Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A couple of places where I get books

I acquire my books from a lot of places. Like everyone else, I have my favorite bookstores. I go to libraries and charity book sales, and I try to get advance reading copies. But a couple of the places I go are so interesting that I feel the urge to share.

The T.B. Blackstone Branch Library

The urge began a couple of days ago, when I went to my local library, the T.B. Blackstone branch of the Chicago Public Library. It is the oldest branch library in the system, having opened in January, 1903, and was built in his memory with funds given by his widow. Now, as it happens, I didn't go there to check out books (though, no surprise, I did). I went there for an event to celebrate the restoration of the library' murals, painted by Oliver Dennett Grover. They represent Literature, Art, Science and Labor. This is Literature:

You should have seen them before! They were so dirty and dark, and the fern-like design in the spandrels was practically non-existent. The conservators, (Parma Conservation) did an amazing job! You can see more, and some other photos of events at the library, here.

Seminary Co-op Bookstore

I'm proud to say that I'm a shareholder in this store! Not to mention happy to get the 10% off everything that gets me. It's actually three stores. There's a general interest bookstore, 57th Street Books, the A.C. McClurg Bookstore at the Newberry Library, and the mother ship, Seminary Co-op Books, which is located in this building:

Chicago Theological Seminary

Yep. The store is in the basement of the Chicago Theological Seminary on the University of Chicago campus, hence the name. It carries not only titles of general interest, but also textbooks for the university. And it's so big, you need a map:
Help navigating the store

I don't know why they don't still have this listing, but they used to have a section on their website titled, "Books by Members". There aren't a lot of bookstores that could do that! And they have a blog, The Front Table, in order to lay temptation in your path.

I do love this store.


  1. I love that mural! I showed photos of it in my art history class last year.

    And I've never been to that bookstore, although it will DEFINITELY be on my to-do list the next time I go to Chicago. It looks awesome!

  2. I love the post, and I’ve nominated you for a Superior Scribbler Award

  3. Wow. I would love to go to both of these places. It is great that they restored that mural. It is beautiful!

  4. Ooh, I wish I had known about this back in May when I was walking around that neighborhood. I did get to the Powells by the train stop and a lovely secondhand bookstore across the street from Powells. But I walked right by the Seminary building without realising there was a bookstore inside.