Sunday, December 1, 2019

Bookie's - Chicago, IL

Bookie's, Chicago, IL
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How have I missed visiting this gem until now?  I'm over 400 bookstores into my journey, Bookie's has been around for 30 years, and I'm just getting here now?  Thankfully, there are many more long-running indies around the country like Bookie's that I'll enjoy visiting eventually.  And while I'm always excited to visit newly-opened stores, I'm equally enthusiastic to visit bookstores that have endured and stood the test of time.  These stores deserve to be recognized and acknowledged for their success, longevity, community involvement, and much more.  And here at Bookie's you can check all of those boxes.

Even though Bookie's has been around for 30 years, there are new things happening.  They're in a new location on very busy Western Ave in The Beverly neighborhood of south Chicago.  They re-located here from around the corner and now are able to shelve a much larger fiction section.  As Mary told me, much easier to browse here in the new larger space.  They also opened a second location in nearby Homewood.  Two great signs that things are trending upward for Bookie's and the business, a trend I see almost everywhere I visit.  Here at the Western Ave location, the store is divided into two large adjacent rooms with most of the adult books in the left room and most of the children's in the main entrance room.  The store offers both new and used books and you'll find them shelved together throughout the store.  Bookie's offers store credit to customers who bring books in but they also receive books that are simply donated.  This indie is extremely fortunate to have a good partnership with many local schools.  On the day of my visit, owner Keith L. had been hosting a book fair at one of the schools.  They are also a vendor for the Chicago Public Schools, a great advantage that other indies would enjoy.

Keith is the 3rd owner in the store's history and he and his staff were super to meet.  Carrie, the store manager, along with booksellers Mary and Brianna were fantastic to talk to and tell me about the store and all things books.  

If you're a book-lover in the Chicago area and haven't found this store yet, what gives?  You've had 30 years BUT all will be forgiven and you'll have the same appreciation I did when I discovered this fantastic bookstore.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Great Believers, Rebecca Makkai.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine, Kevin Wilson.  The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce.


A sidewalk sign we can all agree with, right?!

These are the sentiments of all indies and their respective communities.  

Lots of front window display space.  

View looking through the store from the front entrance.  After the tall bookshelves along the left there is an entryway into the adjacent room with more books.  

Good news Bookie's customers.  The inventory continues to grow.  

Just inside the front door you'll find the display of current fiction and non-fiction bestsellers.  

Display of a few of the sidelines available, located conveniently in the center of the main room.  

Once Keith explained this to me I understood it perfectly.  This is the store's logo featuring the Chicago star surrounded by depictions of books.  Very cool.  

Just inside the front door you'll see some excellent art work complete with talking bubbles.  

Display of staff picks.  

Always glad to see reading glasses available on my travels since I sit on mine every so often.  

Some great holiday gift ideas.  

Partial view of the children's section.  

Curious George is waiting for you.  

Pass through this entryway to another room of books.  

This is the view of the second room, looking to the right and to the back of the store.  This room has a large offering of adult fiction.  

Always one of my favorite pictures, a long wall of books.  

If you're vertically challenged and the book you want is on the top shelf, Bookie's has you covered.  

An overview of the second room looking from the back toward the front.  

If you're vision impaired, they have a fine section of large-print.  

If you're in Chicago and a Bears fan, this is da book for you.  

Overview of the main room looking from the back toward the front entrance.  

Bring your well-behaved friend in for a treat (to clarify, your 4-legged friend).  

If you live in the Beverly neighborhood, this is for you.  

Just a few of the books offered of local interest.  

From L-R: Carrie, Mary, and Keith.  Just a few of the fine folks you'll meet at Bookie's.  Thanks for a great visit.