The front end of Libreria Giron seems too small to house anything more than a smattering of new Spanish-language fiction, literature, philosophy, cookbooks, health, poetry and nonfiction books, but don’t be fooled. This excellent resource for all things Spanish has been in business for nearly 45 years and is a major national distributor. The sunny Pilsen outpost of the store is actually one of three, and the closest to Chicago’s downtown.
The staff is friendly, swift and well versed in the inventory, but don’t dawdle: The clientele consists mostly of UIC students, professors, locals and even suburbanites on a quest for Spanish-language books, so the staff has nary a second to chitchat. (Unless it’s during off times, like on a Monday afternoon.) However, that’s not to say that the bookstore specifically oozes studious material. Near the front there’s a well-stocked magazine rack with favorites like “Vanidades” and relative newcomers like “Maxim en Español.” A large shelf holds Latin music CDs with harder-to-find ranchero, cumbia and Spanish rock titles.
Centerstage Reviewer: M. Cecilia Wong