Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, Forest Park, Ill., Closing

Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Forest Park, Ill., will close permanently this summer after more than three decades in business, the Forest Park Review reported.

In May 2023, store owner August "Augie" Aleksy announced his plans to retire by the end of the year. He hoped to find someone who would buy both the bookstore and its building at 7419 Madison St., and he put his retirement plans on hold last December due to offers from two interested parties. Those buyers, however, fell through, and now Aleksy will close the bookstore this summer, sell the building, and donate any remaining inventory to the Oak Park Public Library.

"I love selling books," Aleksy told the Review. "I love meeting with people. But I'm really not crazy about the paperwork, paying the bills, handling taxes. I'm too old to be messing with that stuff, as far as I'm concerned."

In 1989, Aleksy left his job in banking to open a bookstore. His research at the Oak Park Public Library, as well as a survey he sent out, told him that mystery and history were the most popular subjects for Oak Park residents. Hence the bookstore's specialty, and its name Centuries & Sleuths. Its first home was at 743 Garfield St. in Oak Park, and the store moved into its current home in 2000.

He added: "It was, at least to date, the best 34 years of my life. It was wonderful, the people, the personalities."

Aleksy said he's looking forward to retirement and plans to do some traveling with his wife as well as write a book set in Europe prior to World War I.

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