Book Shops

Note: this page is due for an update soon to account for store openings/closures/moves.



Green=New
Yellow=Used
Red=Big Box/Chain
Link to open the map in a new window.

I'll be adding to and modifying this quite a bit over time, particularly as I visit more of these locations. Some shops on the map may be closed, not have anything worth mentioning in terms of SF/F, etc., but the ones below I can vouch for.

Wicker Park/Bucktown/Logan Square:

Myopic Books: 1564 N Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60622.
Used. Excellent selection of SF/F in the basement; a little static but large. Check the table down there for recent/hot acquisitions. Also has an impressive used graphic novel section. Be aware that some works that I would call SF/F may be shelved in general fiction, depending on publisher info or mainstreaminess of the author. Hosts the Think Galactic group. Late hours.

Quimby's: 1854 W North Ave Chicago, IL 60622
 New. Truly delightful store, independent, counter-cultural. Small but delightful novel selection, SF/F/horror/slipstream/postmodern/etc. Really nice indie graphic novel collection, and lots and lots of zines.

Volumes Book Cafe: 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave, 60622
New. Newly-opened shop in Wicker Park with a good selection of new titles; also a fully-functional cafe with booze options. Look for lots of developments here.

City Lit Books: 2523 N Kedzie Blvd Chicago, IL 60647
New. Really delightful store, tons of great suggestions. Relatively small SF/F selection but excellent despite that--frequently rotating, lots of suggestions, everything on the shelves is interesting. Also good for YA.  Hosts the Weird & Wonderful group, and a number of other groups as well. Lots of events, check their page.

Uncharted: 2630 N Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60647
Used. Cool space. Decently large SF/F selection, well alphabetized, kind of haphazard/eclectic selection but as a result nice for browsing.

Avondale:

Bucket O'Blood Books & Records: 3182 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Their subtitle is "Speculative Fiction-Fantasy-Horror-Vinyl-Awesome", which is quite accurate. Used. New Avondale location is packed full of good stuff--well-curated SF/F & Horror. Extremely well organized, even separates out Fantasy from Science Fiction. Small, eclectic, but pretty delightful collection of records as well. Horror of all stripes is their specialty. Host both a horror and science fiction book club, and frequently host horror & metal-related events and book releases.

Roscoe/Lakeview/Ravenswood/Lincoln Park:

The Gallery Bookstore: 923 W Belmont Ave Chicago, IL 60657
Used. Unbelievable number of books packed into a small space. I'm not positive but the Gallery probably has the largest SF/F collection in Chicago. Goes to the ceiling and you have to squeeze back there, but very well organized. Also has a pretty good/large selection of SF/F zines of various kinds, old pulps in good condition, academic criticism, anthologies, series tie-in companions & so forth.

Booklegger's: 2907 N Broadway St. Chicago, IL 60657
Used.  Quite good SF/F selection; it's split into paperback & hardback in separate shelving areas. Well curated.

Bookman's Corner: 2959 N Clark St Chicago, IL 60657
Yikes. Used. Books piled every which way with very little in the way of organization (or preservation) attempted. Kind of intriguing to see but not recommended for targeted browsing. I think there's *some* SF in there somewhere.

The Book Cellar Cafe: 4736 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60625
New. Smallish but excellent SF/F selection. Do have a cafe with coffee & light fare, as well. Host a number of events & clubs including the Never Too Old (YA for Adults) group.

Ravenswood Used Books: 2005 W Montrose Ave Chicago, IL 60618
You guessed it, used. Organization is a little obscure, but once you find the SF/F corner/nook/space, there's a fair amount of titles.

Roscoe Books: 2142 W Roscoe St, Chicago, IL 60618
New. Small but good SF/F & YA selection-- I see a lot of titles from recent & upcoming discussions on their shelves.

River North/University Village/West Loop/Pilsen:

After-Words: 23 E Illinois St. Chicago, IL 60611.
New & Used. Good selection, well-organized, seem to have a lot of titles/authors I don't see at other used places, relatively more recent titles predominating. New upstairs, used downstairs. They also cut you a discount on anything that's been on the shelf for over a year.

Powell's: 1218 S Halsted St Chicago, IL 60607
Used & New (or at any rate like-new). They have two locations (recently closed the third in Lincoln Park, unfortunately), I haven't been to the Hyde Park shop. The University Village location has a pretty mediocre SF/F selection but it's still worth a visit: lots of academic & critical works, as one might expect, and a great selection of books from many other genres.

Open Books: 651 W. Lake St., IL 60610
Used. They have two locations; the new West Loop Location is great. Books in great condition, unusual selection of SF/F with a lot more newer publications than one typically sees. Host their own book club and other events. Open Books is a not-for profit literary advocacy group with a lot of cool programs, and also hosting our Megatext Book Club.

Pilsen Community Books: 1102 W 18th St, Chicago, IL
Used. Great selection.

Roger's Park:

The Armadillo's Pillow: 6753 N Sheridan Rd Chicago, IL 60626
Really a fun store to visit. Used. Amusing layout, like it just slowly took over somebody's house. Quite decent SF/F selection, and a fun store to browse generally. Bonus points for incense and the sound of the kid's kung-fu exclamations from the dojo next door.

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