We’ve just discovered a magical place in River North that has left me excited and feeling all warm and fuzzy… which often happens when I spend money for a good cause and/or am buying books… Open Books! It’s located at 213 W. Institute Place, just one block north of the Chicago Brown Line stop just off of Franklin, and the same block as the original Paper Source. So the next time your paying $10 for a greeting card (no offense paper source, you know I love ya!), just think… hey, wasn’t there supposed to be a cool hip store around here somewhere?
Open Books is (in their own words) “a nonprofit social venture that operates an extraordinary bookstore, provides community programs and mobilizes passionate volunteers to promote literacy in Chicago and beyond”. The gig is they sell a plethora of used books to help them do it. The books are amazing, in fantastic shape, and are offered in a selection that is seriously competitive to any reputable chain bookstore.
This is the part where I confess that being in a bookstore makes me very happy. There’s something about the smell of the pages and the tall shadowy stacks that encourages my already wandering thoughts. Running my hands over the spines of rows and rows of books is like flipping through the channels of all the best television shows. And to be in a used bookstore makes me borderline euphoric, the energy that is tied up to the books that others have read, attached their emotional interest in… well, needless to say if it wasn’t for the meter that was ticking outside, I might have stayed there all day!
So definitely check it out. Bring the kids too, the kids section (where we were buying recycled books for the kiddo’s for Christmas) has a great vibe, soft tiled floor, bright colors, and pillowed reading areas.
Seriously. It’s green, it’s non-profit, it’s in a great loft space in River North. It doesn’t get any better!…
Read more about the good folks at Open Books here in an article that Newcity Lit ran in November.