Indie Bookstore Day

Header photo by By Rcawsey – Own work, Public Domain,

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Robbinsdale.

For all you baboon readers who still read books with pages to turn, this weekend is your chance to celebrate your favorite independent bookstore. The Second Annual Indie Bookstore Day is happening on April 30 around the country.

Many folks are lamenting the trend that seems to be continuing – more people buying online from Amazon while even large chains like Borders go under, and Barnes and Noble closes, among others, its Mankato store (if I remember correctly a comment from Clyde).

This article from last spring’s first Indie Bookstore Day displays photos of indie bookstores all over Minnesota:

I’ve posted below some of the metro area’s independent bookstores, and a link to their IBD celebration info:

  • My personal favorite is Birchbark Books – 2002 23rd Av. S., Mpls. – because I used to work there.
  • But here’s an independent that I haven’t discovered yet:   Moon Palace Books – 2820 E. 33rd St., Mpls.
  • And there’s Boneshaker Books – 2002 23rd Av. S., Mpls. – “The shop specializes in progressive and radical literature & mdah; and children’s books. It also houses the Women’s Prison Book Project, which provides books to inmates across the country.”  I was not able to find anything on their website about IBD, but they celebrated last year.
  • And my favorite kids bookstore, Wild Rumpus, 2720 W. 43rd St., Mpls .
  • Magers & Quinn (new and used) Books – 3038 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.
  • In St. Paul, there’s Garrison’s store, Common Good Books, 38 S. Snelling.
  • Subtext Books – 6 West Fifth Street6 West 5th Street, St. Paul.
  • The Red Balloon, 891 Grand Av., St. Paul.
  • Duluth has Fitger’s, which is as close as I can get to Mahtawa, Cynthia. It specializes in regional Northeastern Minnesota books.
  • A little farther afield, here’s an article about shops in Portland, OR, for Steve.

(Wes, I couldn’t remember which Ohio city you reside in.)

Of course, I’ve just scratched the surface, and I apologize ahead of time if I’ve left out your favorite independent bookstore. (Please add your favorites in your comments.) There are great used book stores all over, like Midway and 6th Chamber in St. Paul. Rochester and Mankato each have one.

What was the last book you purchased, whatever kind of book it was?

84 thoughts on “Indie Bookstore Day”

  1. Hmmm. Last book…probably the stack I bought at Christmas for Niece and Daughter which included some Neil Gaiman and a couple other titles. Can’t remember exactly if the bundle of Sandra Boynton books for a baby gift was after that or before, those might have been January. Plenty of books go in an out, but since I’m around the corner from a library (and have limited book storage yet available), more come from the library than not these days.

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        1. you can do a search on ebay and find them ill bet . if not have it search and inform you when they show up. i do this with particular hats and artists

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  2. The Bookloft in German Village is the place to go for books in Columbus. If you bring up their site online, you’ll see how tight the quarters are. Brush up on “human passing human” etiquette before going. What is missing from the pictures is the music being played in each cubicle. The acoustics are such that you can only hear what is being played in each station. No overlapping. Eclectic and worthy of any Morning Show fan.
    My last book purchase was on the Civil War Battlefields of Fredericksburg. Obtained from the national park service on site.

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      1. I cannot fathom the determination of those people who went to certain death. I’d read many articles and books on the subject but to stand on the ground where they shed their blood was sobering. I wept.

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    1. When my daughter was at college in Wooster, we used to pass through Toledo on the way out. If it was a time when the bookstore would be open, I used to make a stop at Frogtown Books in Toledo. Wooster also has a used bookstore, or did. I can’t remember its name though. I bought a bunch of John Burroughs books there.

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  3. Two books this month, so far. “Paradise Now” by Chris Jennings, an accout of what the author considers five of the most representative utopian, or associationist experiments in America in the 19th century, with side forays into several others. It’s well researched and readable, with a tinge of humor, a worthy addition to my shelf of utopian accounts.
    The second book, the one I’m reading now, is ” Daybook” by Anne Truitt, a journal-style excursion into the mind and daily reflections of a working artist. Itwas written in the seventies and it’s a well-regarded and excellent book, but I hadn’t read it. I have her second journal, “Turn”, and read it years ago and liked it very much but had never gotten to the first one until now.
    Other bookstores in the Twin Cities that deserve mention include Micawber’s in St. Anthony Park and, for used books, Book House in Dinkytown and James and Mary Laurie Books in downtown Minneapolis.

