If you’re looking to expand your winter pastimes this year, look no further than the world of books. And if you’re a Chicago resident, you have plenty of local, independent bookstores to choose from. Here are just a few of Chicago’s best bookstores, beloved by visitors and locals alike:
Myopic is well-known for its labyrinth of secondhand books, with three floors stuffed to the brim with everything from science fiction to Chicago history. It’s a staggering sight and one you’d be tempted to photograph; however, they have a no cell phone or photos policy. So you just have to see their space to believe it. Pre-COVID, they hosted regular readings or live music sessions, but right now they’re still open for in-person visits, or curbside pickup. While you’re in the Wicker Park neighborhood, Volumes Bookcafe is a few doors down for your book and caffeine needs.
Located in Chicago’s River West neighborhood, Semicolon is committed to nurturing the connection between literature, art, and the pursuit of knowledge. A Black woman-owned bookstore and gallery space, Semicolon is a hub for collaboration, creativity and perhaps best of all, great reads. They also have a program that provides books to CPS students. Semicolon is open with adjusted hours, or they have an expansive online shop that ships books directly to your door.
Open Books is one of Chicago’s larger used bookstores, but it’s so much more. Open Books’ educational outreach and opportunities help kids and students expand their reading and writing skills. Through the pandemic, they’ve hosted creative writing slubs, writing workshops and reading coaching. It’s a win-win for Chicago readers; stocking your bookshelf helps support a great cause! You can stop by their West Loop location to shop and visit their website for volunteer opportunities.
Devoting more time to reading is a great hobby to explore, and supporting your local Chicago neighborhood businesses is a great way to do it!
Photo courtesy of Myopic Books