There’s a new essay posted on this website called “Bookstore Memories.” It’s a reflection on Fillmore’s Used Books, a local shop where all proceeds went to a charity. I miss that place. Luckily for me, however, there are other book stores just a short drive away. For today’s post, I want to encourage readers to support these small businesses, or a similar place near your home.
The Looking Glass located at 823 S. Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, IL.
This is my favorite used book store. Classics, collectibles, cook books, child, teen, adult. I love the assortment of books and novelties (yes, you'll find perfect gifts and cards for that avid reader on your list); I love the overall vibe and the people. Not only are Jim Gibson and Steve Kirshenbaum passionate about books, but they support local writers. The designated “local author” wall promotes the Chicago area literary scene with a good mix of emerging and famous names. If you’re a local author, be sure to donate a couple of signed copies and keep The Looking Glass in mind for hosting your next book event.
My Favorite Purchase: Actually, it was a gift FOR me—a third edition copy of On the Road by Jack Kerouac and an Emily Dickinson coffee mug.
The Book Table located at 1045 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL
This is your one-stop shop of a bookstore. Get your list together and visit. Though smaller in scale than chain stores, this place has a bit of everything. Well organized with many “recommended” tags written by knowledgeable and dedicated staff, you can’t possibly leave without finding what you wanted, and typically, what you didn’t know you wanted.
My Most Recent Purchase: A Penguin Classics collection, Elizabeth Barrett Browning - Aurora Leigh and other poems
The Magic Tree located at 141 N. Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, IL
Do you have children? Are you an adult who loves young adult fiction? Are you a parent who wants to find a new series for a reluctant reader? This place is a kid’s paradise! With tons of books mostly geared at ages 0-16—although mature readers will also find new titles that appeal to a variety of tastes—you can’t help but get excited about reading!
My son's most appreciated purchase: The entire series of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott (we even went to a book signing!)
Centuries and Sleuths located at 7419 Madison Street, Forest Park, IL
If history or mystery is your thing, look no further. Centuries and Slueths is the perfect setting to inspire your intellect. As their website states, “The atmosphere is warm and friendly with oak bookcases labeled with the historical era or subject matter of the books on the shelves.” My suggestion is to plan your time accordingly, because you won’t want to leave the comfort of this place. Oh, and be sure to check out their impressive speaker and discussion events, too.
My most interesting purchase: Intimate Voices from the First World War, edited by Svetlana Palmer and Sarah Wallis
Head over to the “Essays and Stories” tab to read about my memories of Fillmore’s Used Books, or just click here: http://www.ghesslaumagrady.com/essays--stories.