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Best Library Sans Will Shakespeare 

Read/Write Library

Read/Write Library 914 N. California Ave.

In an age where we do so much of our reading online, the Read/Write Library is a fine tribute to the book as physical object, the physical object as text, and texts as products of their physical environment. Formerly known as the Chicago Underground Library, Read/Write collects anything as long as it's Chicago-related, including guide books and plays, locally produced magazines like Lumpen (our pick for Best Activist Hipster Magazine in the City Life section) and In These Times, zines of all sorts, chapbooks, and ephemera. It's one of the few places in Chicago that collects unpublished work, so quality runs the gamut from powerful (a collection of early Neo-Futurist plays, a zine about life as a prostitute) and brilliant (the hilarious proto-Tumblr Duda Magazine by School of the Art Institute faculty member Sally Alatalo) to schlocky. The friendly all-volunteer staff can recommend titles if the task of picking through 3,000 or so items gets to be too much for you.

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