Get Lost in the Stacks: Chicago’s 12 Best Bookstores!

Chicago is a city that is rich in culture, and it is home to some of the best bookstores in the country.

These bookstores have become a haven for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse themselves in a world of books.

In these bookstores, you can find everything from classic literature to contemporary bestsellers, and everything in between.

Whether you are a book lover or just looking for a new read, these bookstores have something for everyone.

What makes these bookstores unique is not just the wide selection of books they offer, but also their cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

Many of these bookstores have comfortable seating areas where you can curl up with a good book, sip on a cup of coffee, and lose yourself in the pages of your favorite novel.

If you are a local or just visiting Chicago, these bookstores are a must-visit.

They offer a glimpse into the city's literary history and provide a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. So, grab a book and settle in for a few hours of pure bliss.

1. Unabridged Bookstore

Unabridged Bookstore
3251 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657 (Google Maps)

Unabridged Bookstore is a veteran bookseller that offers a wide variety of general and children's literature, including a vast LGBTQIA+ collection.

The store has a great selection of science fiction and fantasy novels, both old and new releases. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, always ready to help customers find the perfect book.

The store is a bit cramped in places, but it adds to the charm of getting lost in the books. Unabridged Bookstore also has a basement section with more books to browse.

The store offers a newsletter and a tote bag discount for future purchases. Highly recommended for book lovers looking for unique titles in a cozy atmosphere.

2. Open Books

Open Books
651 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60661 (Google Maps)

Open Books is a community-minded nonprofit bookstore that stocks thousands of discounted used books for both adults and kids.

The store is organized in a way that makes it easy for customers to find what they are looking for.

The staff is friendly and helpful, making the shopping experience even better. The best part about Open Books is that the proceeds go towards promoting literacy in the community.

It's a great place to find a new book to read while also supporting a good cause.

3. Women & Children First

Women & Children First
5233 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640 (Google Maps)

Women & Children First is an independent bookstore with a feminist and kid focus.

They offer a wide range of books and bookish gift ideas. They are known for hosting influential authors for regular appearances.

The store is committed to supporting POC, LGBTQIA community, and people of all abilities via their book and author selections.

If you are looking for a bookstore that celebrates diversity and inclusivity, this is the place to be.

4. kibbitznest

2212 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (Google Maps)

Kibbitznest is a unique bookstore that doubles as a bar and hangout spot.

With a cozy ambiance and dim lighting, it's the perfect place to relax with a book or enjoy a game night with friends.

The friendly staff serves up a great selection of drinks and small plates, and you can even bring your own food.

Kibbitznest is a hidden gem that's worth checking out for anyone looking for a laid-back spot to unwind.

5. 57th Street Books

57Th Street Books
1301 E 57th St, Chicago, IL 60637 (Google Maps)

57th Street Books is a hidden gem that avid readers will appreciate. This cozy bookstore has an extensive collection of books in various genres, making it a great place to discover something new.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, always ready to help customers find what they are looking for.

The store has a comfortable atmosphere that invites visitors to spend hours browsing through the shelves.

Whether you're a kid or an adult, you're sure to find something that interests you at 57th Street Books. If you're in the mood for a literary adventure, this bookstore is definitely worth a visit.

6. Bucket O' Blood Books and Records

Bucket O' Blood Books And Records
3182 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Google Maps)

Bucket O' Blood Books and Records is a quirky independent bookstore that specializes in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror books, as well as indie rock, punk, and metal records.

Their curated collection of used and rare items is impressive, and they have a great selection of new books and music too.

The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and they organize fun launch events and special occasions. Whether you're a fan of vintage vinyl or graphic novels, this bookstore has something for everyone.

It's a must-visit destination for book and music enthusiasts who want to support small independent businesses.

7. Seminary Co-op Bookstores

Seminary Co-Op Bookstores
5751 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637 (Google Maps)

Seminary Co-op Bookstores is a paradise for book lovers. With a vast collection of books ranging from obscure to popular, this independent campus bookstore has been selling literature since 1961.

The store boasts a world-class collection of academic literature in various fields such as philosophy, religion, sociology, and literary criticism.

The well-thought-out selection within a broad range of sections is impressive, and the bookshelves are arranged around chairs and seating nooks that invite browsing. The sales staff is knowledgeable, friendly, and always willing to help customers find what they are looking for.

The store also has a nice coffee shop with patio seating, making it a perfect spot to sip coffee and read a book. All in all, Seminary Co-op Bookstores is a must-visit destination for book enthusiasts.

8. Soul Full Chicago

Soul Full Chicago
1508 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608 (Google Maps)

Soul Full Chicago is a charming bookstore and cafe that offers a thoughtful selection of books.

The ambiance is welcoming and warm, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind.

The staff is attentive and provides excellent customer service. They recently opened a cafe section that is worth checking out.

If you're in the area, make sure to stop by and experience the positive vibes for yourself.

9. Quimby's Bookstore

Quimby's Bookstore
1854 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Google Maps)

Quimby's Bookstore is a must-visit for book lovers who enjoy offbeat titles and indie publications. This edgy shop offers a diverse range of books, comics, and magazines, with a focus on independent and small press publications.

Their zine collection is particularly noteworthy, with a wide selection of photocopied zines on esoteric and activist topics.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the store has a great atmosphere that complements the eclectic stock.

Quimby's also hosts readings and special events, making it a hub for Chicago's literary community. If you're looking for something different and quirky, Quimby's Bookstore is the place to be.

10. RoscoeBooks

2142 W Roscoe St, Chicago, IL 60618 (Google Maps)

RoscoeBooks is a charming independent bookstore that is definitely worth a visit.

With a wide selection of books and a focus on recommending great reads, the friendly staff are always happy to help you find your next favorite book.

The store also has a great selection of children's books and a cozy kids' nook. In addition to in-store shopping, RoscoeBooks offers online ordering with convenient pick-up options.

If you're in the market for a new book and want to support a local business, RoscoeBooks is the perfect place to go.

11. City Lit Books

City Lit Books
2523 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647 (Google Maps)

City Lit Books is a cozy independent bookstore that is perfect for book lovers. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they offer a great selection of new releases, gender studies, and YA books.

The store is well-organized, making it easy to find what you're looking for. The children's section is particularly impressive, with a wide variety of books that will keep kids entertained for hours.

They also offer a book club and children's story-time hour, making City Lit Books a great place for the whole family. Prices are reasonable, and the overall shopping experience is delightful.

If you're looking for a local bookstore that is both charming and well-stocked, City Lit Books is definitely worth a visit.

Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery
515 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60642 (Google Maps)

Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery is a well-curated bookstore that offers a unique selection of books.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they are happy to help customers find the perfect book.

The store is family-friendly and has a great atmosphere for reading and browsing.

If you're looking for a local bookstore that offers a personal touch, Semicolon is definitely worth a visit.