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Best Used Bookstores In Chicago

(Photo Credit: DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)

There's a bit of romance when it comes to picking up a previously-owned book. Perhaps you will find a few random notes in the margins, or discovering your book was once owned by a notable individual. Whatever the case may be, picking up a new-to-you book from a used bookstore is a great way to get a hard-to-find title — and maybe save a little money along the way. And with Drop Everything and Read Day on April 12, what is a better way to celebrate reading than by picking up a secondhand book by a beloved author? Check out this list of bookstores in Chicago with used and rare books for sale so you can expand your personal library or find a rare edition of a favorite published work.

Chicago Rare Book Center

703 Washington St.
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 328-2132

For bookworms on a quest to find a limited edition or other hard-to-find title, a visit to Chicago Rare Book Center in suburban Evanston is in order. You can peruse the shelves and find books on a number of topics, including arts and crafts, women's studies, all things Chicago, and even offers a selection of yearbooks. Recent items for sale have included a copy of The Grapes of Wrath and Plan of Chicago. Chicago Rare Book Center also offers a number of book-related events during the year, allowing readers to meet and learn about different topics.

Looking Glass
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The Looking Glass

823 S. Oak Park Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60304
(708) 434-5515

From children's books to cookbooks and fiction for adults, you'll likely find what you're looking for in The Looking Glass in suburban Oak Park. The shop offers a selection of rare and collectible books, so you can pick up both a new beach read and something special for your personal library. The Looking Glass offers several in-store events, including author discussions, and also hosts book clubs.

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Myopic Books

1564 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 862-4882

With about 80,000 titles for sale, there's a good chance you'll find the used book you want at Myopic Books. Located in Chicago's trendy Wicker Park neighborhood, the bookstore offers books on subjects that include children's literature, cooking, science fiction, and plenty more. Myopic Books is open late, so you can peruse the titles after work to your leisure. A music series is also planned at the bookstore on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. and include a wide assortment of musical genres and performers. Bookworms who are trying to pare down their personal libraries can contact Myopic Bookstore regarding its book-buying policy, too.

Powells Bookstores, Chicago
(Photo Credit: Powells Bookstores, Chicago's Facebook)

Powell's Bookstores, Chicago

1501 E. 57th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 955-7780

From textbooks to novels, Powell's Bookstores, Chicago offer a selection of books that are used or rare. With one location near the University of Chicago (1501 E 57th St., Chicago) and a second location near the University of Illinois at Chicago (1218 S. Halsted St., Chicago), you'll likely find a title you need for an upcoming course. There's more to Powell's than just books, though, as the stores regularly host local and nationally-known authors. Open mic nights, discussions and activism information are also on the schedule.

Selected Works
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Selected Works Used Books & Sheet Music

410 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 210
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 447-0068

If you work or live in Chicago's Loop, then consider stopping in and taking a look at Selected Works Used Books & Sheet Music for a book that has been previously owned. You can find novels, books on history, poetry and more. Musicians may want to take a look at Selected Works' selection of sheet music and musical scores to uncover rare or hard-to-find compositions, too. Selected Works is also near plenty of public transportation options, making it convenient to visit while sightseeing in Chicago.

Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in "-er." She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at

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