BookNerd Adventure: Open Books (Chicago, IL) Sidewalk Sale

I am a sucker for a good sidewalk sale.  Especially when the proceeds go to something as great as literacy programs.

So, of course, my husband and I made the trip down to Chicago & Franklin for the Open Books Sidewalk Sale on Saturday.

We were not disappointed.

In fact, after the experience, I have to say that from this day forth I shall refer to Open Books as my favorite used bookstore in Chicago.

I’d been a tad worried that the previous nights thunderstorms would stop the sale, but by morning the storm had given way to a warm and dry day.  We arrived just as the sale was beginning, and volunteers were still loading boxes of books onto tables set up outside the store.  From the very start, we started finding books we wanted, and began our pile. There were childrens books by the score, as well as a huge amount of classic and contemporary fiction – all at great prices. ($1 for childrens, $2 for paperback, and $3 for hardcover.)

Having exhausted the sidewalk sale (and being just a tad over a couple super-pushy shoppers, one of whom actually forced her way between Eric and I to get to a box of books under a table we were looking at.  Like, we were shoulder to shoulder and this girl shoved her way in there and then stayed) we ventured into the store and were simply delighted.

After all, how many bookstores have a fireplace lounge?

Of course I took a break.  I’m pregnant.  Duh.

In addition to the store’s massive selection of used books in good to great condition, things are arranged in a variety of genres – From fiction to mystery, there’s a section for everyone.   The “Chick Lit” section made me laugh, and I agreed with all the books grouped under that title.  (FYI – In case you care – like any used bookstore, you’ll find plenty of copies of “Twilight,” “Eat, Pray, Love,” “The Kite Runner,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” and “Memoirs of a Geisha.”  We just stopped counting.)

There’s also a pretty swoon-worthy rare/collectors rack, which included some Roald Dahl first editions as well as Dante’s “Inferno” among other rarities and pretties.

I spent a great deal of time in the childrens area, which looks like a kindergarten classroom.  The sheer amount of books for kids is amazing and something I’ve discovered as of late.  Our child is going to have an awesome library before they’re even born.

Yes, that's a kids edition of "Moby Dick" I'm reading.

Our grand total = 14 books (and a cute Open Books tote bag) for $46.00.

  • What to Expect the First Year, 2nd edition
  • Johnathan Strange
  • Dune
  • The Lovely Bones
  • Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
  • The Book of Lost Things
  • The Beauty School of Kabul
  • The Book Club Cookbook
  • Kids Books: An Illustrated “Around the World in 80 Days,” a Sesame Street book called “When’s my Birthday?,” “The Velveteen Rabbit,” “Hop on Pop,” “Frog and Toad Together” and “Little Boy.”

Can I also point out that the bathroom walls are all done in that chalkboard paint and covered in writings in chalk?  It’s charming and adorable.  Really, that’s all I’ll say about the bathroom.

After the sale, we continued on our merry way to Michigan Avenue to meet up with friends to see “Captain America”  (which, by the way, was really good) and wound up being at the same showing as George Lucas.

Yep, that George Lucas.

So, you know, that happened.

Obviously, a good day all around.

That's my husband's beer, by the by.

Open Books is the bomb.  You should go there.  What are you waiting for?


About JamieP

Books. Adventures. Chicago. Married. Mommy. Cat.

Posted on July 25, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Open Books is amazing. I couldn’t go to the Sidewalk Sale unfortunately (sad I missed it) but I went to the store a few weeks ago for the first time and just fell in love with it. Can’t wait to return!

  2. I hear you about the pushy book buyers. I recently went to a book sale at a high school the town over and people would not move or get right in front of you as you are moving along the table!!!!! One guy was scanning books with his i touch. Ugh! Nice haul by the way.

  3. Hi! This is a super awesome writeup of the sale. Thank you for your patronage and the publicity. We hope to see you back soon! 🙂

    Marketing and Events Coordinator

    P.S. @notarevolution thanks for your kind words too!

  1. Pingback: a trip to open books! | Wesley in the World

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