A White Whale in Lawrenceville


There are no ships and rough storms ahead in Pittsburgh, but there is still a white whale on the loose people should hunt for. No need for a captain or some profound underlying metaphor of a journey into the belly of the beast, either. Just get in your car and drive. 

White Whale Bookstore on Liberty Avenue is where the hunt begins for adventure, deep into the pages of the black and white. These literary rebels are using their love of literature, poetry, and other mediums to change the world in the small ways they can. 

An independent, family-owned, and general interest bookstore in Pittsburgh carries a world of poetry, fiction, philosophy, and children’s books. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, they will order it for you and get the pages you crave. Any bookstore can hold works and get you what you need to read, but what sets White Whale apart from the rest? 

They are partners in changing the status quo; they champion conversations about difficult topics that people don’t seem to want to hear. They hold events in the store like #ChangeRapeCulture Pittsburgh Survivors Book Club, hosted on March 2nd by Madison Cowels Serena. As they say about themselves, their store is a place of community, conversation, and culture. 

Events like these at White Whale are regular and they are a massive advocate for the arts and creating change in women’s rights, social justice, and anything affecting the oppressed. Their selection of works are feminist empowerment but classics, novels, philosophy but all with the idea of change and progress. One little book store is putting its foot forward and making a difference. 

White Whale started as Lesley Rains went from neighborhood to neighborhood, setting up a pop-up bookstall in 2011, and now it has grown into the storefront today. Making change and good reads reach the minds of the 412. Focusing on community, they even give back to the artists by having workshops where you can work on your book, poetry, or whatever you are deciding to express. Real poets, real writers, help you perfect the craft in a beautiful little place. 

The hunt for a good book is just a drive away, and with each one you buy, you can know that it is making a difference. White Whale promotes positive social change and the exchange of ideas with a beautiful emphasis on community. Show some love and find your belly of the beast in whatever you sink your heart into one page at a time.