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


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Nina and Jeff were recently interviewed by students from Medill and they have produced a wonderful video about Bookends & Beginnings.
From the description:
"Bookends & Beginnings is the independent bookstore Nina Barrett has dreamed of opening since she moved to Evanston in the late 1980s. Finally, in June of 2014 her dream came true when she took over the legendary antiquarian bookstore Bookman's Alley. Come and learn about the place that loyal customers love to call the speakeasy for books.​"


Nina says:  Dear Committee Members is a must-read for anyone associated with a university! Brilliant, hilarious, poignant, compulsively readable--chock-full of feuding administrative types, endangered humanists, desperate authors, and other campus characters!


Nina says: Its publisher bills it as the cure for the “cooking fatigue” that sets in after years of making the same Passover dishes over and over, or struggling within the restrictions of the holiday to come up with some new ideas. We were crazy about the Seder Plate Salad that presents itself as a sort of Salade Nicoise, and the Roasted Eggplant with Bell Pepper Vinaigrette. Bonus: most of the desserts are naturally gluten-free, like the Cheesecake with Roasted Cashew and Chocolate Crust!!!


Urban Diversion, by Oak Oak. Omaké Books (France). Trilingual French/Japanese/English. $27.50.

Jeff says: Oak Oak is a street artist from St. Etienne in France whose medium is the wasteland of modern cities—not the glamorous downtowns, but the monotonous, crumbling banlieues. Here he finds the potential for humor, for humanity, for art. Like Banksy, if caught he would surely be arrested for “defacing” public spaces, but in fact it’s the opposite: he puts a human face on them. Urban Diversion was suggested to us by a customer, Carolyn Phelan, but alas, there were no copies of this book obtainable in the United States. So we scavanged a few copies from a bookstore in Germany and are making them available in our store. A children’s book? Absolutely!