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Independent Bookstores in Illinois

NewPages.com guide to the best Illinois indie bookstores

Independent bookstores in Illinois are sorted by City as you scroll through. If your favorite indie bookstore is missing, please contact us.

20,000 new and used titles in all categories. We buy books!

  • Bobzbay
  • 419 N. Main St.
  • City: Bloomington
  • Phone: (309) 740-2012
  • Type: Primarily used with some new books
  • Specialty: General Interest
  • Sidelines: Gifts, Toys/Games
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Bobzbay is a used & new book and media store in downtown Bloomington, IL. We buy and sell all types of media – from collectible books to blu-rays and everything in between. We buy books, records, textbooks, collectibles and vintage toys.

We’re an independent bookstore that prides itself upon a selection varied and different from your typical bookstore. We’ve been in business in Chicago since 1963. We’re the newest entry into the business and are excited to enter and serve Burr Ridge and the surrounding communities.

Used books for sale to and from the Southern Illinois area (between the Ohio and the Mississippi). Online orders and curbside pickup. See website and/or email for more information.

Jane Addams Book Shop

Jane Addams Book Shop in downtown Champaign, Illinois is a locally owned, independent bookstore that has been in business since 1984. Carrying over 70,000 titles, we have a number of very well-stocked sections that span fifteen separate rooms on three floors.

The Literary is a bookstore & bar serving up the finest wine, beer, and reads on planet earth. We’re all about community, connection, and getting together around things that light us up.

57th Street Books is a neighborhood bookstore located at 57th and Kimbark in Chicago’s Hyde Park. We carry an impressive selection of literature: mysteries, cookbooks, travel books, children’s books, magazines and newspapers, and a broad selection of nonfiction titles.

Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Inc.

Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, since 1938, specialists in rare and antiquarian titles covering Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Civil War, all U.S. Presidents, other Americana, and notable individuals.

After-words is one of the few independent bookstores left in downtown Chicago. Our two floors house a huge collection of over 70,000 new and used volumes.

We specialize in common, uncommon & hard-to-find used books.

Chicago’s neighborhood bookstore. Find us in NWM Hospital, Macy’s on State and in Glenview and Burr Ridge.

We sell first editions of modern literature, jazz and blues, labor history, African American studies, surrealism, and illustrated books by appointment.

The Book Cellar

Bringing books and wine together in what can only be described as a beautiful marriage. Hosting signings, storytimes, and more.

  • Bookie's
  • 10324 S. Western Ave.
  • City: Chicago
  • Phone: (773) 239-1110
  • Type: Primarily new with some used books
  • Specialty: General Interest
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Bookie’s has been selling books on the South Side since 1989, it is a treasure trove of books from out-of-print titles to the newest bestsellers. Stop in today!

On May 16, 1978, Joe Angelastri opened up the corner newsstand that would become the largest magazine store in Chicago, and one of the largest news newsstands in the country, City Newsstand. Twenty-five years later it has grown into the two largest newsstands in Chicagoland and it’s still growing!

Curbside Splendor Books & Records

Curbside Books & Records is a small book and record store located next to Revival Bar | Café. Curated by the staff of award-winning independent press Curbside Splendor Publishing (“Best Chicago Independent Publisher 2014,” Chicago magazine), Curbside Books & Records features a rotating selection of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry from small presses, as well as records and cassettes from independent labels.

Exile in Bookville

Indie bookstore located in the Fine Arts Building on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue.

  • Frontline Books
  • 5206 S Harper Ave
  • City: Chicago
  • Phone: (773) 288-7718
  • Type: New books, Black-owned
  • Specialty: Children's, African American
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We feature our own collection of publications as well as countless titles on all subjects including natural health, spirituality, history, metaphysics, black empowerment, hair care, and children’s books.

  • Heirloom Books
  • 6239 N. Clark St.
  • City: Chicago
  • Phone: (239) 595-7426
  • Type: Used books
  • Specialty: General Interest
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A used bookstore should cherish the growth of book-reading, one page at a time. Chicago book stores are heirlooms to our city, thus our name.

