Saturday, October 24, 2015

Roscoe Books - Chicago, IL

Roscoe Books - Chicago, IL
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If ever I was given a second life and another go around at this gig, I found the place to do it.  I would live in Chicago, in Roscoe Village.  I would own a bookstore and live four blocks away so I could walk to work.  I'm always stumbling across Chicago neighborhoods I've never been to and this is one of them.  Up until 11 months ago there was only one thing missing.  Problem solved.  The independent bookstore is in place and the neighborhood is complete.

I can't say enough about the job Erika, the owner, and Emily, the manager, are doing here.  Erika's background is not in business but she's done her homework and is learning all the time.  Located in an upscale neighborhood with lots of young families and small children, she made the choice to deliver a strong children's section.  That seems like a direct bull's-eye at the customer base which has enabled Roscoe Books to exceed expectations in their first year.  But don't be fooled by the focus on the children's section.  The adult fiction and non-fiction offerings are outstanding, with most of the inventory shelved being recent publications.  Roscoe Books is finding that their location has been a positive and hard back fiction has sold well here.  Everything is organized logically and neatly arranged in a beautiful one-level space.  The displays were attractive and some of the best I've seen.  Erika and her staff have done some great work with this space.

The store offers some sidelines including journals and children's items.  Their greeting cards are very unique and you won't be able to find them just anywhere.  They're still getting their feet on the ground here and have only had a few author events but I expect that will change in time as more publicists and authors find out how nice this new indie is.

But the best part of this visit is the best part of just about all my visits, the nice people I get to meet and talk to.  Erika may be considered a rookie bookstore owner but she's a veteran in every other way and has everything she needs to make this store successful and your visit enjoyable.  She's friendly, conversant, and knowledgeable, characteristics I find with all the good owners and booksellers I meet.

The traffic in this neighborhood seems minimal so you could certainly drive here.  I chose mass transit and it is only a few blocks walk from the brown line Addison or Paulina stations.  Either way, the store is very accessible.  But the lucky people who live in Roscoe Village can just walk here.  Before this indie opened, Roscoe Village was simply a nice neighborhood.  But now?  It just became hip and cozy thanks to an independent bookstore.  Check this place out for a great bookstore experience.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  I Am Pilgrim, Terry Hayes.  This one isn't for the faint of heart.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  In Wilderness, Diane Thomas.

Another exterior view and the nice window display.  

Already doing what good indies do by engaging community outreach.  Bravo Roscoe Books!

View looking through the store from the front entrance.  Unfortunately, this picture doesn't do it justice.  

An attractive display near the entrance.  

View looking to the left from the front entrance.  

A display of staff selections.  Staff selections can also be found throughout the store.  

The store features some unique greeting cards, here are a few of them.  

A timely display for the month of October.  

I always like finding great places to sit in a bookstore.  

Pick up a journal in case you want to write about visiting bookstores.  

See what the middle grade book club is reading and what they're saying.  

Back in the children's section you can pick up a onesie to go with the book.  

View from the back of the store looking toward the front.  

Another view from the back of the store.  

A partial view of the children's section and its entrance.  

With Emily on the left and Erika in the center.  


  1. I lived in Roscoe Village and worked at Roscoe Books until I moved a month ago. Sniff! Sniff! :( You are spot on with your comments about Roscoe Village and Roscoe Books. In Wilderness is probably one of my favorites that I have read this year -- Emily recommended it to me :)

  2. You were so lucky to get to work at Roscoe Books AND with Emily and Erika. Interestingly, Emily recommended the same book to me so it is now in the "waiting to be read" pile! Thanks for the comment, Emily.