New bookstore to replace Bookman’s Alley


Tanner Maxwell/Daily Senior Staffer

A new bookstore will replace Bookman’s Alley in the storefront at 1712 Sherman Ave. in June. Bookends & Beginnings owner Nina Barrett said the new store will cater to the “diverse” Evanston community.

Paige Leskin, Assistant City Editor

Another bookstore will fill the space left by Bookman’s Alley, the new store announced Monday.

Bookends & Beginnings, which is scheduled to open at 1712 Sherman Ave. in early June, is an independent bookstore whose goal is to “create a vibrant cultural destination and hub of book-centered community for both adults and children,” owner Nina Barrett said in a news release.

“Evanston has always supported an array of wonderful used, antiquarian and specialty bookshops,” Barrett said. “But we think the time is right for a more substantial-sized, knowledgeably curated, general-interest store.”

Barrett said she plans to sell both new and used books that will appeal to the “diverse” Evanston community. Barrett, whose own writing has been published in national publications including the The New York Times Magazine and Publishers Weekly, will run the store with her husband Jeffrey Garrett, a retired academic research librarian.

Bookman’s Alley occupied the storefront, in an alley off of Sherman Avenue, for more than 30 years. Brought to Evanston in 1980 by Roger Carlson, the store became well-known for its used books and antiquated atmosphere. The store was even mentioned in “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” a 2003 bestseller written by Audrey Niffenegger, who grew up in Evanston.

(Video: Bookman’s Alley)

Barrett said that despite the decrease of independent bookstores in the past 20 years, she believes the businesses are making a comeback and that Bookends & Beginnings will thrive.

“We’re confident that if any community can support that kind of a business in the face of today’s challenges, Evanston can,” she said.

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Twitter: @paigeleskin