Kibbitznest Books, Brews & Blarney

Our new bookbar features various seating options to play games, attend events, relax, unplug and chat with fellow visitors and enjoy a menu of cheeses, Chicago-style hot dogs and ice cream, along with beer, wine and slow-brewed coffee. Guests are encouraged to browse our carefully curated selection of uncommon and interesting books, both new and used, in the liberal arts category, and to engage in face to face communication in this WIFI-FREE zone.

90+ years since first opening, The Occult Bookstore remains dedicated to the spiritual community. With our soon to be launched online store, we are at your disposal to provide you with all of your magickal needs.

Open Books Pilsen stocks a huge selection of books especially suitable for families and educators. The warehouse-style setup also features books starting at $1 and special sales events tied to neighborhood celebrations like 2nd Fridays and the Pilsen Flea Market.

Open Books provides literacy experiences for tens of thousands of readers through inspiring programs and creative capitalization of books.

Pilsen Community Books

Powell’s Books Chicago has been recycling ideas to the world for over 40 years. Our independent retail store in Hyde Park has well over a quarter million quality used, rare, and discounted books. We primarily specialize in academic and scholarly books, but also have extensive general interest sections.


Purveyor of independently-published and small press zines, comics, books, and other bizarre periodicals.

Roscoe Books

We are your friendly neighborhood bookstore located in Chicago’s Roscoe Village. Stop in and see us!

Sandmeyer’s Bookstore: Independent and family-owned in the South Loop since 1982. Stop in today; you’re always going to find something good at Sandmeyer’s!

Semicolon Bookstore
  • Semicolon Bookstore
  • 515 North Halsted St.
  • City: Chicago
  • Phone: (312) 877-5170
  • Type: Primarily new with some used books, Black-owned
  • Specialty: General Interest, Art
  • Sidelines: Artwork, Curiosities, Toys/Games
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Independent bookseller that focuses on the connection between art and literature!

We are a fiercely independent bookstore in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, regularly hosting literary events.

Uncharted is a used bookstore and artists’ haven in Chicago’s Logan Square.

Volumes Bookcafe

We are Chicago’s new independent bookstore. Proudly brewing Metropolis coffee and serving Dollop baked goods. Local beer and select wine on rotating menu! Join us for events.

Volumes Bookstore
Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co

Decode your creativity. Unlock your imagination. All sales support 826CHI’s free writing programs. We regularly host a variety of events.

We are one of the largest feminist bookstores in the country, stocking more than 30,000 books by and about women, with children’s books for all ages, and hosting events.

We are a local bookstore in Downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois.

  • Frugal Muse
  • 7511 Lemont Rd.
  • City: Darien
  • Phone: (630) 427-1140
  • Type: Primarily used with some new books
  • Specialty: General Interest
  • Sidelines: Gifts, Toys/Games
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Frugal Muse Books, Music & Video is an independently owned and operated bookstore serving Chicago’s western suburbs. We sell both used and new media.

Novel Ideas Books & Gifts
  • Novel Ideas Books & Gifts
  • 480 E. Main St.
  • City: Decatur
  • Phone: (217) 429-1995
  • Type: Primarily used with some new books
  • Specialty: General Interest, Children's, Metaphysical/New Age
  • Sidelines: Gifts, Greeting Cards/Postcards, Toys/Games
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Novel Ideas Books and Gifts has been serving our community since 1995. What can we help you find today? New books – check. Used books – yup. Puzzles – oh yeah! Toys for all ages – come and play! Sports fan? Packers, Cubs, Cardinals, Illini. Spiritual journey? new age and religion to guide. Journals – absolutely!

We are an independent bookstore; a place where you can enjoy a cup of tea/coffee, and discover your next favorite read!

