Before we get to the subject of Small Business Saturday, I just want to say thank you to all who’ve written or come into the store to tell us how you’re feeling about our move this coming January. We know most people’s feelings are mixed—as our mine and the whole staff’s. I recently had the chance to chat with former Good Morning America host Charlie Gibson and his daughter Katie, who host a book-centered podcast called "The Book Case," and our conversation began with my story of how far back my connection to our current space goes: of my coming to Northwestern as a graduate student in journalism in the 1980s and finding my way down this very alley to the shop then known as Bookman’s Alley, where I interviewed the owner, obviously not expecting to be filling his shoes three decades later. Turns out, Charlie Gibson grew up in Evanston, and Katie did her undergraduate years at Northwestern, so there was nostalgia permeating this conversation on all sides. If you get a chance, it’s available here, and the B&B segment starts around 35:20.

And now on to Small Business Saturday, fast approaching on this coming Saturday, November 26. Intended as the small business answer to Black Friday, it’s a great time to commit to doing as much holiday shopping as you can in local, indie stores. So among our other activities this year, we’re reprising our Friends Don’t Let Friends Shop at Amazon campaign.
We’re also expecting several Chicago-area authors, including New Yorker cartoonist Ken Krimstein and Ukrainian poet Gari Light, to join us throughout the day to help promote our initiative to support the Ukrainian literary community—the hundreds of authors publishing professionals, and booksellers who have been displaced by the Russian invasion and whose homes, stores, and ways of making their living have been destroyed.

Plus we’re raffling off signed deluxe editions of Barack Obama’s A Promised Land; Renegades, the book Obama released last year together with Bruce Springsteen; and that giant pizza-geek compendium Modernist Pizza, by Nathan Myhrvold.

For more fun stuff and details, read on in this newsletter, and we hope to see you over the weekend!


On Saturday, we'll open our doors at 10 am!
  • Free B&B tote bag with any purchase over $100
  • 20% off any book you purchase for the Mayor's Book & Toy Holiday Drive
  • Enter a raffle to win a copy of one of these three special edition deluxe books. Tickets are $10 each and you pick which drawing you want to enter. Limit 20 tickets per entrant:
  • Modernist Pizza originally priced at $425
  • Deluxe slip-cased, signed edition of A Promised Land, by Barack Obama, originally priced at $350
  • Deluxe slip-cased, Renegades, signed by both Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen, originally priced at $800
Friends Don't Let Friends Buy Books from Amazon promotion:

Buy one copy of the newly revised and expanded edition of How to Resist Amazon and Why by Danny Caine and get 50% off a copy of On Browsing, by Jason Guriel.  Great to give as a White Elephant or Secret Santa gift to help remind your friends and colleagues why shopping in a local store matters so much—and is so much more fun than shop-by-click!
Small Business Saturday Story Time
November 26, 10:30 - 11 am
Join Justin Roberts for a reading of I'll Be Your Polar Bear and some singing after.

In this lovely children's picture book, Father and son have a twilight adventure through the wintry landscape, but, of course, the weather is not always great, and there will be hard times. But this father is always reassuring! As they tumble through the snow, explore icy caves, and push against the wind, Dad is a constant source of comfort, and even a cozy ride home.
Justin Roberts, four-time Grammy nominee, has been called “the Judy Blume of Kiddie Rock” by The New York Times, and USA Today says he’s “Hands down the best songwriter in the genre.” He has also been praised for his deft and heartfelt lyrics by Entertainment Weekly, NPR, People Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. He is also the author of The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade, illustrated by Christian Robinson. Justin lives near Chicago with his family.
Authors for Ukraine
Noon - 3:00pm
Russia’s genocidal war against Ukraine is as much about culture as it is about territory. With nearly 12 million displaced, the country’s bookselling and publishing industries have been devastated. According to Oleksandr Afonin, President of the Ukrainian Association of Booksellers and Publishers, who addressed the world publishing community at the Frankfurt book fair immediately following President Zelensky’s presentation, since February over 3000 publishing professionals have lost their livelihoods. A number have lost their lives. Bookstores and book warehouses in the east part of the country have been destroyed. Book sales in Ukraine dropped from 40 million last year to 4 million in 2022. Children started the school year without new textbooks. 

On Small Business Saturday, Bookends & Beginnings will host a number of Chicago-area authors, including cartoonist Ken Krimstein and Ukrainian poet Gari Light, who want to help us support the Ukrainian literary community by raising funds for the Ukrainian Publishers and Booksellers Association. Please stop by to chat, make a pledge in any amount to this effort, and get a book signed if you wish!
Can't decide what to give? There are several options!
Gift cards and Online-Only Gift Codes are an excellent alternative for those hard-to-shop relatives and friends. Even better, they still directly support us!
Support multiple small businesses in Evanston keep those dollars local! The Evanston Gift card can be redeemed at 69 Evanston small businesses.

Make shopping fun and pick up a Small Business Saturday Passport, courtesy of Downtown Evanston. Only available on Small Business Saturday, November 26th.Spend $100 to receive a $30 Evanston Gift Card. Spend $150 to receive a $30 Evanston Gift Card and custom Downtown Evanston winter hat. Limited number of gift cards available so shop early! 

After you shop local on November 26, head over to Gearhead Outfitters at 1600 Sherman Ave. to turn in your passport and redeem your gift. Downtown Evanston staff will be there from 11am to 5pm. Special thanks to Byline Bank and Northwestern University for supporting the Small Business Saturday giveaway and supporting local Evanston businesses. 

We also have an option for those who would rather listen to books; gift some audiobooks through our partnership with

First-time subscribers get a free audiobook!
 Click here to see our full catalog of holiday shopping suggestions!

We have paused our Book Trade program for the holiday season and will start back up next year after the move to our new location!
Bookends & Beginnings is a community-centered and community-sustained, full-service, general-interest independent bookstore, now in our ninth calendar year. We are a member of the Chicago Independent Bookstore Alliance (ChIBA), the Great Lakes Independent Bookstore Association (GLIBA), and the American Booksellers Association (ABA). Show your support by shopping in our store (and other Chicago-area independent bookstores), by bringing your local and out-of-town friends and family to shop with us, by attending our events, and by "liking" us on Facebook and posting reviews on other social media. Remember that you can always see event photos and news updates on our Facebook page, which is updated almost daily. There you can also subscribe to our events feed with a single click.
Above all, keep reading good books! 
Bookends & Beginnings
1712 Sherman Ave Alley #1
Evanston, IL 60202 

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