Community is great. Community that gives a voice to marginalized groups–while helping its members shop locally–is really, really great.
If you go
5233 N. Clark St., Chicago
Andersonville’s Women & Children First, a women-owned, LGBT+ embracing bookstore, holds the utterly refreshing notion that all voices are worthy of stocking on shelves. Their loyal patrons agree, and they’re considered one of the very best of the neighborhood bests for Edgewater, Rogers Park, and all points North Side. (Indeed, their motto of “shop as independently as you think” is easy to do in this local gem; diversity and inclusion have been the name of the game since they opened their doors in W&CF’s first location in 1979.)
As one of the largest feminist bookstores in the country, they also boast a gigantic children’s section, the ability to procure any title quicker than you can say “Oprah’s book club” and an absolutely delightful selection of note cards, candles and last-minute gift ideas.
Tiny tots in tow? They’ll love the Storytime every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., mostly geared for ages 2-5, but extremely welcoming of tale lovers of all ages. And if they flip for the stories–read by former store owner Linda Bubon–just wait until you tell them they can have a Storytime birthday party of their very own, featuring private or semi-private story readings and a party favor book for each avid attendee. (Smallish literati unite–and celebrate!)
As for the slightly older set, Women & Children First has a calendar full of happenings that’ll set your bookworm heart aflutter, too. Between a no-pressure, open membership series of book clubs, community events such as a feminist crafting circle, and poetry and book readings from authors big and small (Anne Lamott, anyone?), it’s easy to see that when you champion women and children, really, everybody wins.