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Recent Reviews - Bookstore

After Words Books Review
I love to come here during my lunches from work. So many books and only an hour to browse. The place is extremely tidy and there is such a wide range of books. The employees are friendly and I can't wait for the weather to lighten up some so I can go again soon.

- By Yesenia (Tuesday 12/29/09 7:24 PM)

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BookMarks Used Books Review
Great store and prices. Last of the independents in the NW suburbs.

- By Ed Schultz (Wednesday 10/14/09 2:02 PM)

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City Newsstand Review
City Newsstand has an amazing selection of magazines -- by far the best in Chicago. Their staff is helpful and knowledgable. They've been around for over 30 years for a good reason -- when it comes to magazines, nobody else has ever come close to their selection and service.

- By Michael Oelrich (Friday 8/8/08 11:50 PM)

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Amaranth Books Review
Small but excellent used bookstore. Literature and history are strengths. Not a lot in Classics (i.e. Greek and Latin), but you'll occasionally find something very good in that area if you're attentive. I also don't recognize the hostile, rude invididual that some posters have mentioned above. In my experience, the owner's reserved but unfailingly polite. Also, the books tend to be in very good condition.

- By Aaron Baker (Friday 7/11/08 1:24 PM)

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After Words Books Review
I am from Canada and have lived in Chicago several times, each for about a month at a time. I found this store on my first visit and I kept going back each time. The staff is amazing, the books are always in great shape and they are never to busy to help you find that wanted work of literature or suggest something you would enjoy.

Jill Cook

- By jill (Monday 6/23/08 4:12 PM)

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Challengers Comics + Conversation Review
This store is what you get when you have propriyors who have only worked in this profession theire entire working lives. I've known Patrick forever and Dal since he was about twelve. These guys grew up on comics and cut heir teeth punching the clock for other stores in the Chicagoland area. They know what people want to read and how they want to be treated because they take the time to speak to their customers. Some customers have followed them from store to store. Step inside and you'll understand why.

- By George W Brower (Monday 6/2/08 4:51 PM)

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Unabridged Books, Inc. Review
You won't find anything by Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter here--even if they are international bestsellers. And I don't mention this boastingly. Since this isn't exclusively a gay bookstore, one would expect to find a wider array of books for all tastes. This bookstore caters to diverse people, just not diverse ideas or thoughts. That's unfortunate considering books should be about sharing ideas, and not being afraid of them. When I first moved to Chicago five years ago, Unabridged used to display in its window the "Best Sellers." But after 9/11 when many best sellers were written by conservatives, the window display suddenly changed to "What people are reading." Unabridged will only sell what the owners want you to read. It's a private bookstore so they have that right; but it’s disingenuous to pretend this is a form of enlightenment. Other than the blatant political bent of the bookstore (by the way, not all gay people are puppets for the Democratic Party), the bookstore has pretty much what you may want for kids, from MAD LIBS (I haven't found them anywhere else) to "Walter the Farting Dog," one of my nephew’s favorites.

- By Mario (Monday 12/10/07 6:36 PM)

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Underground Bookstore Review
I have visited this establishment a few times. It's a very quaint cozy neighborhood bookstore that offers a back-in-the-day feel. If you are looking to buy books it's a good place to visit.

- By andrea harris (Wednesday 10/10/07 4:08 PM)

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Selected Works Bookstore Review
I love this wonderful used book (and sheet music) store! First, it’s a "real booklover's bookstore," with the books carefully and lovingly selected by proprietor Keith Peterson. (Hence, I presume, the store's name: Selected Works!)

Second, the store's selection is amazing -- especially its used sheet music and its books in lots of areas, including the performing arts, dance, plays, literary fiction and poetry.

Third, the store's setting is so much more conducive to booklovers than its previous location. It now has breathtaking views of the Grant Park gardens, natural light streaming in, and charming little rooms with welcoming chairs to sit in and browse.

The Fine Arts Building itself, which has been an artists' colony in the Loop for over a century, houses lots of other fascinating (mostly arts-related) businesses, making it THE perfect setting for this wonderful bookstore. So plan to spend time in the other stores and galleries, too.

The one imperfect part is that Selected Works is located on the 2nd floor, so lots of people don't know it's here! (It's an elevator building, so it's very accessible!)

Selected Works is open every day –- weekdays until 8pm.

If this sounds like an ad, it was written by someone who cares about books and music -- and about the Selected Works Book and Sheet Music Store!

Julia Schopick

- By Julia Schopick (Wednesday 9/26/07 5:43 PM)

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Chicago Kids Bookstore Review
I frequently call in and just have one of the salespeople make a recommendation for birthday gifts. Everyone is so knowledgeable - definitely over and above what you would experience elsewhere. They wrap it and it's ready to go. When I do get a chance to actually spend some time in the store, I realize that every book, toy and item of clothing has been carefully and purposefully chosen. They really "get" kids and moms too!