Books on First
  • Books on First
  • 202 W. 1st St.
  • City: Dixon
  • Phone: (815) 285-2665
  • Type: Primarily new with some used books
  • Specialty: General Interest, Children's, Regional
  • Sidelines: Café/Food, Coffee/Tea, Gifts, Greeting Cards/Postcards, Toys/Games
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Located 100 miles west of Chicago off US I-88 and 40 miles shy of the Mississippi River in downtown Dixon, IL—Ronald Reagan’s boyhood hometown—we are an Indiebound bookseller with books for readers of all ages and interests, specializing in local history, prairie, and children’s learning. We also have Melissa & Doug toys, locally made soaps & candles, greeting cards, and more! Special orders welcome. We offer coffee, espresso drinks, other hot & cold beverages, and sweet treats for sale, plus conversation no money can buy. We hope you come visit us soon!

Afterwords Books
  • Afterwords Books
  • 441 E. Vandalia St.
  • City: Edwardsville
  • Phone: (618) 655-0355
  • Type: Primarily used with some new books
  • Specialty: General Interest
  • Sidelines: Gifts, Toys/Games
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Afterwords Books is a family owned and operated bookstore, proud to call Edwardsville home. We offer our customers both new and used books, a trade for credit program, free children’s story times, book clubs for all ages, a monthly documentary club, educational toys, unique gifts crafted from local artisans, and impeccable customer service, all in a relaxing, inviting environment. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Children’s bookstore in Evanston, IL.

Bookends & Beginnings
  • Bookends & Beginnings
  • 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley 1
  • City: Evanston
  • Phone: (224) 999-7722
  • Type: Primarily new with some used books
  • Specialty: General Interest, Children's, Literary, Regional
  • Sidelines: Curiosities, Gifts, Greeting Cards/Postcards
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Bookends & Beginnings is located in the heart of downtown Evanston, right of Sherman Avenue. We offer an eclectic mix of new, used, and remaindered books, additionally an attractive (and affordable) line of jewelry from Germany, blank notebooks (also from Germany), book boxes, handmade pens and writing paraphernalia, and other gift items. Customer orders for books not in stock are fulfilled within 2-5 days.

Warm, comfortable setting with very knowledgeable staff to help you. Independent bookstore—specializing in history, mystery, biography and related subjects, for adults & children—which hosts three discussion groups (history, mystery, & G.K. Chesterton), as well as regular Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America meetings, and author events. Free gift wrapping, on street parking, access from two commuter train lines & three bus lines. Accessible.

Old Book Barn
  • Old Book Barn
  • 126 S. Rte 51
  • City: Forsyth
  • Phone: (217) 875-0222
  • Type: Primarily used with some new books
  • Specialty: General Interest
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The Old Book Barn is a fantastic destination for those who love books! The store is a book browser’s paradise. Books are organized by genre (romance, mystery, general fiction, etc.) and the store is simply HUGE. Prices are very reasonable, and there are many book “treasures” waiting to be found. While the majority of books offered are used, there are some new books available, and inquiries about books that can be ordered are welcome. Hope to see you soon!

A Peace of the Past carries 30,000+ volumes serving the casual reader and serious collector surrounded by vintage and antique treasures. Located on Main Street in historic Galena, Illinois since 1991. New inventory arrives daily.

  • Inner Wisdom
  • 44 N. Seminary St.
  • City: Galesburg
  • Phone: (309) 343-8806
  • Type: New books
  • Specialty: Metaphysical/New Age
  • Sidelines: Curiosities, Gifts
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Inner Wisdom is a book and gift store offering massage therapy, reflexology, Reiki, psychic readings, and workshops to promote health and well being.

New books, magazines, and literary gifts in Galesburg, IL.

Harvey’s Tales invites the community to come together to learn, explore, escape, and relax through books and other diversions in Geneva, IL.

The Bookstore of Glen Ellyn

Your proudly independent bookstore, located in historic Downtown Glen Ellyn. In addition to providing books to the community, we also host regular events, including author signings, storytimes, and more.

At Our Town Books you will find a variety of new and good-quality used books including contemporary fiction, children’s books, Civil War history, and books with a local flavor.

