Walk into the warmth of Bookman’s Alley on a cold, snowy day. Pull the door shut behind you. Breathe in the musty smell of literature across the centuries. Look around. Could that white bearded fellow down the aisle really be Charles Dickens?
Located at 1712 North Sherman in Evanston IL. Tucked back in an alley. In the shadows of a skyline that now calls up Batman’s Gotham City. Bookman’s Alley is a quiet tribute to how literature can make a person forget time. Because in Bookman's Alley, all you want to do is ramble down as aisle, reach up and take down a volume, some rare jewel you’ve been looking for forever, find a comfortable chair, lift the cover on the candy dish, and take out a gumdrop. Then sit, read, forget where the candy leaves off and the story in the book begins. Warm in Bookman’s Alley while it snows, time itself can vanish.
There are places that feel like Bookman’s Alley. Shakespeare and Company in Paris comes to mind. But there is no other Bookman’s Alley.
And come January, the store will close. Roger Carlson, 83, founded the store in 1980. He’s watched over it ever since. He says it’s time.
Perhaps he’s right.But what if he's not?
I suppose it’s possible for an angel investor to say to me, we want the place to carry on, it looks like you are the perfect guy to do it, I mean you even have the same first name as Mr. Carlson, so you will now be in charge of keeping alive what Roger Carlson started.
If the impossible could happen anywhere, it would be at Bookman’s Alley.
All I know for sure is that I could be there in 30 minutes.
And I’d promise not to leave.