Books & Media

Want to see what new, used, and library books we carry? 
Search our catalog!

New Books

For over a decade, The Big Idea has been bringing Pittsburghers hard-to-find radical and progressive literature from publishers like AK Press, PM Press, South End Press, New Society Publishers, Microcosm Publishing, CrimethInc., Haymarket, Chelsea Green, Autonomedia, Soft Skull Press, Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, Eberhardt Press, and more. We order from worker-owned cooperatives and small independent presses when possible, but we also order from larger publishers when necessary.

Are you a writer who wants to have your book on our bookshelves?

Send us an email, give us a call, or stop into the store! We want to hear about what your book is about.

Remember: we’re an all-volunteer anarchist collective; we prioritize radical, political literature, and sometimes, correspondence can be very slow. We love supporting radical Pittsburgh writers and artists, just be patience with us.

Used Books

We do not purchase used books under any circumstances.

We have a wide array of intentionally curated used books, all of which are donations made to the bookstore.

If you’re interested in donating books, we’re especially interested in anarchist or otherwise political literature, philosophy, history, art, language learning books, books written in languages other than English, science fiction, popular fiction, classics, DIY, and vegan cooking.

We accept up to two boxes of books per donation.

If you have a large collection of books you believe we’d be interested in, please send us an email or give us a call; we’ll come take a look at the books and often, if our volunteers have time capacity and resources, we’ll facilitate transport them to the bookstore for you, free of charge.

We reserve the right to say no to anyone who is donating books for any reason.

Library Books & DVDs

The Big Idea is the home to a lending library of 220+ filled with our favorite books, plus queer movies (thanks to the Queer Video Vault) and documentaries from the former Dreaming Ant in Bloomfield, formerly Crazy Mocha, now Yinz Coffee.

See the full list of Queer Video Vault videos. See a full list of our books here.

Library Policies

  1. One item can be checked out at a time
  2. Books have a 3 week checkout window with 2 renewals
  3. DVDs have a 1 week checkout window with 2 renewals

Zines & Other Media

We have so many zines collected throughout the decades we don’t even know what we have. You have to come dig!

We carry posters, journals, notebooks, puzzles, stickers, t-shirts, pins, flags, planners, & whatever else we’re feeling in the moment.


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