Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, July 3

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

Book Club
« Bacon Poetry Contest Live Action Hunger Games At Chicago Public Library »

Interview Sun Mar 11 2012

Love in the Stacks

Open Books is more than just a bookstore, for many reasons. Here's one reason, which you may not expect: this winter, two separate marriage proposals have taken place among the stacks.

Kevin Elliott, the bookstore's manager, talked with Gapers Block about what makes Open Books a great proposal venue.

Why do you think Open Books is a great place for proposals?

It's a home to true book lovers, and there is an inherent romanticism in books--they can take your mind and imagination to very personal and intimate places. We aren't a store with dusty stacks and piles. There are cozy couches in the lounge, vibrant colors, and soft lighting that all work together to create an intimate setting that really draws people to the store. When you walk into the store, you immediately feel this sense of joy, awe, and comfort, the same feeling you get when you're around your significant other.

When you get engaged, you're getting ready to begin a new chapter with the person you love. You may not know what's next, but you are excited to find out. That, mixed with the magical atmosphere of our bookstore, definitely makes for an intimate, symbolic place for engagement.

How many proposals have you gotten at Open Books?

In 2012 alone, we have had two proposals at the store, and we expect to see more in the future. We see couples snuggling up in our lounge every day. It's inevitable that more marriage proposals will take place this year.

What is the strangest proposal request you've gotten?

Both of the requests took me by surprise. Within two weeks of each other, both men came in and asked if I would help them out. I think the strangest one was the scavenger hunt. He handed me a picture of his girlfriend--now fiancé--and asked me to hand an envelope to her when she came in, so I had to closely watch the customers who came in and deliver something life-changing to a woman I never met. I'm glad I had the picture! The note I handed her was a clue that led her to another clue, which then led her on a hunt. She ended up in front of the Shedd Aquarium.

GB store
GB store
Gapers Block presents Tuesday Funk, Chicago's ecclectic monthly reading series.
GB store



About GB Book Club

Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

Editor: Andrew Huff,
Book Club staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15