For 50 years, it has been growing in the basement of the seminary located at 5757 South University Avenue. Back in 1961, 17 book lovers each pitched in $10 a piece and founded The Seminary Co-Op Bookstore. When you arrive, you won't think you're necessarily at the right place. Then you will see a little sign that guides you to the catacombs of this enchanted world of words. You will descend a set of stairs, and then you will simply stare. Books. Endless row upon row of books. You will duck pipes, dodge faucets, and squeeze between shelves and working furnaces, and you will love every minute of it. It's as if the books were already there, firmly planted in their rightful spot, and suddenly a building erupted around them. But rather than supplant the books, the building decided to work with the books and have a symbiotic relationship. It's as if it grew around the tomes of knowledge, integrating itself by weaving and threading its way through the volumes of pulp and ink. They co-exist in harmony, waiting to be discovered by us. www.semcoop.com
The Seminary Co-Op Bookstore: which came first, the building or the books? This incredible store will only be in the original space until the summer of 2012. At that point, it will be relocating to its new home at 5751 South Woodlawn. I'd encourage you to visit this piece of history before the building and the books part ways. Learn more at: www.semcoop.com
Located in the basement of the Theological Seminary, the Seminary Co-op is the only bookstore I've encountered where you might actually get lost. It's a basement labyrinth of books where you must duck beneath pipes as you browse the endless, dense aisles.