Curbside Books & Records is a small book and record store located next to Revival Bar | Café. Curated by the staff of award-winning independent press Curbside Splendor Publishing (“Best Chicago Independent Publisher 2014,” Chicago magazine), Curbside Books & Records features a rotating selection of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry from small presses, as well as records and cassettes by Chicago musicians and from independent labels. As publishers and booksellers, we seek to facilitate the discovery of independent literature and challenge the traditional understanding of literature's function in our world. As lovers of music, we seek to support the local musicians and labels that we listen to and love. We also aim to enhance the literary community in Chicago's South Loop by hosting discussions, readings, and pop-up events. We invite you to browse our store, sit down with a book, and read on.
Each month, we’ll invite Chicago musicians to curate the record selections, kicking off each new collection with a happy hour discussion at the store. Check out our social media for updates about this and other programming. 
Current record selection by John E. Dugan, author of The Empty Bottle Chicago:  21+ Year of: Music / Friendly / Dancing.


Featured presses & publishers:

 Curbside Splendor was conceived as a punk rock band in the early 1990s in an apartment in Urbana, Illinois. The band never really went anywhere, but Curbside was re-founded as an independent press in the fall of 2009. Located in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago, Curbside publishes fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry that celebrates extraordinary voices. Through a handful of projects (which include publishing books, hosting an annual novella contest, and producing readings, shows, and book fairs) Curbside aims to rewrite the tradition of Midwestern publishing.

featherproof books was founded in 2005 by Zach Dodson and Jonathan Messinger with the intent to publish whatever they want. In 2014 they passed the torch to Tim Kinsella who—with the help of Jason Sommer, Naomi Huffman, and Roosevelt University—will carry on this mission, publishing strange and beautiful fiction and nonfiction and post-, trans-, and inter-genre tragicomedy.


With a worldwide circulation of over 135,000, The New York Review of Books has established itself, in Esquire‘s words, as “the premier literary-intellectual magazine in the English language.” From the 1960s into the 21st Century, The New York Review of Books has posed the questions in the debate on American life, culture, and politics.




From renowned New York School poets to debut novelists, Coffee House Press authors demonstrate innovation in the art writing, represent some of the finest caretakers of language, and embody the many authentic voices of the American experience.


Two Dollar Radio is an acclaimed family-run indie book publisher and film producer, founded in 2005, and proudly based in Columbus, Ohio. Our primary interest lies with what we would characterize as bold work: subversive, original, and highly creative.

(SF/LD logo)

Short Flight/Long Drive Books is an independent, non-profit small press specializing in the publication of fiction. A division of Hobart, Short Flight/Long Drive Book was founded in 2006 with Elizabeth Ellen as editor. 





Akashic Books is a Brooklyn-based independent company dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction by authors who are either ignored by the mainstream, or who have no interest in working within the ever-consolidating ranks of the major corporate publishers.


Rose Metal Press, Inc. is an independent, not-for-profit publisher of hybrid genres specializing in the publication of short short, flash, and micro-fiction; prose poetry; novels-in-verse or book-length linked narrative poems; and other literary works that move beyond the traditional genres of poetry, fiction, and essay to find new forms of expression.


New Directions was founded in 1936, when James Laughlin (1914 - 1997), then a twenty-two-year-old Harvard sophomore, issued the first of the New Directions anthologies. "I asked Ezra Pound for 'career advice,'" James Laughlin recalled. "He had been seeing my poems for months and had ruled them hopeless. He urged me to finish Harvard and then do 'something' useful."


Recently named one of five small presses “slyly changing the industry for the better” (flavorwire), Dorothy, a publishing project is dedicated to works of fiction or near fiction or about fiction, mostly by women. Each fall, they publish two new books simultaneously. They work to pair books that draw upon different aesthetic traditions, because a large part of our interest in literature lies in its possibilities, its endless stylistic and formal variety.

Drag City

Current record selection by John E. Dugan, editor of The Empty Bottle Chicago:  21+ Year of: Music / Friendly / Dancing.