Booked, a children's bookstore, is opening this summer in Evanston, Ill. Bookselling This Week reported that the shop, owned by former teacher Chelsea Elward, "will offer a large selection of children's books accompanied by a small selection of books for adults, primarily the newest and hottest fiction and nonfiction titles to appeal to the commuters flowing through the two nearby train stations. Booked will also sell cards, book-related gifts like bookends, and Out of Print shirts and sweatshirts."
"My husband is from Minneapolis and we're always going up there to see his family, and I love bookstores in general," Elward said. "When I went into Wild Rumpus, as soon as I walked in, I literally turned to my family and said this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I wanted my own children's bookstore."
Elward connected with Wild Rumpus owner Collette Morgan, and received further career guidance from other booksellers, including Sarah Hollenbeck, co-owner of Women & Children First, and Suzy Takacs, owner of the Book Cellar, both in Chicago.
Raised in Evanston, Elward said she really wants Booked to serve as a family gathering place. "There are a lot of people in Evanston--over 70,000--but it's a very community-oriented city, just like Minneapolis, and that's the type of bookstore I want. I want it to be where people gather during the day--for moms and dads, kids, babies. It will be entertaining, but my mission is really [for the store] to be educational with fun attached to it, so everyone is learning while they're having fun."
The 1,000-square-foot Main Street storefront is "currently undergoing a major demolition and renovation project to make the space ADA accessible and fully permitted," BTW wrote. "After she gets the keys in June, Elward said she plans to take about a month to set up."
"It's just falling into place, which is how I know it's the right thing," she said. "I'm hoping for my magical bookstore in Evanston."