Reason we live in Chicago #6—Hidden gems

Honest truth: I used to think that Seasonal Affective Disorder—or SAD—was sort of a BS disorder.

This year, I’m a believer.

I’ve been inexplicably glum (or melancholy, as Lisa would want me to say), grumpy and withdrawn for weeks. Everything is fine, but the constant gray has pervaded my mood.

However, I did find a brief diversion last week. I knew a used bookstore called Open Books was close to my office, but I didn’t realize how close it was until I stumbled upon it during my lunch break. It’s a nonprofit organization that supports literacy efforts and sells some really great used books. It’s a super cute shop to boot. My spirits were immediately lifted upon discovery.

I've passed this banner a million times without notice.

If this title doesn't lure you inside, I don't know what will: How to Sell Yourself: Tested Roads to Business Achievements and Social Popularity

Colorful shelves, comfy seating and the smell of the trees of yore abound

You said it, orange wall.

My purchases

It’s funny how popping in this little gem of a bookstore transformed my whole day. Something about bookstores make me happy, as if I’m experiencing an endangered species before it’s too late.  I also find being around so many expressions of creativity invigorating.

Open Books is inspiring for the work it does, and I was happy to make a meager contribution. The fact that I purchased three great books for the price of one book I just bought at Borders was icing on the cake.

Until spring comes, I’ll be using hidden gems like Open Books as a coping mechanism. The new Filter coffee shop on Milwaukee may just be the next one. Send any other recommendations you may have.

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