Unabridged Responds to Borders’ Bankruptcy Filing

As of today America’s third largest mega-book retailer, Borders, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. They have marked all but one of Chicago’s stores for closure. While the loss of jobs to Chicago, and to the United States, is saddening, we feel this is a direct result of a book-retailer business model that just does not work.

We want to thank you, our loyal customers, patrons, and conversationalists for realizing there is an immense value in supporting a local independent bookstore.

Unabridged has been serving the community for 30 years and we are still going strong. We take great pride, and quite a lot of time, in running a business that is both successful and an important community resource. We are, in no uncertain terms, committed to the future of Lakeview, Chicago, and the printed word. Through our hand-selected new hardcovers, our amazing collection of children’s books, the value-priced remainders section, our always relevant LGBTQ room, our cutting edge fiction, the ever studious history, philosophy, and psychology sections, and so many more books to fill your shelves with knowledge, humor, drama, intelligence and wit, to stock what interests you.

We are always eager to hear ways that we can nuture the surrounding community. We encourage you to contact us via any matter of modern technology that you deem relevant.

Yours in book selling,

– Unabridged Bookstore

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How do you walk to school?

how to walk to schoolWe’ve had How to Walk to School for a little over a week, and it’s been great to see the responses from people who come and purchase the book. The rehabilitation of the school is a great symbol of pride for our neighborhood and we can definitely see it in all those who look at the book.

Don’t know about Nettelhorst, here’s a bit from the press release:

“When two gutsy moms ventured inside Nettelhorst, the neighborhood’s underutilized and struggling public elementary school, the new principal asked what it would take for them to enroll their children. Stunned by her candor, they returned the next day armed with an extensive wish list. The principal read their list and said “Well, let’s get started, girls! It’s going to be a busy year…”

How to Walk to School is the story—from the highs to the lows—of motivated neighborhood parents galvanizing and then organizing an entire community to take a leap of faith, transforming a challenged urban school into one of Chicago’s best, virtually overnight. Susan Kurland, Nettelhorst’s entrepreneurial new principal, and Jacqueline Edelberg, the neighborhood mom, prove that the fate of public education is not beyond our control. How to Walk to School provides an accessible and honest blueprint for reclaiming the great public schools our children deserve.

Also for every book purchased through Unabridged we are donating 20% of the procedes (that’s 50% of the profits) to Nettelhorst school to make sure they continue their example of excelence.

Stop by and pick up a copy today!

Sad Day for Architects (and the rest of us)

prarie ave. bookshop
prarie ave. bookshop

A rather depressing bit of news, but Prairie Avenue Bookshop here in Chicago is closing its doors on September first.

The United States (and Chicago) is hemorrhaging bookstores. We are not just losing a place to purchase books, we are losing places that define communities.

It’s a meeting place, of sorts, for Chicago’s notoriously competitive architectural community.

“You would run into other architects there — or hide from other architects,” Eifler said.

What’s really sad about the whole bit is that their problems are not unique.

“People would come to the bookshop with their notepad, make notes of what they wanted and then go buy it somewhere else,” Wilbert Hasbrouck said last week. He blamed the 10.25 percent sales tax for driving buyers to online booksellers like Amazon.com.

Unfortunately for them, gatherings of people don’t pay the bills and keep the new books coming in the store.

Of course what’s needed is a tax policy that realizes the Internet isn’t going anywhere and a county, looking at you Todd Stroger, that doesn’t have contempt for the businesses that operate within its borders (among many other things).

So, remember kids, support your indies.

Assouline books out of our ears

Newest addition to our ever evolving sale-book supply: ASSOULINE BOOKS. We received gobs yesterday.

Their small format gems cover everything from The Moulin Rouge to Dolce and Gabbana to Christoffe to Eames. How can you go wrong for $5.98?

Not famaliar with Assouline? Here’s a link to their website and a blurb!

Since 1994, Assouline Publishing has created fine illustrated books covering art, design, fashion, architecture, gastronomy, travel and lifestyle with one simple idea in mind – all that is beautiful in the world ought to be in an Assouline book.

Renowned for their highly original graphic concept, Assouline books are works of art that capture culture and bring it to life. The spirit and “savoir faire” of these works have contributed to the creation of a unique and eclectic, chic and elegant brand that is immediately identifiable.

Yeah, okay, it’s a little over the top, BUT, they’re great little books and, AND, you really can’t beat the price.

They’re displayed prominently in our art/photography/design section (wing), so come on in and take a look.

Pardon the dust … we need a HEPA filter.

You may, or not depending on how engrossed in your game of minesweaper on your iPhone you are, noticed some sections being moved around at Unabridged. It’s expansion! at the expense of others. History lost a unit. No more new age. But. We’ve got a lifetime of philosophy. Tear.

The gay section, we feel, is now more browsable than ever. Shorter shelving units have really opened up the room. No need to have mirrors and more track lighting!

Also of note: Penguin Classics are getting more room to breathe. They looked so unhappy stuffed into their little shelves barely able to flutter in the wind. And. Drama has more room. No more double-stacked Shakespeare. That’s what those covers look like…

There are a couple of other sections that have moved as a result of the changes, but they are minor and no one is worse for the wear. Except for our arms. Time for some icy-hot!

Come take a look at the shifts and tell us what you think. I’ll post some pictures as soon as I get a digital camera in my hands.

Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt can not catch a break

It has been a bad couple of weeks for newly created Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt

On May 11 it was learned that HMH had lost their Moody’s Credit Rating. Not so good if you need a loan/cash for various things. Like paying your bills. And your employees. Or those little Penguins you have come dance for you at the office. Little fishes cost money, people!

The OTHER bad news came at the beginning of this week when California filed an anti-trust complaint in federal court over the merger of Houghton-Mifflin and Harcourt. Seems like California doesn’t like when a one company controls 50% of the United States’ text book sales. But I mean, come on, where were they 10 years ago when the media industry started consolodating left and right? Random House and Penguin didn’t get that way overnight, or under cover of darkness when you fell asleep to steal your car keys and go joy-riding all over the city.

Best of luck, HMH. How else are we going to get our Philip Roth fix if you fail? Or … that 7th grade algebra book I’ve been reading for the past 12 years. I’ll get you one day, Pythagorean Theorem.

A tad bit of repetition

I know. I know. I mentioned the book before, BUT, it is now our Unabridged Featured Book of the Month Not to be Missed at All Cost Because What Else do You Have to Do other than Read a Book About A Complaint Letter to American Airlines. AKA: UFBMNMACBWEYHDRBACLAA

Don’t miss Dear American Airlines! 10% off! Here’s what Robert had to say …

“This is the longest, most prone to digression letter of complaint you’ll ever read. And also the funniest, and most surprisingly poignant. Bennie Ford, a boozy failed poet is in a spot familiar to many  of us: stuck at O’Hare, fuming, and his missive to the airline becomes a confession, a diversion, a story of a life. Read it! Robert recommends!”

Mostly new in paperback, $13.95 and 10% off; Mariner Books.