Lake Forest Book Store

Lake Forest Book Store was opened in 1949 by a group of local women. Now located directly across from the Lake Forest train station, the store is right in the middle of historic Market Square.

  • Three Stories Books
  • 310 Canal St.
  • City: Lemont
  • Phone: (630) 914-5427
  • Type: New books
  • Specialty: Children's
  • Sidelines: Gifts, Toys/Games
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Three Stories is a bright and cheerful children’s book and gift shop nestled in historic downtown Lemont. We look forward to creating a whimsical space the whole family will love.

New Copperfield’s Book Service is a general interest, independent, retail bookstore with current bestsellers, new titles, local authors, and regional interest books. We carry a selection of recent children’s books. Special orders are welcome.

Afriware Books makes the best of our rich African heritage available as expressed through books, specialty products, and events. For over 15 years Afriware has served the community by providing a platform to showcase authors, artists, and activists who infuse us with a sense of cultural pride.

Hartfield Book Co.
  • Hartfield Book Co.
  • 110 W. Washington St.
  • City: Monticello
  • Phone: (217) 631-1900
  • Type: New books
  • Specialty: General Interest
  • Sidelines: Artwork, Curiosities, Gifts, Greeting Cards/Postcards, Toys/Games
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Hartfield Book Co. is located on the historic Courthouse Square in downtown Monticello, Illinois. We carry a diverse selection of new books for all ages and interests, as well as unique and bookish gift items. Just look for the yellow door!

Nokomis Bookstore & Gift Shop offers new & used books, along with a range of gift items including kitchen, home decor, baby and more. Toys and games are offered next door at Nokomis FunShop. Always accepting book donations & buying books.

Book Bin

Northbrook’s Community Bookstore

We’re an independent discount new and used bookstore in Downtown Oak Park.

Prairie Fox Books
  • Prairie Fox Books
  • 719 LaSalle St.
  • City: Ottawa
  • Phone: (815) 433-7323
  • Type: New books
  • Specialty: General Interest, Children's, LGBT, Mystery, Regional
  • Sidelines: Gifts, Greeting Cards/Postcards, Toys/Games
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Prairie Fox Books has been LaSalle County’s favorite independent bookstore since 2016. We have an old English library style, a welcoming and knowledgeable staff, and are community-driven. If we don’t have it, we will order it for you. We embrace local authors and artisans, we work closely with our local schools, and we have a surplus of unique events for all ages every year. Every customer is treated like family.

  • TAiLS of a Bookworm
  • 3265 Court St.
  • City: Pekin
  • Phone: (309) 353-7549
  • Type: Primarily used with some new books
  • Specialty: General Interest
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Bookworm Books is a used bookstore in Pekin, IL. We give store credit for used book in good condition and can order new books at a discounted price.

  • The Book Nook
  • 6944 N University
  • City: Peoria
  • Phone: (309) 693-3612
  • Type: Primarily used with some new books
  • Specialty: General Interest, Children's
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Largest bookstore in the area, we stock over 120,000 books. Find what you are looking for from children books to cookbooks. We buy and trade on books.

Book Rack Used Books

Your local indie bookstore of over 35 years that trades and sells used books. We currently have over 100,000 used books for your perusal and our inventory is growing daily.  We help support local charities such as the Dyslexia Awareness Network. In addition, we make and sell the best soy candles you will ever burn! We now have a full literary gift shop, and offer an online streaming children’s book video series, Bedtime Stories with Bookrack. There is nothing better than snuggling up in a warm blanket with a Grandma’s Kitchen candle on the end table, and reading a fabulous book that you paid a reasonable price for! Come see us; we can’t wait to meet you!

Lit. on Fire Used Books
  • Lit. on Fire Used Books
  • 712 W. Main St.
  • City: Peoria
  • Phone: (309) 634-5383
  • Type: Primarily used with some new books
  • Specialty: General Interest, Children's, LGBT, Literary, Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Sidelines: Greeting Cards/Postcards
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Reducing Environmental Impact | Reconnecting the Community | Reviving Bohemia

I Know You Like A Book is an independent bookstore in Peoria Heights, IL. The store features new books, used books, first editions, and a variety of gift items.

