Stop at this Pop-up Bookstore during your commute

We were wandering the Pedway one Friday evening after work in search of a good Happy Hour deal when I first spotted it. . . Could it be? In the middle of Block 37, a high traffic area, a pop-up used bookstore? Was I having a blissful dream I’d soon wake up from?

It’s very much real—so real that I’ve now been three times in the last month. And after talking to the staff working last week, it sounds like Carpe Librum may be around for the remainder of the summer. The pop-up used bookstore is thanks to the nonprofit Turning the Page, an organization that links public schools, families and their community to ensure students receive valuable educational resources and a high-quality public education. The Chicago pop-up store in Block 37 supports programming at Turning the Page’s six partner public schools, located in the North Lawndale neighborhood.

What can you find here? Oh so very much! It’s used books, DVDs and CDs, all spanning a wide range of genres. And the prices can’t be beat: The highest price you’ll pay is $4.00 for hardcover books. Trade paperbacks are only $3.50 and mass market paperbacks are $1.00. According the sign posted last week, you can browse their selection Monday through Friday from 10 am to 8 pm and on Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm. Be sure to follow them on Facebook to get all of the latest updates.

For me, this pop-up shop has been the perfect post-work stop, always available when I feel I need a little book retail therapy. And with these prices, you don’t have to feel bad about it! Not to mention that it goes to great cause. So if you’re shopping or dining at Block 37, or taking the Blue line through there, be sure to check out this gem!

Are you ready for Independent Bookstore Day?

It’s our favorite day of the year tomorrow: National Independent Bookstore Day!

Chicago is celebrating with a #MyChicagoBookstore challenge. If you visit 10 of the bookstores participating, you’ll receive 10% off at all of the bookstores on the list for the rest of the year. And if you visit 15 of them (quite ambitious, whoever does it, I will be seriously impressed) you get 15% off. Check out the list on the Facebook event page.

I’ve come up with several possible schedules for myself tomorrow and it almost drove me a little nuts, but I’ve settled on one that I think sets me up for success! I’ll be sharing my progress over on our Facebook page throughout the day, and I’ll share a recap afterward. So stay tuned! And be sure to share your progress with us in the comments or on Facebook.

If you’re in need of some help planning your stops, someone created this handy map of all the participating bookstores. It was very helpful!

Even if you aren’t participating in the challenge, be sure to stop by a couple of your favorite stores. There are some not participating in the challenge but who still have fun events going on all day, so be sure to visit them too.

Good luck to all challenge participants, and Happy Independent Bookstore Day to all!