- By Maria Nasharr (Sunday 9/9/07 6:28 PM)

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Bookman's Alley Review
This bookstore has very creative decor and cozy ambiance, with different sections decorated with antique curiosities to correspond to the theme of the books in that section. It's interesting to browse through, and has a good collection of non-fiction, however its literature selection is quite limited.

- By Catherine (Friday 3/16/07 2:47 PM)

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Europa Books Review
Very nice bookstore , intelligent and most helpfull employees. A fantastic selection of foreign books , probably the best and the largest in the USA.

- By robert Gabier (Wednesday 1/31/07 12:17 PM)

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Stubbs Coffee Review
Similarly, I am pleased to have a new independent coffee shop right around the corner. Usually, I'm skeptical of independent shops... but Stubbs coffee is better than any of their national major competitors in the area. That and it's very comfy, homey, and the service is quite personable. I wish them the best and I'll continue to buy my coffee there!

- By Tay (Tuesday 12/5/06 3:52 PM)

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Amaranth Books Review
Best secondhand bookstore I'm aware of in the Chi area, at least for belletristic, history, arts, and travel. Owner Joe (a very quiet man, erudite, and courteous though he may well be no gladhander) has a genius for finding the titles most likely to be of interest to highly literate and educated people. And, on the vulgar side, he "prices to move". There are even two dollar and one dollar tables, with valuable titles. No romance, etc. (Except the real kind.) All of his books are in very good condition. Best place to buy gifts for people who read serious books.

- By Lawrence (Wednesday 11/29/06 4:59 PM)

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Europa Books Review
Staff are very helpful here.

- By Lawrence (Wednesday 11/29/06 4:37 PM)

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Powell's Bookstore (Lakeview) Review
This bookstore has a very large assortment of books at excellent prices. It's probably the best place to go on the North Shore for academic press books, though certainly the Powell's down by the University of Chicago has it beat in that regard. A previous reviewer rightly states that you can kill a lot of time here without being hassled. By the same token, though, don't expect any help from the staff. It would appear the bricks and morter thing is a bit of an afterthought, and certainly customer service is out. The usual response here to a customer approach is unpleasant surprise, and downright hostility is not unknown. But if you go for books, and not people, fine.

- By Lawrence (Wednesday 11/29/06 4:03 PM)

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Revolution Books Review
Revolution books is about as revolutionary in Chicago as the gulag was in Soviet Russia. C'mon, there is no counterculture in Chicago, except the paltry "Chicago Libertarian Party" monthly meeting. A revolution in favor of a bigger, more oppressive State than the one that already exists? More regulation (in lieu of a trial by jury) to strangle the already oppressed small businesses? ...Please.

Nonetheless, you can get your hands on some viable and useful books on individual subject areas where the communists actually favor slightly more freedom (in theory, not practice). For instance, they generally oppose the drug war, and you can (as of 2 years ago, the last time I was there) get a copy of Alfred W. McCoy's superb investigation of the heroin trade "The Politics of Heroin". (review continued in Jake Witmer's next post)

- By Jake Witmer (Sunday 10/8/06 10:34 PM)

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Beck's Book Store (NEIU) Review
Not overpriced if you consider that price is one of the costs of convenience.

Sure, you could shop the internet or other bookstores - but that takes time and money too.

Any if everybody did that an a school bookstore closed then everybody would lose the convenience.

An unintended consequence: Beck's employs several students from Northeastern, further extending educational opportunities.

- By Bob (Sunday 8/20/06 5:57 AM)

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Art Institute of Chicago Museum Shop Review
The museum store carries a predictable selection of art-specialty books ranging from genre anthologies to the collections of various artists. Of course, a large number of books are dedicated to the consumer-friendly masters such as Rembrant and O'Keefe.

The one gripe I have about this bookstore is that it often has few to no books, posters, or other paraphenalia for the artists that it is showcasing. This might be because it sometimes showcases less-than-mainstream artists, but other museums have taken the effort to produce such items through their own presses. I would hope that AIC could do so for its future shows.

- By Zeeck (Wednesday 7/5/06 1:04 PM)

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Armadillo's Pillow Review
this is such a sweet used bookstore. they are extremely organized but not in a static, chain bookstore way -- the atmosphere is comfortable and dreamy and they have lots of books on gender studies, though these are seperated into "womens studies" and some other category -- but still. good for me because i was looking for judith halberstam and even though they didnt have it, walked away with leslie feinberg for 5 bucks! 5 bucks! *swoon* what a lovely store.

- By melly (Thursday 6/22/06 1:33 PM)

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chicago, metromix