  • Codex Books
  • 532 Maine Street
  • City: Quincy
  • Phone: (217) 224-9762
  • Type: Primarily new with some used books
  • Specialty: General Interest
  • Sidelines: Gifts, Greeting Cards/Postcards, Magazines/Newspapers
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We’re your local book and toy store! Located in Quincy, Illinois, we carry all the newest bestsellers, old favorites, used books, magazines, stationery, greeting cards, candles and gifts! 

The Artsy Bookworm sells books, original art, toys, gifts, and yarn, and will soon begin holding events for members of the community. Our sources are Black and women-owned, organic and cruelty-free, fair-trade and environmentally responsible.

With over 15,000 titles in stock, we provide used and antique books to the community of Rockford, IL.

A brick and mortar bookstore located in Roselle. We deal in used books to read, collect, and enjoy for all ages. You will also find notecards, bookmarks, photography, art, and gift items in the store. Looking for something special? We will help you find it or would you like a customized notecard or bookmark then we will try to create it just for you!

  • Barbara's Bookstore
  • Woodfield Mall - 5 Woodfield Dr. Space D301
  • City: Schaumburg
  • Phone: (224) 520-8489
  • Type: New books
  • Specialty: General Interest, Children's, Feminist, LGBT, Literary
  • Sidelines: Curiosities, Gifts, Greeting Cards/Postcards, Magazines/Newspapers, Toys/Games
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Newly opened in May, our newest mall location strives to fulfill your literary needs and desires. We have all categories, with a lot of salebooks and events planned.

Books on the Square began operations in 1993. Today it consists of three buildings full of used and collectible materials.

We have a wide selection of LPs, CDs, books, and movies. We also offer bulk 33rpm & 45rpm sleeves & jackets as well as 45rpm adapters for your turntables!

Located in the heart of historic downtown Springfield, Prairie Archives has been serving Central Illinois since 1973. We have occupied three locations since our founding and we’ve been at our current store since 1992. We have approximately 250,000 books in stock, documents, manuscript material, posters, prints, comics, collectibles, magazines, political buttons, postcards, and lots more. If you don’t see a title you’re looking for, please feel free to inquire; only a small part of our stock is catalogued.

We are an independent bookstore for all ages with a friendly knowledgeable staff located in historic Century Corners in downtown St. Charles, Illinois.

Welcome to Loves Sweet Arrow, the romance-only bookstore in the Chicago Land Area.

Books on the Square began operations in 1993. Today it consists of three buildings full of used and collectible materials. The shop is open Monday through Saturday and by appointment evenings and Sunday.

The Sly Fox
  • The Sly Fox
  • 123 N Springfield St.
  • City: Virden
  • Phone: (217) 965-3641
  • Type: New books
  • Specialty: General Interest, Children's, Mystery, Regional
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The Sly Fox bookstore is an independent bookstore in Virden, IL, specializing in children’s books, mysteries, books about Illinois, and books for reading groups. We regularly special order books for customers. Friendly, helpful, personal service.

  • The Book Nook
  • 641 N. Cummings Ln.
  • City: Washington
  • Phone: (309) 508-7323
  • Type: Primarily used with some new books
  • Specialty: General Interest, Children's
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Our Washington location is approximately 2,000 square feet and stocks over 20,000 items. Together we process approximately 250-500 used books daily through our trade credit program. New items hit the shelves every day! We currently offer new books at highly discounted rates and our online marketplace has an inventory of approx 300 rare and unusual books. We stock CDs, DVDs, and audio books as well.

Drop by Prairie Path Books, opened in June 2014, for a cup of coffee and check out our great hand picked selection of books and gifts. 

An independent bookstore and an institution on Chicago’s North Shore.

Read Between the Lynes

Read Between is a unique community oriented general bookstore located on the historic Woodstock Square. We offer a curated collection of new books for readers of all ages.