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Bookstores We Love: Quimby's Bookstore

By Betsy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on May 4, 2010 6:00PM

Steven Svymbersky founded Quimby's Bookstore almost 20 years ago with a specific philosophy in mind. "I really want to carry every cool, bizarre, strange, dope, queer, surreal, weird publication ever written and published, and in time Quimby's will." he said. The present-day Quimby's is about 2,000 square feet larger than the original space, is continuously being rearranged to make room for new material, and carries everything from hyperlocal zines to international art books.

Quimby's is able to sell so many self-published zines, comics, and pamphlets thanks to its consignment system. Quimby's does not pay for the material up front, but when it sells, the store gives the consigner 60 percent of the sale price. Manager Liz Mason and her two coworkers order the rest of the books on the shelves. "We tend to order stuff that deals with topics that in some way relate to high weirdness. Out there stuff. Carnies, freaks, conspiracy theory, lowbrow art, miscreants, mayhem, that kind of stuff," she said. Ask Mason for a tour of the store, and she'll introduce you to categories of reading material you never knew existed. Even if you know what you're getting into before stepping through the doors at Quimby's, don't assume you know what to expect. "Sometimes people come in and they're so blown away that they don't even know what to buy, what with there being so much stuff and so much sensory stimuli," said Mason.

Visit Quimby's at 1854 W. North Ave. from 12 p.m. - 9 p.m. Monday thru Thursday, 12 p.m. - 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday, and 12 p.m. - 7 p.m. Sunday