If you’re a bookworm ready for adventure in the Windy City, you’ll be happy to know that there are many bookstores to hole up in for the day! Chicago is home to a variety of independent booksellers and specialty bookstores that are well worthy of exploration. Take a break from the usual trip to Barnes & Noble and set your sights on some unique finds. Here’s where you’ll find the best independent bookstores in Chicago:
The Lakeview area is one of Chicago’s busiest shopping districts, but don’t let that stop you from taking a time out from the Cubs game and doing some exploring. Bookworks is a resale shop is filled with sports books, rare fiction, oversized photography books, and dozens of antique titles. It will take you at least a day to browse through each genre; don’t forget to check out the vinyl records to update your own collection. The store is located at 3444 N. Clark Street in downtown Chicago.
Printer’s Row Fine & Rare books is another top pick. This is where you’ll find outdated titles, as well as a stock of out-of-print collectibles. This store has served the Chicago area for decades, and has quickly become a favorite of local artists and writers. It’s located just outside of the major shopping districts to give you plenty of peace and quiet. The store is located at 715 S. Dearborn Street in downtown Chicago.
If your soul needs a little uplifting, calmly make your way over to Transitions Bookplace, a specialty bookshop with collections on personal growth, self motivation, and shelves upon shelves of inspirational tools. This is the place to pick up your beginner’s guide to yoga, as well as inspirational greeting cards, posters, or eco-friendly stationery. The store attracts a consistent hippie crowd on the weekends, and don’t be surprised to see a tarot reading in process. You’ll find this one at 1000 W. North Avenue in Chicago.
The academic side of you will be in book haven at the Seminary Co-Op Bookstore. This understated warehouse-style bookshop is lined with thousands of titles from area universities and colleges. Visiting authors have contributed their work specifically to this store, where you can dabble in any subject from philosophy, business, to education. Literature titles from around the globe are the strong point of this store; if you need to brush up on your worldly knowledge, this is a great place to start. You’ll find the store at 5757 S University Avenue in downtown Chicago.
Wicker Park is home to a variety of eclectic shops and boutiques, and Myopic Books is well worth a visit when you’re in the area. This is a popular neighborhood bookstore that features unique collections of historical literature, contemporary fiction, and plenty of nonfiction titles in philosophy and humanities; it’s also a great place to join the Chicago book exchange, so bring your haul for pricing as early in the day as possible. This store hosts a weekly Sunday poetry reading, as well as board game nights throughout the week. It’s located at 1564 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
From inspirational reads to historical text, you’re sure to find something far from the mainstream at these bookstores in Chicago. Chicago is also home to a giant Borders and Barnes & Noble, so if you’re looking for a specific title, they will always be there as backup. Still, it’s stores like these that put the fun back into the art of book hunting.