9 best indie bookstores



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The Book Cellar

  • Price band: 3/4

When it comes to bookstores, this place defines class. Not only can you browse books while sipping wine, but the staff recommendations are usually just what you want them to be: varied and

  1. 4736–38 N Lincoln Ave, (between Leland and Lawrence Aves)
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Women and Children First

  • Price band: 1/4

Don’t be fooled by the store’s name; though the Andersonville shop has a definite feminist slant, any and all can find something here.

  1. 5233 N Clark St, (between Foster and Berwyn Aves)
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You’ve probably heard of Quimby’s as the place to buy small-press books, zines and comics, but it’s also the place to catch their writers. McSweeney’s writers often stop in, as do indie

  1. 1854 W North Ave, (at Wolcott Ave)
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57th Street Books

This Hyde Park landmark is a great place to buy based on the employee selections and to check out some more intellectual fare. Many readings here fall into the academic-nonfiction category, though

  1. 1301 E 57th St, (at Kimbark Ave)
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Unabridged Bookstore

  • Price band: 1/4
  1. 3251 N Broadway, (between Melrose St and Aldine Ave)
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Barbara's Bookstore

  • Price band: 2/4

The big independent in town, this shop on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus varies its selection, but a large back room for readings has made it a draw in town for big-name authors.

  1. 1218 S Halsted St, (between Newberry Ave and Halsted St)
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Myopic Bookstore

Local poet Larry Sawyer has booked one of the best free poetry series in the Midwest here for years, and in Myopic’s new third-floor space, the readings are even sunnier.

  1. 1564 N Milwaukee Ave, (at Damen Ave)
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  1. 2630 N Milwaukee Ave, (between Logan Blvd and Diversey Ave)
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City Lit Books

  • Price band: 2/4

Teresa Kirschbraun has lived in Logan Square for 25 years, and felt it always needed a bookstore. So she decided to open one. The indie bookshop sells new books, and also features an extensive

  1. 2523 N Kedzie Blvd, (at Linden Place)
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