Small Business Saturday: Bookstores to Visit


The season for giving has arrived! Some of you might moan about materialism or drag your feet defeatedly down endless aisles of discounted goods, but many small businesses depend on holiday patronage to keep them afloat. This goes for independent bookstores more than anybody. And let’s be honest, if you are reading this blog, you know that a book can be a powerful gift. So, we at the Chicago Writers Conference ask that you kick off your holiday season by visiting an independent bookstore this Small Business Saturday. To help you out, we’ve compiled a quick list of independent bookstores in the Chicago area:

The Book Cellar

Come to buy a book for your niece or nephew, end up with a glass of wine and a juicy novel for yourself. This is how many of our trips to The Book Cellar have ended. While you’re in Lincoln Square, check out the “Main Street Makeover” the area received from American Express.

4736-38 N Lincoln Ave, between Leland and Lawrence Aves. 

City Lit Books

This Logan Square bookstore professes that it’s mission is to help you find the next book you must read. Keeping in line with this, they have prepared a gift guide to help out with your shopping this weekend.

2523 N Kedzie Blvd, at Linden Pl

57th Street Books and Seminary Coop

This one is a Hyde Park landmark and offers more academic and nonfiction offerings than most bookstores. This is perfect for the student or professor on your list.

1301 E 57th St, at Kimbark Ave

Myopic Bookstore

Three floors. 80,000 books. It’s impossible not to find the perfect gift amongst them. Myopic Bookstore is located in the hippest part of Wicker Park and is sure to provide you fodder for an afternoon of searching for the perfect addition to any library.

1564 N Milwaukee Ave, at Damen Ave

Open Books

One of our partners, Open Books is the perfect place to shop if your goal is spreading good cheer. All of the books are used or donated and the proceeds go to help fund literacy programs in Chicago. This is truly the place to get the gift that keeps on giving.

213 W Institute Pl, between Wells and Franklin St

Powell’s Bookstores

With a store in Hyde Park and University village, Powell’s boasts over a quarter million used, rare, and discounted books. They specialize in academic and scholarly books, but that’s only the beginning of what they have to offer you.

1218 S Halsted St, at Roosevelt Rd


If a shop that guarantees “to satisfy the soul beaten flat by our mainstream culture’s relentless insistence on dumb pictures and insulting syntax” interests you, then you should spend your Small Business Saturday rummaging through Quimby’s which favors” the unusual, the aberrant, the saucy and the lowbrow”. They are sure to satisfy the quirkiest reader’s wish-list.

1854 W North Ave, at Wolcott Ave

Sandmeyer Bookstore

This South Loop bookstore is the quintessential Mom-and-Pop shop. Family owned and operated since 1982, they provide you with both the latest bestsellers as well as old favorites. From travel guides to children books, you’re sure to find the perfect gift for your own family.

714 S Dearborn St, between Polk and Harrison Sts

Women and Children First

Located in Andersonville, this bookstore boasts 30,000 books with an exceptionally extensive selection of books featuring a feminist slant. Fun Fact: They are the inspiration for Portlandia’s Women and Women First bookstore sketch.

5233 N Clark St, between Foster and Berwyn Aves