If you were following my Instagram on Saturday, you’ll know all too well that I DID step up to the challenge of visiting 10 select independent bookstores in the Twin Cities for the chance to earn a $10 gift certificate to each. My husband and I jumped in my new used—with great gas mileage—car and sped off to start our adventure in St. Paul.
Bear with me through this post! I will try to keep my descriptions short, but in order to not talk (read?) your ears off, I’m splitting it into two posts. The following will release tomorrow!
Thus, I give you the first 5 bookstores:
1. Subtext Books, downtown St. Paul
I had only been there once before, for bookseller “Rep Night” last fall, and so it was fun to see it in a retail setting. It’s small, but the selection is good. I found myself fascinated with their use of space: every possible surface is covered in books or book-related merchandise, but it doesn’t seem too overcrowded! Although I’m sure it did later in the day when it got busy.
Here we picked up our passports, and I grabbed the small book of bookstore essays by Ann Patchett that I have yet to start reading.
2. Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul
This is a very lovely children’s bookstore on Grand. They are very whimsical and fun, with space for kids to run around and adults to mingle, and they even have a good selection of adult and YA books as well. Something for everyone! Andy, my husband, and I each got to choose something out of the “treasure chest”—Tolkien stickers for all! I purchased that savvy “cat and bookstores” limited edition bag, since it was the last one.
3. Common Good Books, St. Paul
The awesome Common Good Books, also on Grand, is a fantastic place. No used selection yet, but they did have a great 20% off poetry deal for National Poetry Month. I’ve been here before to hear Tony Hoagland read his poetry—they host some great events! And I had the privilege of going there the next day for bookseller “Rep Night” again and meeting some of their booksellers all over again.
4. Daybreak Press & Global Bookshop, Minneapolis (U of M)
This is a very new bookstore right by the light rail off on University on the University of Minnesota campus. I had never heard of it before Saturday, so it was a pleasure having another excuse to visit! I loved their selection of travel and books on different faiths. It was neat seeing many different faiths represented all in the same place. I’m still not sure entirely what they publish, but I plan to find out. It seems like a really awesome place!
5. Moon Palace Books, Minneapolis
This is right next door to Peace Coffee, which LET ME TELL YOU was highly tempting at this point in the day, but I persevered. This is a cute, one-room bookstore that houses new AND old books, which was a refreshing change! It sounds like they do some events there as well. I very much enjoyed the handmade cards section—letterpressssssss!—and bought several, as well as picked up the Terry Tempest Williams chapbook that was available for IBD. Also met some awesome booksellers, but I’m sad to say that I met so many I can’t remember any names! D:
BOOKSELLERS, if you by any chance read this, let’s connect! I love this partnership the Midwest Booksellers Association created by making the passport contest and am so happy I was able to expand my horizons! Definitely looking forward to visited again to spend more time browsing.
Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!
Did you participate in #IBD2016 by doing the passport challenge? Leave a note in the comments!