CHICAGO — Used books in new hands.
A pop-up bookstore was held in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood Sunday as ‘Open Books‘ readies for its next chapter, a third retail location set to open at 2068 N. Milwaukee.
Eric Johnson is the nonprofit’s executive director.
“Open Books was started a little over 15 years ago in the spirit of recapitalizing and repurposing used books,” Johnson said.
‘Open Books’ also has bookstores in Pilsen and the West Loop, with sales helping to fund their initiatives to promote literacy while increasing access to books in underserved areas.
“Our main mission is to transform lives through reading, writing and the power of books,” Johnson said. “The most fulfilling thing, not only being able to traffic in my love of books, is to be able to engage with the community and be able to bring that same feeling to others.”
As independent bookstores make a comeback nationwide, Johnson says the store has received great support from Logan Square residents, community leaders and small businesses.
Johnson says the nonprofit receives more than a million donated books every year.
“We have book donations, we can always use more because of the demand, not only for people to buy books but for us to be able to grant books through a number of different vehicles to children and families,” Johnson said. “I would love for us to work ourselves out of a business where everyone has books, but there’s still a lot of work to do and it’s an exciting way for people to help fuel that.
A GoFundMe for the bookstore has raised more than $14,000.