The choice of books is very large in Chicago and there is no difficulty to find books and magazines in English. The two main national bookstores chains, Borders and Barnes and Nobles, are located everywhere through the city. Moreover they also sell online and deliver thanks to shipping. It is also very easy to purchase books online with http://www.amazon.com where you can find lots of books in Spanish, for example. For bookstores specializing in other languages than English, see the last sub-section of this section (Specialized Bookstores and Goreign Language Libraries).
National Bookstores Chains
Barnes and Nobles http://www.barnesandnoble.com
Barnes and Nobles are very big and are spacious enough to sit and browse the books or magazines before buying them. Very often there is also a space with tables where you can order a coffee and tea with a little treat. The choice of books and magazines in English is very large and they also have a huge section in Spanish. If it is not in store you can always order it online. You can become a member and benefit from special offers. They host many events at their stores, including readings with writers and children’s storytime.
The same comments can be made as for Barnes and Nobles: the stores are huge, very often on several floors; there is usually a coffee inside the bookstore; the shipping is available and easy to do; a membership with rewards is available. The offer in other languages, however, is less impressive than at Barnes and Nobles. Nevertheless, each Borders stores also has activities: meetings with the writers, storytelling for children, and so on. Borders has more stores through the city than Barnes and Nobles.
Local Bookstores Chains
Beck’s Book Store http://www.becksbooks.com/
Beck’s Book Store, specializes in services to the higher education institutions throughout the greater Chicago land area. There are nine Beck’s book stores in Chicago. They specialize in textbooks.
Barbara Book Store http://www.barbarasbookstore.com/
Established in 1963 in Chicago, Barbara Book Store has four locations in the city: at the campus of University of Illinois in Chicago, at Macy’s, at the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), and at Nothwestern Hospital.
Europa Bookstore http://www.schoenhofs.com/
You will be able to find international newspapers, magazines and books at Europa Bookstore 832 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610-3326; Phone: (312) 335-9677
This bookstore has a very large offer of foreign-language literature and books. They also have a very interesting children’s books section in the major European languages (French, German, Spanish, and Italian). You will also find there European magazines and European daily Newspapers.
Foreign Language Libraries
Alliance Française de Chicago http://www.af-chicago.org/app/homepage.asp
The Alliance Française de Chicago has a library and, obviously, all the books are in French! The collection is very large and diverse with 13,000 multimedia items, 1300 DVDs and VHS tapes, children’s books, magazines, comics, current magazines & newspapers, music, audio books and audio magazines. You have to be a member of the alliance to borrow books and magazines. You can access their catalogue online.
Instituto Cervantes of Chicago http://chicago.cervantes.es/en/default.shtm
The Instituto Cervantes of Chicago has a library, with more than 17,000 titles (books, magazines, videos, DVDs, music, and computer programs) in Spanish. You can access their catalogue online.