By Amanda Hanna Crains Magazine August 1, 2016
Bookworks in Wrigleyville is closing its brick-and-mortar store after 32 years to focus on online selling. The independent shop at 3444 N. Clark St.—known for buying and selling used and rare books, records, CDs and postcards—will close October 15.
Co-owners Bob Roschke and Ronda Pilon cited a recent rent spike, an altered neighborhood and the Internet marketplace as some of the primary obstacles they’ve faced in making the decision for their store and part-time staff of four.
“When we opened, Wrigleyville was on the tail end of being a neighborhood of Japanese immigrants,” Roschke said. “There were Japanese food stores, Japanese restaurants and a couple of Japanese bars, so it was much more of a neighborhood feeling. As years went on . . . the bar scene increased dramatically. For a number of years now it seems like every space that has gone for rent has eventually become a bar. It really has changed the atmosphere and focus of the neighborhood,” Roschke said.
While their online presence has been active since the mid ’90s, Bookworks recently updated its website and plans to double (or more) the thousands of items it already offers online.
In preparation to close the store, Bookworks hopes to sell thousands of items before October. As an incentive, all stock is 25 percent off, and starting Aug. 15 the discount goes to 50 percent. Included is all in-store merchandise, including popular paperbacks, rare first editions, music and postcards.