Second Annual My Chicago Bookstore Day Challenge

As devours mom and pop stores like a ravenous Pac Man, one business is standing up to them. From 2009 to 2015, the number of independent bookstores in America grew by 35%.  There are enough independent bookstores in Chicago to warrant a couple of top-10 lists. If you add stores in Naperville, Arlington Heights, and the rest of the nearby suburbs, there are more independent stores than Barnes & Nobles. And they are thriving.

On Saturday, April 28, twenty-seven of these stores will participate in the second annual My Chicago Bookstore Challenge as part of the national Independent Bookstore Day. The event is sponsored by the Chicagoland Independent Bookstore Alliance (ChIBA), an association formed in 2016 to raise awareness about the vitality of the area’s indie stores. ChIBA also maintains a Facebook page— Mychicagobookstore —where Chicago area bookstores post information about the readings and other literary events they host, acting as a central “billboard” for literary culture in the greater Chicago area

To begin their trip, readers pick up a #MyChicagoBookstore passport and their first stamp from the store of their choice (from any of the independent bookstores listed below) with an initial purchase of $25 or more. Visiting additional bookstores throughout the day (no purchase required) will enable them to collect an additional stamp at each subsequent bookstore. Which pays off: visit ten stores and get 10% off at all the participating bookstores for the year. Or visit 15 and get 15% off for the year. Readers are encouraged to post a snapshot of themselves and their Independent Bookstore Day haul (Instagram:  #CHIBD18; Twitter: #CHIBD18 or @chibookstore)

Participating stores and info about special events on Saturday:

The Book Bin
151 Church St.
Northbrook 60062
(847) 498–4999
Author appearance: 10:00 a.m. – John Paterson, local children’s author and illustrator of I Am the Rain.

Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co. and 826CHI
1276 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago 60622
(773) 772–8108
Encouraging the exploration of endless possibility through the power of writing. All sales support 826CHI’s free programs for Chicago students. Hosting Jessica Mlinaric who will be signing copies of “Secret Chicago: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure!”  at 000 CLOCK

Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
Chicago 60640
(773) 769–9299
Serving refreshments from The Coffee Studio and Sauce & Bread.

Powell’s Books Chicago
1501 E. 57th St.
Chicago 60637
(773) 955–7780
Original Powell’s used books are discounted 20 to 80% already. During the tour, their remainders (anything priced with a white sticker) are discounted an additional 10% for passport participants. Anyone starting their tour at Powell’s is eligible for a drawing for Powel’s gear (t-shirts and tote bags).

Anderson’s Bookshops
5112 Main St.
Downers Grove 60515
(630) 963–2665

26 S. La Grange Rd.
La Grange 60525
(708) 582–6353

123 W. Jefferson Ave.
Naperville 60540
(630) 355.2665
Author Appearance at the Naperville location: Kirk W. Johnson, The Feather Thief

57th Street Books
1301 E. 57th St.
Chicago 60637
(773) 684–1300
Author Aooreance: Mike Gunter, Tales of an Eco Tourist. 

Abraham Lincoln Book Shop
824 W. Superior St., Suite 100
Chicago 60042 
Saturday’s Event: A pop-up shop from Author’s Voice featuring signed, first editions of books featured in their podcast, including books by first editions of Grant, by Ron Chernow (Author of Hamilton).

The Book Cellar
4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago 60625
(773) 293–2665

The Book Stall at Chestnut Court
811 Elm St.
Winnetka 60093
(847) 446–8880

10:30–Children’s Story Hour; Afternoon–Local Authors: Christine Sneed, Rebecca Makkai, Erica O’Rourke, Sarah Aronson, and Lisa Jenn Bigelow

Bookends & Beginnings
1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1
Evanston 60201
(224) 999–7722
Author appearance: Ellen Shubart will explore the quirks, personality and charm of the Windy City with a Trivia Contest based on her new book, What’s With Chicago? 

Centuries and Sleuths
7419 Madison St.
Forest Park 60130
(708) 771–7243
Author Appearance: Patricia Skalka for her newest novel: Death Rides the Ferry (4th Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery

City Lit Books
2523 N. Kedzie Blvd.
(773) 235–2523
10:30 am story time

Magic Tree Bookstore
141 N. Oak Park Ave.
Oak Park 60301
(708) 848≠0770
Everything in the store is on sale, up to 40% off! At checkout, choose a chocolate kiss which will reveal the discount on your entire purchase!

Open Books
905 W. 19th St.,
Chicago 60608
(312) 243–9776

West Loop
651 W. Lake St.
Chicago 60661
(312) 475–1355, x100
April 28-29, bi-annual Garage Sale! All kids books will be $1, all paperbacks $2, and all hardcovers $3. Plus, you can fill up an entire box of books (35-40 books total) for only $40! The sale runs 10 am – 5 pm on both dates. Special discount box for teachers also available! No other deals or discounts can be used during this time.

Read It & Eat
2142 N. Halsted St.
Chicago 60614
(773) 661–6158
Author appearance: 11:00 a.m., Chef Jason Garland teaches you how to incorporate those fresh farmer’s market finds into an easy-to-prepare menu perfect for the upcoming patio season!

2142 W. Roscoe St.
Chicago 60618
(773) 857–2676
Home-baked treats from our favorite cookbooks. Bookish giveaways all day long. Free advance reader copies for anyone who spends at least $50!

Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago 60637
(773) 752–4381
Author appearance: Bill Ayers, Jim Crow Schools

Volumes Bookcafe
1474 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago 60622
(773) 697–8066
Author appearance: Becky Cattie! Becky and her sister Tara Luebbe have two children’s books that launch this year, SHARKE NATE-O and I AM FAMOUS.

Pilsen Community Books
1102 W. 18th St
Chicago 60608
1854 W. North Ave.
Chicago 60622
(773) 342–0910

The Dial Bookshop
410 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 210
Chicago 60605

10324 S. Western Ave.
Chicago 60643
(773) 239–1110

The Book Table
1045 Lake St.
Oak Park 60301
(708) 386–9800

Sandmeyer’s Bookstore
714 S. Dearborn St.
Chicago 60605
(312) 922–2104

Lake Forest Book Store
662 N. Western Ave.
Lake Forest 60045
(847) 234–4420






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