So...I may have broken my book buying ban a little...
Last week, I flew back to visit my old stomping grounds in Chi-town and see some friends. It was lovely to be back in the Windy City for a couple of days. While I was there I might have given into temptation and bought a few books but I also crossed an item off my bucket list so I don't feel to terrible about it.
Let me elaborate. As an undergrad studying in Chicago I found I had little time or money to spend on reading that wasn't part of my course curriculum. Which was was heart-wrenching because there were so many books I wanted to read and so many amazing bookstores within walking distance of campus. (I'm sure many of you can relate!) Occasionally, if I was feeling masochistic, I would wander through the bookstores and admire all the books I knew I couldn't afford to buy and I would silently vow that I would one day come back as a rich alumna and buy all the books I wanted. Dramatic I know, but hey.
Now two years later I came back to these bookstores as an alumna, and although not necessarily rich, I had a little more change in my pocket now that I am not buying $200 dollar text books every 10 weeks, so I indulged a little bit. I didn't buy ALL the books (trust me, I though about it) but I did pick up a couple of full-priced books, just because I wanted them and because I could. It felt very rewarding to be able to buy my own books with my own money and cross of an (albeit, slightly frivolous) item off my bucket list. So here are the stores I visited and the items I piked up! This is just a small sample of the bookstores Chicago has to offer.
The Seminary Co-Op in an independent bookstore that has served the University and Hyde Park community for over 50 years. Originally located in the labyrinth basement in the old seminary building. It recently relocated and expanded. It generally caters to the academic crowd and carried specialized academic volumes that you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else, although it does stock some contemporary literary and genre titles as well. The store has an airy and light-filled feeling and has plenty of chairs for your reading pleasure as well as a cafe next door.
|aka the Sem-Co-Op|
Located on the epinomous 57th street. This bookstore is actually part of the above Seminary Co-Op as well but offers a more commercial fiction rather than academic offering. This basement store has an amazing selection of children and young adult books, contemporary social issues books and spiritual/philosophy books. This bookstore boasts 3 rooms that seem to expand for ever and super friendly staff who are always happy to offer recommendations. Once you have made a purchase, head over to the Medici bakery next door for their famous hot chocolate and pastries.
|Underground treasure trove|
This was a new discovery for me! This bookstore is actually located in the nearby city of Evanston, which is accessible by CTA from Chicago. This is a used bookstore and is probably one of the most novel bookstores I've seen. It is a book deli! you can find books literally by the bucket and you purchase them by weight! The selection is pretty varied although if you are looking for a specific books you might not find it, but browsing can yield some surprising rewards!