Best Bookstore, Reader's Choice: Seminary Co-Op
57th Street Books and Seminary Co-op Bookstore
A cozy, low-ceilinged warren of subterranean brick-walled rooms, 57th Street offers probably the most ecumenical selection of any independent bookstore in the city. Literary best sellers, mysteries, cookbooks, social science tomes, children’s books, and African-American history are all given equal weight—and there’s a fantastic selection of periodicals and frequent author appearances to boot. Factor in the sibling Seminary Co-op Bookstore, a labyrinthine maze of classics, contemporary literature, and more than 100,000 scholarly books three blocks away in the basement of the Chicago Theological Seminary, and it’s no wonder no one in Hyde Park ever leaves Hyde Park. Become a member for $30 (that’s three shares at $10 a pop) and you’ll get 10 percent off purchases at both stores (as well as at the co-op’s Newberry Library outpost), with deeper discounts during the biannual members-only sale. 1301 E. 57th, 773-684-1300 (57th Street), and 5757 S. University, 773-752-4381 (Co-op), semcoop.com. —Martha Bayne
The Book Cellar
4736-38 N. Lincoln, 773-293-2665, bookcellarinc.com.
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