Saturday, August 28, 2010

Devon Street Bookshops, Chicago--New and Old

A Lesser Known Book District

Most people know of Printers Row in Chicago, which does not exactly have a hundred famous bookstores on it, but does have an annual book fair that is quite remarkable. Chicago does have a variety of book stores, many of them used, but also para-bookstores--by which I mean vast collections of second-hand books being sold in thrift stores. And this is the real treat and treasure for those book hunters in the Chicagoland area. Hyde Park, for example, may have the best collection of book shops in one area (include O'Gara, Powell's, and 57th Street Books, among others). It used to have Ex Libris, the theological book store, which is now closed. And other book shops are more disparately placed throughout the city. But it came to my attention one day, while I was driving down Devon Street on the northern part of the city, that there were quite a number of book shops on that street, and many of them quite interesting and diverse, specifically foreign language book shops, Islamic book shops, and Jewish book shops, among others. So I decided to take some photos and share them with you today. Some of these, you will see, no longer exists--merely their signs. But most are still there and available to see and shop in. So for those of you interested in something a little different on your next trip to Chicago, especially something bookish, make a pilgrimage to Devon Street. You'll enjoy a diverse palette of book shops, before you go off and indulge in a hefty curry tofu.

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