Out of the Alley

Sad news in the bookstore world:

“Nothing seemed especially different about Bookman’s Alley. It still can be found in a low-slung brick building behind Sherman Avenue that, with “Harry Potter”-like surrealism, looks smaller than it is, stretching room to room to room long after that seemed possible. Carlson’s Nordic blues still twinkled, a white curtain of hair still hung from his head and a Southwestern-style blanket draped on the back of his chair. Indeed, Carlson appeared so cheerfully ensconced in his legendary bookstore, so hopelessly surrounded by its near geological layers of books and tote bags of books and boxes of books and odd miscellanea (top hats, scrimshaw, Abraham Lincoln bookends) that even an April closing seemed like wishful thinking.

Nevertheless, the store is closing.”

It’s understandable that the owner, Roger Carlson, would want to retire. But it’s a loss for the Evanston literary community. When Walt was living in Chicago, we’d go to Bookman’s Alley when I’d visit for the weekend and could get lost in there for a few hours. It’s a special place and I wish Carlson the best.

Hat tip to Walt for this one!

(image: Bookman’s Alley by Jesse Garrison)

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