With no dramatic warm up in sight, it's the perfect time to curl up by the fire and get lost in a great book. No matter what genre suits your fancy, the North Shore still has many wonderful independent book stores (thankfully), where knowledgeable staff members are on hand to help you find the perfect book for a cold winter day.
The Book Bin
1151 Church St., Northbrook, 847-498-4999
This small independent book store has been serving its loyal patrons since 1971. Known for its friendly and helpful staff, if they don't have a book you are looking for they will happily special order it for you. Their children's selection is ample and includes small games and toys. In addition, the store conducts a monthly adult book discussion group and has a rental library section where you can rent books by the day instead of purchasing. Closed on Sundays.
The Book Stall
811 Elm St., Winnetka, 847-446-8880
The Book Stall offers a fabulous, well-organized selection of books with a staff that really knows their stuff! Staff members tend to specialize in a specific genre so their recommendations are always spot on and patrons love the staff's handwritten blurbs about their favorite picks so you can peruse at your own discretion as well. The store is always bringing in fabulous authors for meet and greets and other special events. The store also host several discussion groups and features a Children's and Adult Book Club. For unparalleled service and a great community feel, the Book Stall is must!
Lake Forest Book Store
680 N. Western Ave., Lake Forest, 847-234-4420
Since 1949, this quaint, independent book store has been a town favorite. Despite its small size, it boasts a large selection of books that serves the needs of the town and surrounding communities. Known for its knowledgeable staff and exceptional customer service, the store has perfected the art of recommending books based on customers' interests. And, should there be a book you'd like that they don't carry, they are happy to track it down and place a special order for you. They also host several author and book events at the store and throughout the community, as well as a monthly book club.
Half Price Books
151 Skokie Valley Rd., Highland Park, 847-831-2820
Highland Park Half Price Books Page
Even though it's part of a chain, this store feels like and independent book shop. Although you may not get a great return if you are looking to sell your books here, chances are you'll score a great deal on any book you purchase – especially in their clearance section where books are marked down to $1-$2. In addition to recycled books, the store sells recycled video games, music, movies, comic books, board games. They also sell specially-priced new releases and hot bestsellers that are usually 10-20% cheaper than you'd find at big box stores.
Books on Vernon
664 Vernon Ave., Glencoe, 847-835-5180
Books on Vernon Yelp Page
A great neighborhood spot with a great selection of gifts and books for adults and children alike. Books on Vernon offers a relaxed atmosphere where customers, no matter what age, are welcome to stay and explore the shelves. In the back of the store is a small 50-seat theater that the Writer's Theatre uses to stage shows.
Barbara's Book Market
2651 Navy Blvd., Glenview, 847-904-7304
Barbara's Books Glenview Page
Barbara's Book Market in the Glen Town Center is a good old-fashioned bookstore with plenty of space to relax, peruse and linger. Their event space enables them to host a variety of happenings including author appearances, book signings, open mic nights, holiday events, book clubs, corporate meetings, gallery shows, and free children's story time that takes place every Tuesday at 4:00pm and every Thursday at 10:30am. They also sell children's puzzles, activity sets, toys, games and educational materials and have a great selection of heavily discounted books.
1043 Chicago Ave., Ste B, Evanston, 847-864-4449 1-6, closed Tuesday and Sunday Monday 2-6
Book Den Yelp Page
The Book Den is a used book store that may be small in size but makes up for it by its breadth in selection and variety of books. The stocked shelves are filled with everything from favorite beach reads to German lit, to feminist poetry and everything in between; you can literally browse for hours. The pricing can't be beat and they often have additional sales so inquire within. Hours are somewhat limited: Monday: 2-6, Wed – Sat: 1 -6. Closed Tuesdays and Sundays.
Squeezebox Books & Music
1235 Chicago Ave, Evanston, 847-943-9309
Squeezebox is a unique, boutique style, thematically used book and music store run by an equally interesting owner, Tim. You will be seduced by the selection each visit and will want to return often as you never know what gem will show up. Supporting all genres and eras, including children's, in a well-organized but small setting, it is truly a treasure trove of vinyl and books in fabulous condition. Hours: Mon – Wed: 12 – 6, Thur – Sat: 12 -7. Open some Sundays.
Bookends & Beginnings
1712 Sherman Ave, Alley 1, Evanston, 224-999-7722
Bookends & Beginnings opened in June 2014 in the space formerly occupied by the legendary Bookman's Alley. They offer new, used, and bargain books; unique gift items and jewelry; literary events; and lots of local color. They literally have something for everyone but have quickly become known for their extensive cookbook section as well as their inviting children's section which includes books written in other languages.
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