Semicolon Bookstore Credit: Kat Combs | UNSPLASH

This Saturday, August 29, is Independent Bookstore Day and there’s not a better time for us to embrace small business, especially those that try to bring us entertainment, educate us, and make us better citizens. Lofty goals, ya know (but let me tell you that you can totally just go to places like my beloved Quimby’s and purchase Marcie and Peppermint Patty mini-comics if that’s your thing, and you’ll still be supporting small business).

We love bookstores here at the Reader and we were able to highlight some great ones for our Books issue back in July. If you missed it because there is SO MUCH STUFF GOING ON THESE DAYS, fear not – we’ve got articles online and we made this amazing map of some of Chicagoland’s indie book shops for you to check out. Shout out to our graphic designer Amber Huff for her beautiful work on this. We liked it so much that we’re now offering a printed poster version at our online shop. And bonus! You can buy both the Chicago Reader 2020 Indie Bookstore Map along with this year’s Mellow Bike Map and live your best reading and riding life. Your purchases keep us going, so map us out to the future, willya?

Look at and listen:

Though it’s not as fun as my usual picks, I urge you to check out some of our recent coverage related to COVID-19 and its consequences. Stay healthy, y’all, we want you around.

  • The toll of coronavirus,” interviews with surviving partners, siblings, and parents, compiled with care by Kerry Cardoza, Maya Dukmasova, and Matt Harvey
  • Outbreak in the heart of the RV industry,” a look at Elkhart County in Indiana by Lucas Robinson
  • Zip codes with nursing homes and Brown and Black populations have been hardest hit by COVID-19,” a map and article by Jacqueline Stevens
  • Virtual and in-person events coming up:

  • Viewable 24/7 now through the fall: 6018North in Edgewater presents “Windows to the World,” a group exhibition curated by a collective of curators (Wisdom Baty, Ciera McKissick, Caroline K. Ng, Ji Yang, and Su Yeon Lim) who all participated in the gallery’s “Justice Hotel” project. Installations and other work addressing the present moment are on view in the windows and exterior spaces of the gallery. The public is encouraged to wear masks and respect social distancing guidelines as they check it out from the sidewalks.
  • Sun 8/30, noon-10 PM or so: Motoblot hosts a Drive-In/Ride-In event in the spirit of its annual motorcycle and scooter rally, complete with bands including the Hi-Jivers, Three Blue Teardrops, the Crombies, Bailey Dee, Black Angus, and Aweful, food trucks, vendors, and screenings. The socially distanced event takes place at the SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview and ends with a screening of The Warriors (“Come out and play-ay!”).
  • Mon 8/31, 8 PM: Experimental Sound Studio’s Option series presents a performance by improvising musicians Molly Jones and Angel Bat Dawid. The duo will also be interviewed by Andrew Clinkman. Viewable at the organization’s website and Twitch channel.
  • Thu 9/3-Sun 9/6, times vary: “The Beauty of Blackness” virtual arts festival features discussions, screenings, and artists talking about their work while livestreaming from their home art studios, all viewable at the exhibition’s website and YouTube channel.
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