The Windy City has something special to offer everyone; bookworms and literary folk are no exception. When it comes to finding a good book, Chicago has a vast array of options with something that will satisfy every bookworm’s appetite. Let’s take a look at some of the more notable options.
If you’re looking for something unique that not every bookstore might carry, Quimby’s is the place to go. The store carries a large variety of unusual, independent, obscure, counterculture-related reading material. The store’s logo says it all, claiming to be “Specialists in the Important Distribution and Sale of Unusual Publications, Aberrant Periodicals, Saucy Comic Booklets, and Assorted Fancies.” Providing a wide variety of independently-produced graphic novels, zines, comics, and novels along with everything in between, Quimby’s is perhaps most notably a hub of Chicago zine culture.
Quimby’s Bookstore is located at 1854 W. North Ave., in Wicker Park (773) 342-0910
Women and Children First
As one of the few remaining feminist bookstores in the U.S., Women and Children First, hosts an extensive calendar of feminist literary events and over 30,000 books celebrating women and female writers. The shop is devoted to lifting the voices of women – particularly from marginalized communities. The store’s highly inclusive environment is part of its overall charm.
Women and Children First is located at 5233 N. Clark St. (773) 769-9299
Bucket O’Blood Books and Records
If science fiction, fantasy, and horror books are your thing, then Bucket O’Blood is the ultimate Bookstore for you. There’s even a wide selection of horror and B-movies to compliment the books. While the name of the store may conjure up images of a dimly lit basement, the ambiance is anything but. Though they primarily deal with genre fiction, there’s also a decent selection of literary fiction and nonfiction.
Bucket o’Blood is located at 3182 N Elston Ave. in Avondale, (312) 890-3860
If you are nostalgic for the days of mom and pop shops, look no further than Sandmeyer’s Bookstore. This cozy family-owned shop is nestled in the heart of the historic Printer’s Row neighborhood. The store contains a selection of local history and local writers as well as children’s books, new releases, and classic literature.
Sandmeyer’s Bookstore is located at 714 S. Dearborn St. Chicago, in the South Loop, (312) 922-2104
The Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co.
The Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co is a real gem. Along with a range of progressive titles, the store is a one-stop-shop for all things spy-related, including super-secret secret agent disguises! The Secret Agent Supply Co is the storefront of 826CHI, a nonprofit that seeks to encourage students ages 6-18 in writing pursuits. They host many free creative writing programs and even sell the published work of student writers. The proceeds from all sales at the store go to supporting 826CHI’s programs.
The Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co is located at 1276 North Milwaukee Avenue, West Town, (773) 772-8108