Bucket o’Blood Books & Records

When I found out there was a local bookstore named Bucket o’Blood, I of course had to check it out, being the aspiring horror writer I am. My discovery of this place happened to coincide with a big change (for the better) on their end.

Recently, Bucket o’Blood moved from their location on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square to the corner of Elston and California in Avondale. I had the opportunity to speak to owner Grant McKee (who runs the store with his wife Jennifer) and asked what prompted the move.

“It was two-fold,” McKee said. “We had the desire for a bigger space to host larger events, [and] the other store was in bad shape” (i.e., water leaking at the back of the store and not-so-great heat and air-conditioning in the winter and summer).

Knowing Bucket o’Blood had just moved explained the emptiness I felt when I walked into the new location. On one side were bookshelves, fully stocked. On the other was the checkout counter. Straight ahead, at the back of the store, were vinyl records. Between those three sections was a vast expanse of space with nothing filling it yet, emphasized by the light creak of the wooden floor as I walked across it.

Despite this emptiness, I enjoyed the setup so far. The bookshelves were separated into three sections: horror, fantasy, and speculative science fiction. What made each section even more distinct were the figurines dispersed throughout that side of the room: a plush Frankenstein casually sitting atop a shelf of horror books; a stuffed red dragon over the fantasy titles; and a statue of a knight in full armor standing between two shelves, just to name a few. There was even a small bookcase of graphic novels, a signed copy of The Last Unicorn displayed on top.

Moving past the books, there were three tables of vinyl records lined along the back of the store, shielded by a rack of DVDs (consisting primarily of horror titles). On the left, next to the checkout counter, was a shelf of cassette tapes, something I haven’t seen since at least 2001. Bucket o’Blood even has their own t-shirts, as well as various patches, pins, and stickers in the glass display case at checkout.

When it comes to price, both books and records are very affordable and won’t break the bank. Because Bucket o’Blood specializes in specific genres, there is a much bigger selection in those categories, unlike in stores where there a multitude of genres are sold.

You can follow Bucket o’Blood’s progress in the new space on their Facebook page and check out any upcoming events they will be hosting on their website. Since my visit, they have set up a listening center for the records and a mystery section!

Visit Bucket o’Blood at:
3182 N. Elston Ave., Chicago, IL 60618Avondale neighborhood
Sun-Wed: Noon-7PM
Thurs-Sat: Noon-8PM

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Sarah Tassoni

Sarah is a graduate student in the MA Writing & Publishing program at DePaul University and an aspiring horror writer. She also loves cats and is a goth kid at heart.

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