Located in the heart of downtown Evanston, Bookends & Beginnings opened in June 2014 in the space formerly occupied by legendary antiquarian store Bookman’s Alley. We offer new, used, and bargain books; unique, irresistible gift items; literary events; and lots of local color. In January 2021, Bookends & Beginnings opened a gift and stationary boutique at 1716 Sherman Avenue.
Bookends & Beginnings is the independent bookstore Nina Barrett has dreamed of opening since she moved to Evanston in the late 1980s, but for a while both she and Evanston went in other directions. During the period when two large chain bookstores faced off downtown, Nina was raising two children and freelancing articles, essays, and reviews to Chicago and national publications.
Nina opened Bookends & Beginnings in June of 2014 with the help of her husband Jeff Garrett, an internationally recognized expert on rare and specialized library collections, as well as global children's literature. Jeff's early involvement with the store is reflected in its unique collection of children's books in 48 foreign languages, including Kurdish, Maori, and Basque.