Who doesn’t love curling up with a good book? And now summer’s here you can do it outside, soaking up the rays. So to that end, where are the best bookstores and some book events in the South Loop? We’ve got all the answers so read on…
First off, let’s cover some of those bookstores (the puns keep coming!). Some great bookstores to get your lit on include Sandmeyer’s Bookstore at 714 S. Dearborn. From the moment you walk into Sandmeyer’s, you can tell the difference. The book shop has served Chicago’s South Loop since 1982, providing quality new books and unbeatable service. A true mom-and-pop shop, Sandmeyer’s has been family-owned and operated since the beginning.
You should also check out the Paragon Book Gallery. Loated at 1507 S. Michigan Ave, Paragon is the home to rare and used books focusing on Asia. Visit their website to see the staggering array of books they have! And no list about bookstores in South Loop would be complete without Bam! Books-A-Million at 144 S. Clark St. Founded in 1917 as a street corner newsstand in Florence, Alabama, Books-A-Million, Inc. has grown to become the premier book retailing chain in the Southeastern United States, and the second largest book retailer in the nation.
Now, what about the book events. Well, there are two huge ones coming up this month. The first is the 2017 Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy. It’ll be held in Ping Tom Memorial Park at 300 W. 19th St on Saturday June 24th from 8am-5pm. The Chinese dragon boat race dates back to over 2,000 years and is a popular sport among Chinese and Asian communities all over the world. Over 10,000 visitors are expected to attend this annual event.
Thirty dragon boat race teams will compete on the south branch of the Chicago River in beautifully decorated dragon boats, each consisting of up to 20 members: 18 paddlers, 1 drummer and 1 flag catcher. The 18 paddlers row to the beat of the drummer, while the flag catcher of each team pulls a flag positioned in the water at the finish line. The top two winning teams will compete for the championship. Races begin at 8 am. The Opening Ceremony begins at 9 am. There will also be children’s activities, vendor booths and entertainment programming throughout the day including Yin He Dance, exciting performances by the Hōkūleʻa Academy of Polynesian Arts, music and more!
If you want something a bit more bookish for your book event, then there’s must-see
33rd Annual Printer’s Row Lit-Fest on June 10-11. Founded in 1985 to attract visitors to the Printers Row neighborhood (once the city’s bookmaking hub), by 2002, it had grown to five city blocks (South Dearborn Street from Harrison to Polk, Harold Washington Library Center and Jones College Prep High School), attracting more than 100 booksellers from across the country displaying new, used and antiquarian books and featuring more than 200 authors participating in panels, discussions and a variety of other programs. Recently renamed the Printers Row Lit Fest, it is considered the largest free outdoor literary event in the Midwest-drawing more than 125,000 book lovers to the two-day showcase.