Chicago Activities for Book Lovers and Literature Enthusiasts

Updated June 19, 2017

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The last Friday of the month at Brisku's Bistro in North Center, you'll find a gathering of drinkers with a writing problem. Performers read a piece of writing including essays, poems, short stories, first person narrative or fiction.

Get Lost in a Good Book

Explore Chicago's best places to get lost in a book, borrow a novel, or attend a poetry reading. Bibliophiles can use the arts map to find a book store, coffee shop, or other nook to get some reading done.

Wilde Bar and Restaurant has a nice tall selection of books in its library, where you can sip a cocktail or have brunch while you read:

An Oscar Wilde-themed restaurant! 😍😍😍 #food #funemployment

A photo posted by Mandy K (@imamandajulius) on

The Book Cellar has it all - an independent book store with a cafe that also serves wine by the glass. Melt into a comfy sofa or browse their collection of books, which include local and first time authors. Check out their schedule for a lineup of meet the author events, book clubs, and opportunities to support non profits like 826CHI.

The Beverly Arts Center holds a summer book club where you can pair wine with reading and conversation.

Bourgeois Pig Cafe in Old Town has a library around its charming fireplace:

I would like a cup of tea. Large please

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3 Green Market in River North has shelves of both board games like Scrabble and books:

The Wormhole in Wicker Park is a cozy 80s-themed coffee shop with a good ambiance for turning pages:

Poetry in Chicago

Check out radical exotic poetry Monday nights at Weeds Tavern:

Gahl "sleighing" a poem

A photo posted by Adrienne (@2wrongspoetry) on

Live Reading and Storytelling

The Hideout hosts special literary events including book releases and author readings. Write Club, a literary version of Fight Club, is a popular literary event in Chicago. Two opposing writers are given subjects before the event and read their 7 minute creations to the audience over 3 rounds, with the audience voting for the winner at the end.

VoiceBox is a night of storytelling and musical improvisation hosted by Cathy Richardson and hosted by FitzGerald's Nightclub.

Click filter and select 'Literature' to find author events, independent book stores, and other literary activities in Chicago.

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