Yesterday was Independent Bookstore Day. Bless the soul that came up with that idea. Several bookstores in Chicago joined in on the celebration with raffles, free pie and special deals. I only made it to two bookstores: Open Books and Unabridged Bookstore.
Open Books has two locations, one in the River North neighborhood (although they are moving to a new location this month) and one in Pilsen. Open Books is a non-profit bookstore that helps both adults and children with their literacy skills. Their Pilsen location is known as the warehouse, where most of their donated books are housed. There are literally boxes and boxes full of donated books, all of which will help fund the literacy programs Open Books runs with the help of volunteers.
The books at the Pilsen location are significantly cheaper than the ones in the River North location, but since they are used books, they are very affordable regardless of the location. I ended up getting six books from their dollar section and six books from their regularly priced adult fiction section. I paid $26 total.
Over at Unabridged Bookstore, there were free books by a local author and free pie from Hoosier Mama Pie. This might be my second favorite non-used, indie bookstore in the city. They have a great selection of fiction books, including a couple of shelves dedicated to the Penguin Classics in all their black-and-white spined glory. My favorite thing about this bookstore is their sale section. Yes, an indie bookstore with a new books sale section (new as in not used, not recently published). Maybe there are other indie bookstores out there that do this, but this is the first one I’ve ever been to that has this.
I ended up purchasing five brand new books for $35, including a hardcover copy of Zadie Smith’s “NW.” I literally gasped when I saw it in the sale section. It was, understandably, very crowded at Unabridged, and with free pie and awesome books, why wouldn’t it be?
I took a couple of photos at both these locations, which you can check out on my Instagram. At the end of the day, I took the bus home with a backpack and tote bag full of books and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.