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Independent Bookstores, Part IX

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The Suq – Museum Store, also known as the Oriental Institute Lobby & Museum Shop, sells books on the ancient Near East and Middle East: history, language, religion, crafts, art, and architecture. They specialize in books on ancient Egypt and Egyptology.
It is located in Hyde Park. The address is 1155 East 58th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60637. The phone number (773) 702-9509.

The University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute is an interdisciplinary research center that combines research in archeology, history, and art history. It has three large-scale lexicographic projects: the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary (C.A.D.), the Chicago Demotic Dictionary, and the Chicago Hittite Dictionary (C.H.D.). Another important project that involves the close study of ancient texts is the Epigraphic Survey, which is focused on recording key monuments in ancient Thebes/Luxor in Egypt.

The Oriental Institute has sponsored archeological expeditions in virtually every country in the Near East and Mid East. It currently has, or very recently had, surveys underway in Egypt, Sudan, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. The Oriental Institute Museum has exhibits on ancient Egypt, Nubia, Assyrian kingdoms, Megiddo in modern Israel, Mesopotamian civilizations, and Persian kingdoms and empires.

Uncharted Books in Logan Square on the North Side of Chicago is located across the street from the Logan Square stop on the C.T.A.’s Blue Line. It is one block northwest of Logan Square Park and a few doors southeast of The Logan Theatre at 2646 North Milwaukee.

The shop opened on January 13, 2012. It was named Chicago’s Best New Bookstore by the Chicago Reader.

Owner Tanner McSwain raised at least $10,000 through a Kickstarter campaign before he opened Uncharted Books, as Jerome Ludwig alluded to in his Chicago Reader profile of the shop. This is the first crowd-funded bookstore of which I know.

McSwain wrote, “We're an independent used bookstore specializing in literature, vintage classics, queer and gender studies, and local interests. We host open salons for writers, storytellers, artists, and students. We encourage browsing, loitering, chit-chatting, socializing, drinking, eating, writing, working, hanging out, and staying in. We want to be your bookstore – Logan Square’s, the north side’s, and Chicago’s.”

We're leasing a 1300 square foot space on Milwaukee Avenue near an independent movie theater, coffee shops, cafes, and vintage stores. The space itself will be modeled after London's Sir John Soane's House – a cozy, Old World European-style salon that the Guardian calls ‘A crazy labyrinth of art, architecture and history.’

The storefront is intended not only to be a bookstore but a haven for writers and artists, providing a comfortable lounge (with Wi-Fi and plentiful outlets) and hosting regular community events to encourage reading, writing, and sharing. If you want to hone your skills, get back in the habit of writing, or simply enjoy stories that can be found nowhere else, Uncharted will be your new favorite getaway.

We will also be working with local charities and literacy projects. We donate our overstock to Open Books, and we are working with the Logan Square's Alderman and Chamber of Commerce to participate in as many local events, organizations, and charities as we can get our grubby little hands on.

The store only purchases books Thursdays and Fridays from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The book-buying policy is listed online here.

The address of Uncharted Books is 2630 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60647. The phone number is (980) 622-7639. The address the A.B.A. lists on Talman Avenue is not for the store.

There are three ABA Bookseller Members listed in Chicago that are either not bookstores at all, or listings of business addresses of online stores. Bookbundlz is not a bookstore in any sense.

It is a Web site established by Chicago resident Barbie Larimore that for a one-time fee (currently $19.95) allows bibliophiles to establish separate Web pages to (1) keep track of the books they have read, (2) share opinions of books, and (3) blog about topics of their choice. Book clubs can establish pages for a one-time fee (currently $34.99) that allow members to communicate with each other and create individual profile pages.

Authors can use Bookbundlz to communicate with readers by posting reading guides for free. By paying various fees, they can have Bookbundlz promote their books on social media.

For $25, Bookbundlz will tweet about a book once. For $35, an author or authoress can have Bookbunlz post on his or her Facebook page and pin him or her on Pinterest.

An author or authoress can enhance the Bookbundlz page for one of his or her books by adding excerpts, interviews, etc. for $60. For $250, an author or authoress can have a book featured for a month on the Bookbundlz Homepage, Book Club page, Best Seller page, and in the NewzBundlz monthly e-newsletter. Authors and authoresses can also purchase ad space for between $150 and $1,500.

BookBundlz also supports literacy campaigns. The BookBundlz Team is raising $45,000 to build a school in Haiti. I think this Web site has not been updated in a while because the April Book Spotlight is up on the Discussion Question Books page.

Da Book Joint is an internet-based bookstore. Owner Verlean Singletary writes, “Da Book Joint was built on a dream and a need for an African-American owned and operated, African-American author based bookstore on the Southeast side of Chicago. The owner, Verlean Singletary is an avid reader with five years of operating a bookstore and fifteen years of accounting/tax experience. She is also a participant of various bookclubs -- always keeping abreast of new and upcoming books and authors. Da Book Joint encourages you to come out and support an establishment that is dedicated to the African-American family.”

Lazy Day Books is an online store (or “eBookstore” as owner Kimberly writes). Lazy Day Books Blog is a book review Web site.

[1] Megiddo was a city-state known to all the great powers of ancient times. It is better known to Christians by its Greek name of Armageddon. St. John of Patmos predicted in Revelations that the armies of good and evil would meet on the field outside Armageddon to do battle.

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