop, read it in Larry Robin’s own words over here. We miss it already.

  • http://twitter.com/rbgame R D Burlingame

    RIP

  • http://twitter.com/lukobe Benjamin Lukoff

    Sad news. (PS: Please fix the hyperlink at the end of your first paragraph)