Book Gems in Chicago for the Traveling Bibliophile

31 Aug

If you read this blog, I’m guessing you’re a book person. If you’re not, you probably know me personally and know that I am a book person. So I’ll admit openly that I had a book person fail on my recent trip to Chicago. I was attending a conference and didn’t think I’d have a lot of free time so I only brought one book, a book club selection I was half way through. Well, luck would have it that we had more free time than expected and I finished my book. Yeah, probably the worst thing that can happen to a bibliophile.

Also, the best thing that can happen to a bibliophile because you get to go book shopping! I had a few hours in the city before meeting my roommates for lunch and you can bet I used it to book shop.

IMG_2224The first place I went was Open Books. They sell new and used books and their profits go to literacy programs in the Chicago area. I loved browsing the shelves and found a book I’d had on my ‘gotta-buy-it-because-the-library-doesn’t-have-it’ Goodreads shelf. Good find! They also had fun book-related quotes on their brightly colored shelves. I couldn’t help myself from taking this picture. I saw Zoolander way too many times as a child.

IMG_2225After hopping on the pink line and turning the wrong way out of the station, I found my second shop, Sandmeyer’s Bookstore. This was exactly what I needed! This place reminded me of Literati in Ann Arbor, MI, a place I always feel welcome and at home. The best part of the whole trip was that when I first walked in, I saw the sale section, headed over and saw Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist marked down the $16. That’s the fastest I’ve ever found a book when going into a store. I was in love. I had another half hour to kill (DANGER!) and walked around the fiction. I stopped dead when I saw the book in the picture! I’m a sucker for signed books. Especially when it’s an author I’ve enjoyed as much as Cline. My husband and I conferred and he agreed this was some kind of sign and I had to buy it. I asked the owner if Cline had come to the story and unfortunately he hasn’t yet. But I had a lovely conversation with the owner about Ready Player One, movie adaptations, Devil In the White City, and Leonardo DiCaprio. If you followed that, we should be best friends.

My roommates laughed at how delicately I carried my books into Gino’s, but I was in heaven. It was a great day for a book-worm. And I had something new to read by the pool! Winning all around.

I hope to do more of these posts as I travel in the future. I love exploring bookstores and libraries when I go to a new place. Maybe I’ll end up in your neck of the woods.

Until next time, write on.

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7 Responses to “Book Gems in Chicago for the Traveling Bibliophile”

  1. fallinlovewiththesoundofwords August 31, 2015 at 12:16 PM #

    I am the same way! I live for just browsing languidly through book stores and libraries as I look for that gem of a book; the absolutely must haves; and the deal so perfect it must be destiny!

    One time I entered a bookstore in Solvang, CA completely on a whim. I was talking to my roommate as we entered about this new book I had just heard about that seemed intriguing; it was Miss Peregrines Homes for Peculiar Children. As we entered the shop that was the very first book I saw displayed on the shelf. It was meant to be! Needless to say I snatched it up.


    • Sam August 31, 2015 at 2:49 PM #

      Good find! I love when it feels like a book found me instead of the other way around. Like it knew you were looking for it. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lindsayjohnna August 31, 2015 at 2:24 PM #

    I’m so interested in “Armada” and I can’t wait to get my copy! We read “Devil in the White City” at Untamed Shrews and thought it was too much white city, too little Devil, but oh well. Love your reviews and can’t wait to read more!


    • Sam August 31, 2015 at 2:50 PM #

      Thank you! I wished for a little more devil too but I liked the architecture of the story as well. I went to visit some of it in Chicago! That was really fun. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. arlene September 1, 2015 at 4:23 AM #

    The thrill of finding new titles…heaven!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. siderealday September 3, 2015 at 4:53 PM #

    I love going book shopping while in new locales. Unfortunately, I didn’t have as much luck as you apparently did.


    • Sam September 3, 2015 at 4:57 PM #

      It took a long time of Internet researching!


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