Thursday, May 12 2022

LOGAN SQUARE – City Lit Books, one of the only independent bookstores in the Logan Square area, is closing after eight years.

It is the last small business to close permanently due to the coronavirus pandemic. Across Chicago, small businesses are closing as the pandemic rages on with no economic relief in sight.

City Lit owner Teresa Kirschbraun said on Wednesday that “revenues had dropped dramatically” and that she just couldn’t afford to keep the bookstore, located at 2523 N. Kedzie Blvd., in business anymore. long time.

The last day of City Lit is December 1st. The curbside collections will stop much earlier, on October 15.

“I chose to run this business through some pretty rough times and barely breaking even because engaging with the community was so exciting and enjoyable every day,” Kirschbraun said in a statement. hurry.

“Now, in the time of the pandemic, we have been reduced to one order
fulfillment company with little interaction with the client. … Supporting an order fulfillment center is simply not sustainable, financially or emotionally.

“It is likely that it will be at least another nine months before we can get back to something that looks like business as usual, and I am unable to bear the financial losses for that long.”

Credit: City-lit books / Facebook
City Lit Books, 2523 N. Kedzie Boulevard.

Kirschbraun said it chose to close in early December because it was “very concerned” that they will not be able to “meet customer expectations during the holiday season this year due to staff shortages, probable shipping delays and possible book shortages on the part of publishers “.

When statewide business closures began in mid-March, City Lit turned to selling books online.

At the end of April, Kirschbraun said that Block Club sales had dropped by 50%, but that wasn’t as bad as it looked as online sales exceeded their expectations and they were running virtual book clubs and busy author events.

“Even though it’s 50 percent, I feel good about it. We support. I don’t know how long we can do it 50 percent, but so far it’s great, ”Kirschbraun said at the time.

But that level of support wasn’t enough to save City Lit, which has become a favorite haunt for neighborhood book lovers since it opened in the plaza in 2012.

Over the past eight years, the bookstore has hosted hundreds of author events, book clubs and storytime events, Kirschbraun said. The store has also donated hundreds of books to schools, shelters and community organizations.

“I am deeply grateful for the incredible support of so many people who shared a passion for books and helped make City Lit a destination and more than the original vision,” said Kirschbraun.

Read all of the Block Club’s coverage of businesses and restaurants that closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

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