Providing Local Color
Legendary location in Evanston
Welcome to Bookends and Beginnings

Located in the heart of downtown Evanston, Illinois, Bookends & Beginnings opened in June 2014 in the space formerly occupied by legendary antiquarian store Bookman’s Alley. We offer new, used, and bargain books; unique, irresistible gift items; literary events; and lots of local color. READ MORE


This is one of the most astonishing works of fiction I've ever read-- an original, unique, possibly perfect novel. It's in the form of an extended conversation mostly among dead (or mostly-dead) people that is simultaneously sad, very funny, profoundly moving, and overflowing with insight into what it means to lose life and lose loved ones. 



04/25/2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

At noon on the 4th Tuesday of every month, a group of unabashed amateurs and non-specifically curious convene at Bookends & Beginnings to compare thoughts on a title in Oxford University Press's "Very Short Introduction" series. There are rules governing what we select for these conversations: 1.) a title under consideration may not be in anyone's area of expertise; and 2.) the title may have nothing to do with the last four titles read.

04/28/2017 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

The RHINO poets convene again at Bookends & Beginnings for their monthly gathering. Look for details on the RHINO website. We will also post them on our Facebook page.


From April 29 to May 11, 2017, Evanston comes alive with readings, live lit, and workshops. Featured speakers this year include Scott Turow, Angela Jackson, Alex Kotlowitz, Christine Sneed, Patricia Smith, Robin Ellis, Kevin Coval, Renee Rosen, Juan Martinez, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Aleksandar Hemon, Donna Seaman, Parneshia Jones, John Keene, Cathy Park Hong, Mary Barr, and many more. Check back soon for the complete schedule!


Independent Bookstore Day

If you aren't familiar with it, Independent Bookstore Day is a big national celebration--a chance for every indie store's very-much-valued customers to celebrate that their local store makes bookselling a smart and personal experience, not one made of algorithms and data-collection.

Plans for IBD include a special storytime: kids who attend will get a free copy of Curious George Goes to a Bookstore, and special guest author Patricia J. Murphy will read her newest book Mama, LOOK!  Later in the day we'll host a very festive book launch for Street Food: Everything You Need to Know about Open-Air Stands, Carts, and Food Trucks Across the Globe, which includes a talk by the authors and food trucks outside the store. We'll also have some of that cool, one-of-a-kind literary stuff that's only available in indie stores on that one day.

Diversity Project

We are partnering with local nonprofit Evanston Cradle to Career on their Diverse Book Drive, intended to ensure that all Evanston children and youth have access to books this summer that excite them about reading and speak to who they are. From April 10 through June 5, Bookends & Beginnings will prominently feature a broad selection of culturally diverse children's books for ages Pre-K through Grade 7. We invite you to purchase these books for donation to the drive, either from our in-store display or from the Diversity Project Page. Our goal is to provide 500 books by the time school lets out on June 5!

You can find more information and the books available here!