As promised, here’s part 2 of my Saturday #IBD2016 adventures!
6. DreamHaven Books & Comics, Minneapolis
DreamHaven is a fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and comics lovers’ dream! (pun intended) I enjoyed the eclectic feel of books literally pouring out of the floor and walls—boxes of books were on the ground, the aisles were thin, and they used every bit of space for other neat features like collectibles and even old movie posters. I laughed at the picture because it states “Official Star Wars Book Center” and below was almost entirely Star Trek books so I’m not sure how much that angers the true fans of either, haha. It even smelled old. Very different even from Moon Palace since it was mostly used books, but I loved it.
7. Paperback Exchange: Used & New Books, Minneapolis
Unfortunately I don’t have my Minneapolis neighborhoods down yet, so I couldn’t tell you exactly where this is, but on the map we followed a complete semi-circle from St. Paul to Uptown Minneapolis. I do remember crossing 55/Hiawatha and suddenly I was in beautiful neighborhoods and envious of everyone’s house!
This was a very small, very cute bookstore. The aisles are MINUSCULE. Like, if you get claustrophobic, don’t go on a busy day like last Saturday! Also, it seems like it extends endlessly into the back, with paperbacks lining every inch of the walls. So fun. I made a young friend almost immediately who made me follow her around the store. She showed me the exclusively romance section and each of her favorite stools.
8. Wild Rumpus Books, Minneapolis (Lake Harriet)
Tada! Though it isn’t my favorite bookstore anymore since I am very very partial to Magers & Quinn for a plethora of reasons, I LOVED this bookstore when I discovered it as a teenager. They have 3 adorable cats, parrots, 2 chinchillas, a rat (or mouse?), aaaaaand I can’t even remember what other animals. So. Very. Whimsical. But I was pleased to see that they have an, albeit small, section of adult/upper YA level books in addition to so many fun children’s books. I also have always loved that they have a reading chair in one corner, and a small shack in the middle of the back room that has scary Halloween-themed books inside. Definitely a treat!
9. Birchbark Books & Native Gifts, Minneapolis
Owned by acclaimed local author Louise Erdrich, who I definitely saw for a few minutes when we first arrived, this bookstore is so unique. They have a tiny cat section, a big display for new books and bestsellers, small, but wonderful, genre sections, and many many “staff picks” notes strewn about the shelves. What I wouldn’t give to write a book and have Louise herself write a staff pick note that sticks underneath it for years to come (some were yellowing!). There was even a beautiful birchbark-shelved display of native Minnesotan foods like wild rice, and local honey and maple syrup. Something for everyone here!
10. Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Uptown Minneapolis
While I will spare you my schpeel about how much I love M&Q and why, this was the end of our journey so that we would 1) have time to chat with friends, 2) feel at home upon completing the quest and 3) it made sense! We were pleased to walk into an impromptu Shakespeare scene being performed by talented theater grads, and the store was hopping. So many people!
Here we got the final stamp on our passport and also applied some of those Alice in Wonderland lithograph tattoos!
In conclusion, I would argue that every one of those 37 miles was worth it. Not simply for the gift cards and wonderful reasons to go back to each store, but for the experience itself. My goal this summer is to visit every bookstore in the Twin Cities metro area, and I knocked out 10 in one day! 5 stores in which I had never been to before. So I would say that is a success and good use of my Saturday. I even got to close M&Q and stamp some passports myself, so participating in both sides was very rewarding.
Cheers to independent bookstores! May you all live long and prosper.
Tell me about your Indepdendent Bookstore Day experiences! Leave a comment below or find me on social media!