BRIDGEPORT – The former owners of Myopic Books have returned to Chicago to sell used books – this time on the South Side.
Joe Judd and his wife, Lisa, opened Tangible Books this month at 3324 S. Halsted St. They sold Myopic Books in Wicker Park about 10 years ago and moved out of state, then to Charleston, in Illinois.
When the couple decided to return to Chicago, supporters contributed nearly $ 9,000 to help cover the costs of relocating their bookstore from central Illinois to the north. Judd said they opened the Chicago store’s doors to the community, although they still made weekend trips to transport the rest of the books and libraries to the city.
âWhen I realized we have all the fiction and all the history, science fiction and art, it’s really kind of a bookstore,â Judd said. âIt’s your base for a bookstore. And so, we just decided to be open.
Business has been great, Judd said. Tangible Books has already received a visit from Ald. Patrick Thompson (11th) and Representative Theresa Mah. Customers regularly come to the store to say how grateful they are to have a bookstore in the neighborhood, to research merchandise or to donate titles, Judd said.
âMy wife and I were talking, and I said it was almost like opening a grocery store in a place that hasn’t had a grocery store for 40 years,â Judd said. âPeople are so grateful. They are so sweet. “
The store has several genres available. Tangible Books also sells books by local authors, with all proceeds going directly to the writers.
As Judd and his family acclimatize to Bridgeport, where they live just a few blocks from their store, customers are already giving them suggestions on what Tangible Books can be in the future.
âSome people would like to see poetry evenings. Some people want to see music. But it all really does what the neighborhood wants, and it really is a reflection of the neighborhood, âJudd said. âIn a year, the whole place will be transformed because of the books that have arrived. Can’t wait to see what kind of store this will be.
Judd said once the entire family collection hits the store – something he hopes can happen by the end of the month – he plans to throw a big opening party. The family feel encouraged by his decision to return to Chicago, Judd said.
âOne of the things I have found about being here is that there is real cohesion in this neighborhood and people are really happy and proud to be here,â said Judd.
âYou get the feeling in this neighborhood that people can do anything – if somebody wants a bookstore, they can do it; that if somebody wants to have an art gallery, they can do it. When you see that, you realize how dynamic it is, and if there’s anything we can add, that’s great.
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