If you are someone who experienced a personal loss when the ever-so-popular bookstore Border’s shut down, have no fear — Babbitt’s Books is here.
It is no secret that bookstores have recently become an endangered business, but that is not to say that all bookstores have disappeared entirely.
Luckily, Uptown Normal is home to a bookstore that will fulfill all your paperback browsing needs. Located at 119 E Beaufort St., Babbitt’s Books is just a short walk from the university’s campus.
The bookstore first began as a vintage clothing store in 1985.
Brian Simpson, the store’s owner, ran the boutique and sold a select few novels on the side.
But in 1990 all of that changed. Simpson decided to ditch the clothing business and transformed his store into what is now known as Babbitt’s Bookstore.
“I sold clothes for five years until I realized that what I should be selling was books,” Simpson said.
Today, Babbitt’s sells a variety of novels, ranging from fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, mystery, history and autobiographies.
The store does not, however, offer any school related textbooks, which is a refreshing change from the academic atmosphere at The Alamo II or Barnes & Noble.
Babbitt’s does allow students to sell their old books to the store. Novels are usually bought at a low price, which keeps down the overall cost of merchandise — making it affordable for students.
Simpson said, there is an innumerable amount of advantages when it comes to investing in a book that is physically real.
“When you buy an eBook, it doesn’t really belong to you. But when you buy a paperback, you can save it forever and look back on it whenever you want,” Simpson said.
He believes that the tangible books you acquire throughout your life say a lot about your character.
“Icons on a computer don’t replace a bookshelf collection. A shelf filled with books says something about who you are as a person. In fact, bookshelves tell more about a person than their house décor,” Simpson said.
Visit Babbitt’s Books to find the novel you’ve been wanting to read, or browse the store’s shelves until something catches your eye.