I think I should run to get a Lotto ticket!
Why so? Many of you know that our newspaper, The Chicago News is adding new features on a regular basis. One of these new features is BOOKS! (You know, the pages of literature or stories, that are nestled between two covers and can be placed on a shelf) which we will be reviewing on a regular basis.
Secondly, we are adding a new feature dealing with “People you should know!” These can be business people in our communities served that do extraordinary things for the people for their community, or just someone who is unique and special and has had an impact on someone’s life.
The third item of importance is one we started just last week- The hidden gems of Chicagoland. Featuring some of the treasures that are contained in and around Chicago that many are unaware of, that once found, will delight and amaze.
These are all things that I find most endearing- people, places and things. Today, I had the pleasure of meeting with Augie Aleksy, a noteworthy bookseller that has a shop in Forest Park (just to the west of Chicago on Madison Street, west of Harlem Avenue) and a “suburb” of Oak Park (a longstanding joke with one of my Oak Park buddies). The name of the store is Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore. The name truly tells a story into itself.
Augie is a historian and loves a good mystery, so when he opted to leave “corporate America” and venture off to open his shop, he decided that since these were his true loves (other than family) this is what he wanted to do. With guidance from people who help young business owners, he did surveys and surveys, finding out what drove people to buy books and the types of books they bought. This was 25 years ago, and despite all the electronics in the industry and the big box book stores” coming in the area to eat up the little guys, Centuries and Sleuths remains. Sit in one of his comfy chairs, or on the memorial bench (plaques adorn those “readers’ who inspired Augie from day one) and if you’re lucky, Augie will join you and talk about his store and his books. Definitely worth the trip.
Let me tell you why.
Augie loves books. He also loves his business and his clients, thus he makes sure that they are happy with what he carries and feel comfortable in his shop. He not only sells books, he offers discussion groups to his “readers”, both history and mystery. He has authors come in to sign their books (not easily done on a Kindle), answers questions, does gift wrapping and of most importance, makes us feel comfortable from the second we enter the store and even after he thanks us and says good-bye.
Augie has a great number of activities- each month a full calendar of these. Check out www.centuriesandsleuths.com to see what is coming. Need a special order? Augie will hop to it for you- call him at 708-771-7243 or e-mail him at email@example.com
Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore is located at 7419 West Madison Street in Forest Park, Illinois.