We're OPEN! (Sort-of)

We hope that everyone has been having a healthy, safe, and productive quarantine. 

Based on the guidance from the governor’s office – and our own work to find new ways for our staff to travel more safely to and from the shop – we will now be returning to work at the bookstore.

Beginning on Monday, May 11th, we will be able to welcome you back as well, though in a limited way. We will be here for you to pick-up your book orders, to deliver or ship them to you, and we will also be available for appointment based remote browsing (details below).

Our hours will also be limited, as we will only be here from noon-8pm, Monday through Friday, to start.  But we will be adding to those hours as circumstances permit.

For the time being, our book buying from the general public will remain suspended.  This is for the protection of our staff.

Now, on to all of the great ways that we have devised for you to work with us:
  • Any book we have in stock can be ordered for pick up Monday-Friday between the hours of noon-8pm.  Just call us, and we can take your request and credit card details over the phone.  Or, you can pay in cash when you arrive, but we will be rounding to whole dollars in that situation so that no one has to handle coins.  We can also accept email requests, though we do not recommend sending card details via email.  You can still use your store credit to buy as well.  Just verify your credit amount with us via phone or email before you come in, so we can have your order ready to go when you arrive.
  • Please remember to wear your mask if you are picking up in-store.  No one will be admitted without a mask.
  • If you are not comfortable going outside, we will deliver any order over $20 to you for free – within the city of Chicago.  Please provide us with instructions for contactless delivery.  For orders under $20, we will charge a $5 delivery fee.  Outside of the city limits, we will have to ship it to you.  Shipping fees start at $5.
  • If you need our recommendations, please don’t hesitate to ask us to browse the store for you.  We can pull books and call you with options for whatever you are looking for.  We can also email you photos of volumes we have on our shelves if you want to see them before deciding.  This might be especially helpful with our second-hand volumes.
  • If we don’t have it in stock, we can order it for you.  Please bear in mind that some warehouses are still closed, and that what is available changes daily.
  • If you don’t want to wait for us to order it for you, you might consider visiting our store on Bookshop.org (https://bookshop.org/shop/after-wordsbookstore).   We will get a commission for anything you buy from their website (a bigger one if it is from one of our recommended lists).  It is a site dedicated to supporting authors, publishers, and independent booksellers.  So, unlike when you buy from other online retailers who shall remain nameless, you are fully funding the authors and publishers of the books that you buy.  Not to mention supporting us as well
  • As always, we list about 15,000 of our used volumes on Biblio.com (https://www.biblio.com/bookstore/after-words-bookstore-chicago) so you can shop our store there.  You can also browse our store there very specifically by topic.
  • Finally, for those who really miss browsing our stacks, we are experimenting with virtual browsing via Zoom.  We are figuring out the technology still, so the first few of you to take us up on this will be our guinea pigs.  To take advantage of this, you can book an appointment with one of our staff during our store hours to browse for 30 minutes.  We can show you the sections, let you read the backs of the books, and generally play host (we can provide suggestions or keep quiet – your choice).  We will be charging $10 for this service to anyone who does not make a purchase, $5 to anyone making a purchase under $20, and anyone who purchases over $20 worth of books will have the fee waived.

Sorry to be so long-winded.  These are strange days.  But we look forward to working with you again in this brave new world. 


Mandatory Shutdown

In order to comply with the governor’s order, after-words bookstore will be shutting its doors to the public until further notice.

For the health and safety of our staff, we are asking them to stay home as well.  We will be monitoring emails, so if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us   We will do our best to respond with-in 24 hours.
We intend to re-open – strong as ever – once the order has been lifted.  

On a personal note, I am looking at this as an opportunity to read as many books as I can.  And catch up on all of the household projects that I never seem to get around to.  This could be like an extended version of the snow days I always wished for when I was in grammar school.

I wish everyone good health and a happy quarantine.  We will see you on the other side.


after-words and COVID-19

We hope that you and your families are safe and healthy.  To this point, ours are.

In order to maintain our current status quo, we are making some changes that we thought you should know about.  Those changes are detailed below, but don’t be afraid to reach out via phone or email 
with any questions or concerns.

We wish you all the best as we all try to navigate this brave new world.  Hopefully, this will all be temporary.

First of all, The Polli-Nation art show that we had planned to host this weekend has been postponed.  We’ll let you know the new date when we re-schedule.

New Store Hours starting 3-20-20:

11am-7pm Monday through Saturday until further notice. We will be CLOSED on Sundays for the foreseeable future.

We are endeavoring to stay open for all your book needs. Browsing is maybe not the best idea.  Please call ahead and we are happy to pull books for you and have them ready at the counter.  We can also ship to you, free of charge within the city of Chicago. 
If you want to help us out during this difficult period, you can buy a gift certificate to use at a later date or, if you get bored in your quarantine, consider calling us to ship you a book.  We will mail it to you with our appreciation.

Book buys:
We will be limiting -- but not stopping – our book buying for store credit.
We just want to limit everyone’s exposure to non-porous surfaces.  You can pick up and drop off, but we won’t be doing large book buys (try to keep it under 20).  And we ask that you leave the books with us and let us contact you via email or phone with your new total for credit.

Birthday Coupons:
All March coupons will be good until the end of April.  If you are entitled to an April birthday coupon, we will not be mailing them out but we will honor it - just ask!

Outstanding Orders:
If you have a book currently on order, we will be contacting you individually next week to update the status of your order.  Obviously, some warehouses and publishers offices are closed.  More may follow suit.