Supporting Independent Bookstores in Chicago

Many people flock to some of the big box bookstores or large-scale retailers due to the ease of access and lower cost. Also, an increasing number of people in recent years are purchasing their books from online retailers. How about shopping at an independent bookstore instead? Chicago is filled with many great used and independent bookstores, such as Myopic Books, The Book Cellar, and Bootlegger’s Books. After the downturn in the economy in recent years, many independent bookstores are struggling to survive. For a list on some of the many used and independent bookstores in Chicago, click here. Below are some reasons to support independent bookstores in Chicago.

Reasons for Support

  • Niche Market Many of the independent bookstores specialize in specific genres of books, such as science fiction or horror. There are many books available at local bookstores that you will not find at the larger retailers.
  • Informed Employees Unlike many of the employees at the large retailers, the employees at independent bookstores may have actually read the books that you are interested in buying. Also, the customer service at an independent bookstore tends to be better as quite often you will be dealing directly with the store manager or owner.
  • Good Atmosphere Independent bookstores are almost always more peaceful and less crowded than large-scale retailers. Many also have other great elements, such as music or cafes, and are great places to meet your friends. For example, The Book Cellar is just as well known for its quality wines as it is for its books. Myopic Books hosts a music and poetry series, as well as a chess club.
  • Programs Many independent bookstores offer programming to coincide with the books they sell. This includes lectures by visiting authors, local book clubs, writing workshops, and poetry readings.
  • Inexpensive Used Books Many used books can be bought at the fraction of the cost of there retail price. How great is it to be able to buy a novel for a dollar?
  • Staff Recommendations Many independent bookstores will have a section in their store devoted to books that are recommended by store employees. Also, the well informed employees at local bookstores in all likelihood will be able to make personal recommendations that are catered to your individual interests.
  • Economic Support By patronizing independent local Chicago bookstores, you not only help keep them economically viable in these tough economic times, but also ensure that local money stays local.

Perhaps you are interested in starting your own independent bookstore or small business. For information on educational opportunities that will enable you to achieve your small business dreams, click here.


Concierge (2011)

Eerie Books (2012)

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