Chicago is a city that loves its books. From the towering stacks of the Harold Washington Library to the cozy corners of independent bookstores, there's no shortage of literary exploration to be had in the Windy City.
But for book lovers on a budget, the real gems are the used book stores scattered throughout the city.
These stores are more than just places to find a cheap read. They're treasure troves of rare and out-of-print books, places where you can stumble upon a first edition of your favorite novel or an obscure tome you've been hunting for years.
They're also great places to connect with fellow book lovers, whether it's through a shared love of a particular author or a chance encounter in the stacks.
But with so many used book stores in Chicago, where should you start? That's where this guide comes in. We've scoured the city to find the best of the best, the stores that offer the widest selection, the friendliest service, and the best prices.
Whether you're a seasoned collector or just looking for your next great read, there's a used book store in Chicago that's perfect for you.
So grab your tote bag and your reading glasses, and get ready to explore the best used book stores in Chicago.
You never know what you might find.
1. Open Books
Open Books is a community-minded nonprofit bookstore that offers a huge selection of used books for adults and kids.
The store has a colorful and inviting atmosphere that makes customers feel welcome.
The staff is knowledgeable and helpful, always ready to assist customers in finding the right book. The prices are reasonable, and the store often has items on sale.
Open Books is a great place to spend hours browsing through the selection of books and finding something new to read.
2. Armadillo's Pillow Inc
Armadillo's Pillow Inc is a hidden gem of a used book store. With a vast collection of books from various genres, this store is a paradise for book lovers.
The staff is knowledgeable and always ready to help you find what you're looking for. The store has a quirky, intellectual vibe that adds to its charm.
You can easily spend hours browsing through the books and discovering new authors. They also offer freshly roasted coffee beans, which is a perfect accompaniment to your book browsing.
The prices are fair, and the selection is excellent, making Armadillo's Pillow Inc a must-visit for book enthusiasts.
3. Heirloom Books
Heirloom Books is a hidden gem for book lovers. This used bookstore offers a cozy and beautiful atmosphere where you can easily spend hours browsing through their extensive selection of books.
The staff is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, making it easy to find what you're looking for.
Heirloom Books also offers prices that are lower than what you can find online, making it a great place to support a local business while also getting a good deal.
Whether you're looking for children's books, rare finds, or comic books, Heirloom Books has something for everyone. Don't miss out on this amazing bookstore!
4. Books4Cause Free Bookstore
Books4Cause Free Bookstore is a fantastic used book store that offers a unique experience to book lovers. The store is small but well-organized, making it easy to find what you're looking for.
The best part about this store is that all the books are free! Visitors are allowed to take up to 10 books per visit and are encouraged to bring in their own books to donate.
The selection of books is decent and changes frequently depending on donations. The store also supports great causes such as campus book drives and The African Library Project.
The staff is friendly and welcoming, making it a pleasant experience for everyone. If you're looking for an affordable way to expand your book collection, Books4Cause Free Bookstore is definitely worth checking out.
5. Tangible Books
Tangible Books is a haven for book lovers. The store has an extensive collection of quality used books for all ages.
The owners are knowledgeable and helpful, making it easy to find what you're looking for. The store is well-organized, making it easy to browse through the selection.
The large variety of available books on pretty much everything you need to know is impressive. The store has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere that makes you want to stay and explore.
Whether you're looking for a specific book or just want to browse, Tangible Books is a must-visit for book enthusiasts.
6. New Book Joy
New Book Joy Booktique is a delightful used book store that offers a unique selection of books, accessories, and trinkets for all ages.
The owners are knowledgeable and friendly, making browsing a pleasure.
The store's small size adds to its charm, and the locally curated products are a testament to the owners' love of books.
If you're looking for a new favorite spot to find used books, check out New Book Joy Booktique.
7. Ravenswood Used Books
Ravenswood Used Books is a quaint and cozy used book store with an extensive collection of books.
The towering shelves are packed with thousands of fiction and non-fiction titles that can keep any book lover occupied for hours.
The store's owner is sweet and helpful, and the prices are fair. While the store can be a bit cramped, the employee is knowledgeable and can help you find what you're looking for.
The homey setting adds to the charm of the store, making it a must-visit for any book enthusiast.
8. Myopic Books
Myopic Books is a used book store with four floors of well-organized books at low prices. With a vast collection of over 80,000 tomes, this store is a book lover's paradise.
The store has a cozy and comfortable ambiance that makes browsing through the shelves a delightful experience. The staff is knowledgeable and helpful, always ready to assist customers in finding the books they're looking for.
Myopic Books also hosts periodic concerts and poetry nights, making it a cultural hub for the community.
It's a great place to find unique, unheard-of books and spend hours exploring different genres. If you're a book enthusiast, Myopic Books is a must-visit store that will leave you amazed and inspired.
9. Pilsen Community Books
Pilsen Community Books is a hidden gem for book lovers. This used book store is well curated with a great selection of books in every genre.
The prices are affordable, with most books costing only $6.
The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, always ready to help customers find their next great read.
The store has a cozy atmosphere, with floor-to-ceiling shelves and a great selection of gift items. If you're looking for a great local bookstore, Pilsen Community Books is definitely worth a visit.
10. after-words bookstore
After-words Bookstore is a well-organized used book store offering a vast selection of new and used books at great prices.
The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the comfortable reading areas provide a peaceful atmosphere to enjoy your new book.
It's conveniently located within walking distance from most homes, work places, or hotels in downtown.