Jeff Deutsch is the director of Chicago’s Seminary Co-op Bookstores, which in 2019 he helped incorporate as the first not-for-profit bookstore whose mission is bookselling. His tome In Praise of Good Bookstores (Princeton University Press) is an eloquent and charming reflection on the singular importance of such entities. Do we need bookstores in the 21st century? And if so, what makes a good one? Here, Deutsch pays loving tribute to one of our most important and endangered civic institutions. Along the way, he also predicts – perhaps audaciously – a future in which the bookstore not only endures but also realizes its highest aspirations. In exploring why good bookstores matter, he draws on his lifelong experience as a bookseller and his upbringing as an Orthodox Jew. This spiritual and cultural heritage instilled in him a reverence for reading, not as a means to a living, but as an essential part of a meaningful life. In the age of one-click shopping, this is no ordinary defense of bookstores – it’s an urgent account of why they are essential places of discovery, refuge, and fulfillment that enrich the communities lucky enough to have them.