The world changes. No one knows that better than baby boomers, because just as we were the ones who changed it decades ago, today the changes are forced by the generations behind ours … and by technology. Which has led to the end of an era in Chicago.

A Chicago books and record store called Shake, Rattle & Read is a legend in what’s called the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago.

Or more to the point now, it was.

Another icon for local baby boomers had its final day of business the end of May.


Announcing the news on Facebook, owner Ric Addy also advertised that on his last two days of business, he would open the shop for six hours each day and give away his entire stock — all the vinyl, all the books — for free. Customers were told to bring their own boxes and bags and take whatever they liked.

Addy’s explanation? “I am trying to avoid putting it all in a dumpster!”


The shop could almost be a baby boomer itself. It turned 50 in January but recent years, Addy says, it’s been a battle against the “subscription and streaming-based world. Kindles, iPads … I’m up against all that,” he said when he first announced the closure.

“We had used CDs for a while and that’s really dropped off. Now, people walk in and they go right for the vinyl. Ten years ago, I would sell a lot more CDs. … There’s still people that like to have a hard copy. But as I get younger and younger audiences going to the Aragon and the Riviera (a ballroom and theater in the Uptown neighborhood), they don’t even look at them. And maybe 10- or 15-percent buy vinyl.”

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