If your book-buying experiences have been limited exclusively to the local Borders, an immediate pilgrimage to this Printer's Row mom-and-pop shop is in order.
The first thing you'll notice is how quiet the place is. You'll question the absence of hissing espresso machines, giggling teenagers and beeping cash registers. You may even feel compelled to walk on tiptoe to muffle your steps as you move across the creaky, wood-paneled floor.
But once you get comfortable, you'll find that it's easy to lose yourself in Sandmeyer's extensive inventory. Its shelves may not occupy a lot of space, but they're ideal for browsing, crammed with reading selections ranging from literary fiction to biography to travel guides. Local authors are also prominently featured, and if you're seeking a title that's not in stock, owners Ullrich and Ellen Sandmeyer are happy to place special orders. You may not find great discounts, but the extra expense is well worth the satisfaction that comes from supporting both small business and the literary community.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jenny Seay