Don Barliant Zooms In As Bookstores Reopen

During the weeks that the doors of Barbara's Bookstores were closed, the staff worked over weekly Zoom calls.


Hi all:

Welcome back. Our stores are open.*

This has been and is a humbling, risky, disorienting, frightening, interesting, lonely, pocket-emptying, creative, angry, loving time.

You would think that accumulated wisdom in my 83 years would have prepared me for this. A word to the young—your elders don’t necessarily have the answers. Yes, WWII, the death of FDR, the Cubs 1945 World Series, Joe Louis, the polio epidemic, Korea, fear of nuclear annihilation, the 60’s hint of revolution, love and drugs, the assassinations of Malcolm X, JFK, MLK, the burning down of Chicago’s West Side, Vietnam—these upheavals did not teach me enough to understand today. So I won’t say more than that I am both sad and hopeful that our nine grandkids will benefit from the changes that are bound to come.

Barbara’s, which I began operating in 1967, is ready for you, our old and new customers. We rededicate ourselves to reading, advocating for great literature, and doing whatever we can to put books, real books, into your hands. Please support your neighborhood local independent bookstore – whether it’s Barbara’s or Anderson’s Bookshop or Women and Children First or Unabridged or all the others. Other than food and shelter, nothing is more important to me than ideas for change. That is what we do. A hopeful sign is the overwhelming sales of books that memorialize, examine, and propose changes to our country’s blindness to racial, class, and sexual identity atrocities.

Visit, call, write us now. We want to be your bookseller.

Don Barliant | Co-owner, Barbara’s Bookstores

Don Barliant is the president and co-owner of Barbara's Bookstores.