Chicago Rare Book Center, 703 Washington St., Evanston, is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.

The store is cooperatively owned by four booksellers: Ann Dumler, Paul Garon, Thomas Joyce, and Patricia Martinak who collectively have more than 100 years of bookselling experience.

Chicago Rare Book Center began in 1998, in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood at 56 W. Maple St. At that time space was rented to other bookdealers as well, so there were more than twenty dealers represented at the store.

In March of 2005, the partners moved the store to Evanston, in the Main Street Station shopping area. The store now concentrates on the books of the four partners.

These include Children’s books, Modern Literature, Jazz and Blues, Art, Chicago and the Midwest, Americana, Bindings and Sets, but the store includes rare and unusual books in all subjects.

The book center has sold many exciting items over the years, including afirst edition of Dr. Seuss’ A Cat in the Hat, for $4,500; a leaf of a Gutenberg Bible, for $32,000; The Compleat Cook from England of 1655, for $2,250; a first limited edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, for $14,000; De Lapidis Physici, 1595, by Vogelius, $2,700, and a publisher’s proof of Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man for $11,000.

But along with the higher ticket books, we’ve also sold many less costly, but interesting books,– and items such as antique valentines, old Fortune magazines from the 30s, maps and ephemera from Chicago’s Century of Progress, and Columbian Exposition, antique bookends, old postcards and autographs.

Chicago Rare Books is hosting a celebration for its 10th anniversary from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 2, 2008, at the store. Join us for great books and good company!

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