We Can Haz Real Indie Bookshop (Updated)

092708_1541_3 The new indie bookshop (which Gavin alerted us to the impending existence of back in February) has been open since July and it’s a testament to the extreme kind of summer and fall we’ve been having that we shamefully only made it by yesterday. Of course, if we’d realized before that it’s literally right across from the co-op… but regrets are for others.*

Anyway, yay for The Morris Book Shop**; we finally have a much-needed great, small indie to shop at. (Technically, the local behemoth Joseph-Beth is an independent bookstore, but it has operated increasingly like a Borders and there are about five now, so it doesn’t feel so local or indie anymore. Not that we have the hate for it, because we don’t, but it’s nice to have an alternative.) The selection was fabulous–top notch YA and SF sections (see camera photo I snapped in the kids/middle grade section’s cool little nook), and just a good range of books in general–and the space is lovely (it’s a former dress shop, but you’d never know it). We chatted with the owners, who were just exactly the kind of book people you want running your local book shop. We will be taking all of you there when you come visit–or better yet, schedule events there and come visit.

We bought: I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone (me), The Good Thief (me), Finding Atlantis: A True Story of Genius, Madness, and an Extraordinary Quest for a Lost World (C, and it’s by a local guy), and The Haunted Lands, Book One: Unclean (C).

Long may it rein.

*Although I do regret missing the opening party, which featured a performance by Apples in Stereo leader Robert Schneider.

**Searching to see if the shop had a site, I found this tremendously charming commemorative booklet that was put together in 1912, on the occasion of The Morris Book Shop in Chicago’s 25th anniversary. It was like falling down a wormhole into a little-known pocket of literary history. Frank Morris, the proprietor, seems to have been universally loved, and apparently his shop, over several locations, was a nexus for a certain bohemian literati set (including Eugene Field). The writing in the commemorative book is thoroughly entertaining–equal parts ribbing of Morris and funny passion for books. Here’s a section by Wilbur D. Nesbit near the beginning that I particularly liked:

When a person goes to buy a book he isn’t in the mood he is in when he has to match silk or wants a package of breakfast food. He doesn’t want a salesman dogging his heels and telling him that here is something that is very choice this spring or here is something that is a great favorite with the best people. What he wants is to go a-booking. There is a fellowship with books which cannot be had with anything else that one purchases.

This is the third gem I’ve discovered via Google Books in the last week. All hail.

Updated: Ah ha — Wily proprietor Wyn Morris notifies me that The Morris Book Shop does indeed have a Web site now, and it’s filled with great pics. Isn’t it pretty?

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