Booknerd Adventure: Unabridged Bookstore



To borrow a phrase from my mother-in-law, I already had a bee in my bonnet to visit my favorite bookstore in Chicago, Unabridged Bookstore.  Then, I watched Ann Patchett’s appearance on The Colbert Report (see previous post) where she extoled the virtues of indie bookstores, and I was inspired.  So I bundled up my 4 month old, strapped him in the Baby Bjorn, and hopped on over to Unabridged.  (I’m lucky, this gem is mere blocks from my home.)

On a weekday afternoon, the store is fairly quiet.  This is the perfect time to browse the shelves.  It’s not the biggest bookstore in the world, but their staff is really smart, and their featured selections are usually right-on.  In addition, the kids section is wonderful, and the whole basement is full of travel books.  (I can’t think of a rival travel section anywhere in town.)

But the best thing about Unabriged is their amazing sale section.  Where many stores use the word “sale” to clear out books that obviously were of no interest to people, Unabridged’s is full of stellar selections – a mecca for booknerds.  I noticed books by John Irving, Christopher Moore, Sarah Vowell, Toni Morrison, and a plethora of other authors I truly care about.  It’s hardly a dumping ground.

Sure, they didn’t have a couple of the books I was looking for, but I like my haul anyway.  I got Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods” on sale for 5 bucks, as well as “The Philosophical Baby” by Alison Gopnik, and an adorable board book for my little guy called “A Book of Sleep.”  Plus that, they are an IndieBound store and feature the “Next” lists of recommendations from which I’ve found several books I’ve loved.


Also, the bookseller on duty talked to my baby.  I always like when people do that.  And my baby smiled back.  That’s an all around win.

**Since I’m trying to match Bookstore adventures with coffeeplaces of late, I have to give mad props to the Caribou Coffee across the street from Unabridged.  Apparently I walked into a conversation about potty training little boys, and it was hilarious. Good times. **


About JamieP

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

Posted on February 21, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I love to find places with good kids books, nicely done, Unabridged! I haven’t been there since waaaay before kids. Now I shall have to go back 😉

    • Let me know, and I’ll come with you. Any excuse to go there is fine by me. I’m always impressed by their kids section. It’s as if they actually value children or something. 🙂

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