Book Lovers Now Have Their Very Own Museum

Posted on May 15, 2017 by

There’s a brand-new landmark bookworms can add to their literary bucket lists: The American Writers Museum opens on May 16 in Chicago, IL. Seven years in the making, the museum boasts an array of interactive and informative exhibits for book lovers of all ages. It focuses heavily on classic fiction writers, but it also pays homage to poetry, music lyrics, speeches, journalism, and other forms of writing. While some exhibits highlight the technical aspects of famed authors’ writing processes, there is also abundant trivia about beloved classics like Little Women, To Kill a Mockingbirdand The Great Gatsby. Below are a few highlights from the American Writers Museum that readers will enjoy.


A Nation of Writers exhibit: American Voices

American Voices at American Writers Museum

In the Nation of Writers exhibit, visitors can find the American Voices display — a row of three-sided panels featuring 100 of the most significant authors from the early days of America to the late 19th century. Including the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, and Maya Angelou, American Voices describes how these authors’ works fit into social, political, and cultural movements in US history. Plus, there are fun extras, like a set of textures from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie.


A Nation of Writers exhibit: Surprise Bookshelf

At the Surprise Bookshelf, visitors can make fun literary discoveries in a wall of double-sided panels with sliding boxes. For example, turn O. Henry’s box to see a pocket watch and hair clips from The Gift of the Magi; flip Harper Lee’s to hear the sounds of a mockingbird; and open Julia Child’s to smell fresh-baked cookies!


Readers Hall

It may not be a library, but what would the American Writers Museum be without some comfy reading nooks? The Readers Hall is a large room in the middle of the museum for readers to enjoy classics, and the space will also host author talks, readings, writing workshops, and more. Visitors can submit their top five books on a touch screen and then email themselves a printable bookmark of their selections; meanwhile, your choices are added to a running ranking of other visitors’ favorites.


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Children’s Literature Gallery

Children's Literature Gallery at American Writers Museum

Most book lovers were inspired as children, and this exhibit pays homage to childhood favorites such as The Cat in the Hat, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Charlotte’s WebIf you have a young reader with you, this exhibit is a great pit stop.


The Mind of a Writer exhibit

Mind of a Writer at American Writers Museum

In the Mind of a Writer exhibit, visitors have endless opportunities to dissect their favorite works and discover the authors’ writing processes. Dig into the themes of Their Eyes Were Watching God, A Wrinkle in Time, and other great selections by listening to audio recordings — or create your own Mad Libs-style creations using key excerpts of classic stories.

The American Writers Museum has so much to explore, and bookworms can easily spend a day here soaking up all the information in each exhibit. Next time you’re in Chicago, be sure to stop by and feed your inner book nerd!


Are you interested in visiting the museum? Tell us what you’re most excited to see!


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