Bookie’s Starts a New Chapter


Photo by Jessica Matushek from The Patch

Streetside photo of Bookie’s from when it was in business. Closed at the end of September.

Local independent bookstore Bookie’s is closing after almost five years of serving the Homewood community. 

At the end of September, the beloved establishment’s location on Ridge Road is drawing to a close.

On Sept. 21, 2018, Bookie’s opened its doors to Homewood. The community welcomed the establishment with open arms, feeling that a bookstore was exactly what was missing. 

“H-F librarian Alicia Rodriguez also believes this statement to be true and finds Bookie’s to be the missing piece of home sweet Homewood.” Wrote the Voyager in our very own article on the opening four years ago. 

Unfortunately, uncontrollable factors such as the pandemic and rent increase have proved to have drastic effects. 

“COVID certainly threw a brick at things,” explained Bookie’s operations manager, Rich Wojcikowski. “That bringing the business down combined with a huge rent increase request and even more problems happening at once made it practically impossible to stay open.” 

Bookie’s wasn’t the only Homewood establishment affected by COVID, as many other businesses closed down over the span of the pandemic and its aftermath. These businesses include Family Video and Suzie’s Hallmark closing in early 2021, Mama and Me Pizzeria in August, and Homewood Florist at the end of October. 

Bookie’s staff says some of their absolute favorite memories from their time in Homewood was enjoying families coming in together for visits and authors doing readings for fans of their work.

Despite its chapter in Homewood coming to an end, there are still plenty of ways to continue to support Bookie’s. 

“You can certainly order books online or call the store, the Beverly location in Chicago was the closest bookstore to Homewood before the Bookie’s opening and it will still be after.” 

Bookie’s may be gone for now, but the memories and impacts it made in Homewood will not be forgotten, and it’s obvious the feeling goes both ways with these words from the owners. 

“Homewood is an exceptional community which we were able to experience first-hand being in the middle of downtown festivals and events, really just getting to be a great community resource is what kept us open for as long as we were.” Wojcikowski said. 

Local independent bookstores are obviously very important, but why? H-F librarian Alicia Rodriguez has the answer. 

“Bookstores are so important to have because they often become almost like a hub for creativity and literacy and for people to learn things that they might not get shopping online, which is where most things are today. You get exposed to a variety of different books, perspectives, and experiences that you might not think to look for yourself. It’s a great place for the community to get together for a variety of events and find new interests and people they already share common interests with.”

Bookie’s isn’t the only resource available to get these opportunities, Ms. Rodriguez offers these alternatives to those upset with the unfortunate closing.

“Local public libraries are great assets to any community, most people don’t even realize they have a great selection of resources besides books and host a great many community events. They’re perfect if you’re looking for another place with a large selection of books and a good sense of community. Libraries are so important to make sure we don’t take them for granted and to recognize how much they contribute.”