The book portion of Molly’s Books & Records is curated by Molly Russakoff. She is a third generation bookseller who grew up working and playing in her father’s bookstores. The shop features a healthy selection of best-loved and off-centered literature (fiction, poetry and essay), cook books, kids books and vintage paperbacks. We also carry a small selection of non-fiction, art and esoteric books. While she is not a collector herself, Molly is a great appreciator and avid treasure hunter. Over the years, she has unearthed a number of rare, first and signed editions, many of which are for sale in the shop. Keep your eye on this site for a complete catalogue.
Molly is also a long-time member of Philadelphia’s literary community. She attended the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute in its infancy, working and studying with Allen Ginsberg, Ted Berrigan, Anne Waldman and many other Beat, New York and Black Mountain poets. She received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts for poetry in 1993, poetry and contributing editor of The Philadelphia Independent and the Drunken Boat and Joss literary journals. She has presented hundreds of readings and arts events in the store during its last incarnation as Molly’s Bookstore.
While she was born and raised in the suburbs, Molly has lived and worked in the Italian Market since the early 1980s. Her kids, Carla and Johnny, were born and raised here, and she owned several businesses in the neighborhood. Go to “The Only Street in the Universe” to read her personal history of the Market.