The Chicago Cultural Center opened the Chicago Publishers Gallery last week, honoring the city's literary heritage. The new permanent gallery features over 1,500 books and periodicals from 125 local publishers, including large university publishers and small independent presses.
The impressive collection includes novels, magazines, comic books, children's literature and more, all assorted neatly on shelves and tables in a softly-lit area. Bibliophiles are invited to pull up a chair and read to their hearts' content, but materials may not be taken out of the gallery area.
Home to the country's largest university publisher, the largest woman-owned publishing company and the largest African-American owned independent press, Chicago has a long history of contributions to the literary industry. And while more and more literature is finding its way online, the book is still the original medium.
Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife, scoffs at the idea that bound pages will become extinct: "You can't say the book is going away," she said, according to Gapers Block. "You cannot take the Kindle and read it in the bathtub."
The Chicago Cultural Center is open every day (except holidays) and admission to the Publishers Gallery is free.