Bookman’s Alley: Paradise Lost?

Althotas - Alchemist & Occultist is the Supposed Teacher & Companion of Cagliostro

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: Click on the image above for more photographs

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.)

This entry was published on March 25, 2012 at 11:37 PM. It’s filed under Architecture, Books, Building, Culture, Evanston, Museum, People, Retail Therapy, Series, Stores, Suburbs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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