Manayunk: Neighborhood Bookstore Saves Money and Helps Environment

Ann Tetreault grew up never being denied a book she wanted to read because of the affordability of used bookstores, and would eventually go on to make this her life’s work.


Tetreault and her husband opened The Spiral Bookcase used bookstore in Manayunk five years ago, and have been pleased with the results ever since.

“Since I moved here I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the level of commitment the neighbors have to appreciate and better the environment around them,” Tetreault said.

Tetreault and her husband are also among those who care about bettering the environment, because owning a used bookstore is one of many ways people are attempting to save our environment through recycling. Tetreault says that owning a used bookstore is definitely part of the “green movement.”

“There are a lot of wonderful people in Manayunk doing wonderful things,” Tetreault said. “I’ve met a lot of people in the community through the bookstore, and I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in productive community efforts.”


Tetreault, who graduated with an English degree from the University of Maryland and a graduate degree in folk studies from Western Kentucky University, has always been an avid reader.

“I was given the opportunity to read anything I wanted,” said Tetreault,. “Books always offered me a place of solace, adventure, and all those wonderful things.”

Because of her opportunities to read whatever she wanted growing up, Tetreault sees the importance of used bookstores because they are significantly more affordable and healthier for the environment than new bookstores.


After working at the Library of Congress right out of college doing copyright registrations, Tetreault learned about the literary world and copyright laws, and felt she was ready to open a used bookstore of her own.

“I learned a different way to look at books,” Tetreault said.

When her and her husband moved to Manayunk and noticed there were very few bookstores in the area, they knew it was their calling to open an affordable and sustainable bookstore for the neighborhood to use and enjoy.

– Text, images and video by Chelsey Hamilton.

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