• Marcy Farrey

Celebrate Indies First, Chicago Style!

This Small Business Saturday, celebrate Indies First Day and visit your local independent bookstore!

We told you about celebrating Small Business Saturday, but if you love books and bookstores, you should also celebrate "Indies First." Held on Small Business Saturday, Indies First unites authors, readers, and publishers in support of independent bookstores. Authors and local celebrities will volunteer at various indie bookstore events around the US, while publishers will offer special terms on books and exclusives.

Chicago has many wonderful independent bookstores that are celebrating and offering special deals and treats of their own for Small Business Saturday. Below, I've gathered a list of highlights, but as you know, there's much more out there! If you have a favorite indie bookstore in your area, be sure to check their website and social media to see what they have going on.

Chicago Stores

Unabridged Bookstore


Shoppers get 10% off their entire purchase, as well as a 10% off coupon for a return visit in December, homemade, staff-baked treats from the season's hottest cookbooks, and complimentary gift wrapping.

Roscoe Books

Roscoe Village

The day starts with a storytime with Miss Erika, in which she'll read from her favorite picture books in 2018. Throughout the day, there will be homemade baked goods and treats from some of the staff's favorite cookbooks, plus 10% off everything in the store! Anyone who makes a purchase will also be entered into a raffle to win books or bookish goodies, and will take home a Roscoe Books tote bag! (I have one from last year and I use it a lot.)

Book Cellar

Lincoln Square

The Book Cellar is offering 20% off all picture books and cookbooks all day. If you post about the store on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter while you're there and show it to the staff, you'll receive a surprise book! They'll also be doing a "Draw For Discounts," which was popular on Independent Bookstore Day. For treats, be sure to grab a "Poisoned Caramel Apple" speciality drink, or add some Irish cream or whiskey to your coffee so you can kick back and relax while you shop!



Bookie's will be serving up coffee from Hardboiled Coffee Company while you shop, so you can keep your energy up! If you purchase a gift card on Saturday, simply say "Books make great gifts!" and they'll add 10% onto the gift card you buy. (The deal is only for cards activated Saturday, November 24, 2018.) And if you say, "I am the Half-blood Prince!" used books will magically become buy one, get one (of equal or lesser value) free! Whether or not you say these things, it will be an extra 20% off any new or used book with a bar code dated 2017 or earlier, so it is a good time to stock up!

Volumes Bookcafe

Wicker Park

Volumes will have a fun day full of prizes, beer, local authors, and live music as part of ChillFest. For deals, they're offering a free book for every purchase over $100, plus 20% off all Hardcovers. From 2-4PM, Maplewood Brewery & Distillery will be there, which will be a great pairing for books and live music.

Open Books West Loop

West Loop

Visit Open Books West Loop for 50% off used books and 25% new books! I always walk about with a big stack of books from this shop.

Pilsen Community Books


They'll be serving up coffee and donuts during the day, followed by wine and cookies at night! Another great place to stock up on used books.


The Book Stall


The Book Stall will be offering activities for kids and raffles for adults, plus staff-baked treats from their favorite cookbooks! Local children’s author Carolyn Crimi will do a special Saturday Storytime at 10:30 AM, and you can get a free personalized bookmark between 11am and 1pm. All day they'll be offering a reduced shipping charge of $5 per shipping address, if you need to send any presents to friends and loved ones further away!

Lake Forest Bookstore

Lake Forest

Shoppers will get a Free Advanced Reader book or tote with their purchase. If you spend $100 or more, you'll get a raffle coupon. Refreshments will also be available.

Stop by one of these stores or your local store on Saturday and let them know how much you love having them as part of the community!

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