Remember what it was like to walk into a small, cozy bookstore on a rainy or snowy afternoon? You can smell new books. It's like smelling curiosity. And yesterday, Chicago got a brand new independent bookstore, Roscoe Books, just in time for the rain and coming snow.
You walk in to the small space masterfully designed to feel like a large space. There is room to breathe as you browse. Taking in the titles you realize that whoever did the buying for this inventory was brilliant. What kind of books do they sell? Good ones! Sounds simple. But it's not.
I buy a copy of an old Raymond Carver book, one that had gotten lost through the years and really demands to be reread again and again. One that incidentally is NOT available in e-book format. I ask Erika, the smiling and welcoming owner if she knows about Willy Vluautin--a writer carrying on where Carver left off. She says no, and then does something rare. She writes down the author's name and promises to check into that.
Try finding someone who does that at a big box store or through the mail.
So with my Raymond Carver in hand, I say goodbye and walk out into the rain---thinking--this owner gets it. She gets what it takes to make Roscoe Books just sing. To make the little bookstore a neighborhood community center. She is a natural.
Check the place out. Chicago's newest independent bookstore isn't just another retailer. It's a celebration of the neighborhood bookstore. Once again alive and well and with promises of great things to come.
I'll see you there. You'll be glad you stopped by.