About

We’re genuine partners in fostering a better Philadelphia community with our small bookstore. Please come in and say hi, we love to meet our neighbors!

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Welcome to A Novel Idea on Passyunk, a community-minded bookstore and event space in East Passyunk, Philadelphia.We are Alexander Schneider and Christina Rosso-Schneider, residents of East Passyunk, book lovers, and parents of Kaylee Frye and Atticus Finch, two crazy, but lovable rescue pups. The bookstore is our first business and our first endeavor as newlyweds (we got married in October 2018). We make up the two halves of A Novel Idea--Alexander bringing over a decade of graphic design experience to the shop, and Christina, as a writer and open mic host, her experience and dedication to literary events in support of Philadelphia artists.More than anything, our goal is to cultivate community. We hope to build a bookstore that reflects the community’s interests, while also supporting it. One way we’re doing this is through our Philadelphia Author and Small Press sections. We hope to create and foster a space of diversity and inclusivity, and want to help our customers fall in love with books, either for the first time or the millionth.

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Quail Bell Magazine | “We started with a very simple idea: open an independent bookstore and event space that reflects and supports the community... A year later, A Novel Idea opened.”

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Capturing Lightning | “…if you’re doing something you genuinely love…no matter what failures you experience, or hardships or bumps there are along the way, it’s all worth it.”

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Philly Mag | 6 New Bookstores to Check Out Around Philly | There’s a big focus on local talent at this months-old gem — local authors, local publishers, local artists and the locals who love them. But you’ll also find self-help books, new-release fiction, and a tidy selection for kids. All of this in a snug space with an events schedule that could lure you in almost nightly.

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Broad Street Review | A new bookstore, A Novel Idea on Passyunk, just opened in South Philly, leaving people excited but also curious. “Do people even buy books anymore?” and “How do you plan to make this work?” are questions neighbors have been popping in to ask, but owners Christina Rosso-Schneider and Alex Schneider just smile.

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Philly Mag | It’s a Passyunk love story for the books. Until a few months ago, now-newlyweds Christina Rosso-Schneider and Alexander Schneider could hardly find time to fit one another in their schedules. Even though both were working multiple jobs (Christina as a professor/writer and Alexander as a graphic designer), they decided to add one more (major) responsibility to their list: opening a bookstore.

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The Smart Set | Philadelphia’s Passyunk Avenue appears from nowhere, cutting diagonally from Queen’s Village through South Philadelphia. Following it, you get a cross-section of old and new Philadelphia. Historical row houses bump shoulders with condos. Family businesses coexist with hot new restaurants, boutiques, and local markets. Regardless of changes to the community is the neighborhood feel of Passyunk Square. One thing, however, was missing: a bookstore.

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South Philly Review | Scrolling through Tinder a few years ago, South Philly resident Alexander Schneider swiped right on particularly quirky candidate. The prospect, Christina Rosso-Schneider, caught the graphic designer’s eye with a peculiar quip about desiring a pet alligator after recently returning from New Orleans. Alexander, though, would soon discover Christina’s witty prose surpassed her dating app bio, as the professional writer dreamt of owning her own bookstore where she’d spotlight not only her own words but the words of others.