[Chicago] Good Tech Bookstores in Chicagoland?

Martin Maney maney at two14.net
Tue Jan 8 20:18:36 CET 2008

On Mon, Jan 07, 2008 at 05:49:57PM -0600, Michael Tobis wrote:
> There's nothing in Chicago like Dallas's Nerdbooks, as far as I know.
> I think there used to be one around Naperville called Bits N Bytes,
> but I never managed to get there. That may be ancient history.

Yeah, it's long gone, and much missed.  There may still be an online
ghostly remnant, but it was, of course, browsing the actual books inthe
actual store that made it so wonderful.

At this time the best, or at any rate certainly the largest technical
book selection I know of in the area is at Microcenter, of all places. 
Aisles and aisles of books there... non-computer science, too.

> I love sci/tech sections in bookstores and know many of the ones in
> Chicago. Tech quality seems to come and go. Four years ago I thought
> the U of C bookstore was one of the best in the world. It is now
> remarkably mundane. The best selection I know of  (or as of about a
> year ago) is or was the downtown DePaul campus's Barnes & Noble,
> followed by the Borders at Oak Brook.

Yuck.  I was lucky enough to be introduced to Borders back when you had
to drive to Michigan to visit one.  This was before they started
appearing everywhere, and the hiring process was mainly concerned with
finding people who liked books and knew a lot about at least some types
of them.  My benchmark is being asked "can I help you?", explaining
that I was looking for a copy of the Smalltalk-80 book, and having the
guy (1) know which one I meant, (2) that they had had a copy, and (3)
after checking the shelves offering to order the copy they should have
had but didn't; would you like us to call you when it gets here?  I
haven't been to the Oak Brook Borders in some years becuase it was
getting too too sad watching what had been quite a good computer
section slowly dwindle (I remember being a little bemused to find not
one but several copies of Lion's Commentary there back when it had been
blessed for publication.  Probably that store's all time high point

Nowadays I mostly shop at Bookpool, which leaves a bit to be wished for
in the browsing, but what else can you do when the local stores don't
carry squat anymore, and most of that being along the lines of Office
for Congenital Morons?

There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem,
the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and
generosity. -- Nathaniel Branden

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