The other day I read on Trib Local that the amazing Bookman’s Alley is closing for good. There is nothing sadder than a book store shutting down (read Borders) but it is far worse when it’s one as special as Bookman’s Alley.
It is one of those unique places that is somewhere between a store and a museum. It’s a paradox really – beautifully untidy, dusty but not in an allergenic-sort-of way, a book store full of posters, stuffed animals, ship replicas and “stuff”. Over the course of many visits, I have found a rare pocketbook (1900s) of the Gettysburg Address, a framed photo of Frank Lloyd Wright, fishing rods, a miniature hand-loom (with fabric halfway spun in it) and a cracked China teapot. (Check out Such a Book Nerd’s post too.)
That’s not all. The centerpiece, if you want, of the space is a full-size printing press! The fascinating thing is none of these paraphernalia takes your attention away from what this garage shed is all about – books. The sheer number of books that the owner has personally amassed over the last 30 years or so is unbelievable.
Of course, when I read that it was closing and closing soon, I had to visit. May be others had the same idea – the place was full of people walking around, sitting on the worn out furniture, just taking in the place perhaps for a last time.
Bookman’s Alley is supposedly closing its door by the end of Spring 2012. Right now most things are on sale with books and prints at 30% off. Do try to visit – its located at 1712 Sherman Evanston IL 60201. (It’s the garage behind Saville Flowers; you have to walk into the alley next to Design Within Reach.)