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  4. I get to read many books that I don’t have to buy. Anything my daughter buys for her Kindle shows up at no cost in my Kindle. Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin is about the kite-flier’s sister. Author Jill Lepore gives us a fascinating look at a woman who was witty, resilient and thoughtful. Life was difficult in the eighteenth century. Of her ten children, only one outlived her. The times weren’t kind to independent women, but Jane was too smart and scrappy to be bossed by the men around her. I like the word she uses to characterize herself: “miffy.”

    The last book I bought was a thrilling read. Helen Macdonald was undone by grief when her father died. An experienced falconer, Macdonald rehabilitated her shattered spirits by acquiring and training a particularly fierce type of hunting hawk, a goshawk. Her memoir about that experience is a powerful, occasionally frightening tale.

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        1. I was wondering about that…not sure I would want someone else to see every ebook I purchase – because then their opinion that I’m very lowbrow would be confirmed. Luckily most of the ebooks I read are borrowed from the library.

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  5. I purchased 10 or twelve direct from the authors at the UW- Madison Writers’ Institute a few weeks ago. Got ’em all signed too! 🙂 My collection grows larger and larger. Who knows, one of these “authorgraphs” may be worth megabucks in 100 years. THEN I’ll be on Easy Street. 😉

    Chris in Owatonna

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      1. Yes we do, The Little Professor Bookstore downtown at Park Square West. A very cozy place, with a friendly, book-loving, author-supportive owner.

        As a matter of fact, I just stopped by to see him today . He’s taking six of my books on consignment and is willing to promote me for a book signing table outside his store during a farmers’ market day this summer. 🙂

        Chris

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  6. Like Anna, I am a devotee of the library.

    Other than foid, I find I buy very lityle of anything these days but I did get a lovely cookbook of Minnesota indigenous foods awhile book at Garrison’s shop.

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    1. I have not seen Garrison’s new store. His first bookstore (on Selby) had an unusual quality. It didn’t stock “every” book or even every popular book. Instead, it stocked books that were sure to delight people who really enjoy books. You could shut your eyes and pick up the first book your fingers touched. It would be delightful.

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        1. The space wasn’t big enough to have authors reading their work. That had to be done down the hall in a public space, and there were always interruptions. Besides, the landlord wasn’t very cooperative. I think both Common Good Books and Subtext are better off in their new spaces.

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      1. The new store isn’t particularly charming as a space, but the store has a really good buyer or buyers. I always see things there that I didn’t previously know about but are irresistable.

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  7. The last book I actually paid money for was from another great indie bookstore – Valley Books in Stillwater. It was a pie cookbook from the Norsk Nook folks.

    These days I almost feel like I’m cheating on the library when I actually purchase a book. Library and I have a very close relationship!

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    1. Just got that one out from SPPL!
      We loved their root beer float pie, but if I make it am going to have to modify it a bit as 4C heavy whipping cream +2 cartons of whipped topping all in one pie seems a bit much for household use.

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  8. There is a western book store in Medora, about 40 miles west, and a Barnes and Noble in Bismarck, 90 miles east. Our library has a used book store called Twice Sold Tales. I haven’t bought a book for a while, but husband recently bought a book called 1900, a history book about what was happening in Europe in said year.

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        1. i always stop at the utter bewilderment of the new people in the car.

          you can go by the worlds largest buffalo but not the worlds largest cow. and its on an exit where there really isnt much to do but go to the worlds largest holstien. bad gas station (or not a great one), long driveway with a coffee can for donations and the cow. you have to take pictures. you just have to

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  9. The last book I bought from an indie was Aunt Sass: Christmas Stories by P.L. Travers. Haven’t read it yet. It’s queued up for next winter. I’ve picked up a few things at used book sales since then, though.

    OT – Happy birthday, PJ! Hope it’s a fine day.

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  10. The last books(s) I purchased were from the J Skylark Co…an independent little shop with amazing toys & a few select books…in the Dewitt-Seita building Canal Park Duluth. I can spend time just for me…entertainment and wonder…but my purchases were for young nephews.

    I get books on line from the library. Actual book books: I pick up paperbacks that I don’t need to check out-just say Mahtowa and the number I’m taking and I’m on my honor to return them-Moose Lake Library. And my friend Cynthia lends or gives me books to read. If she doesn’t want them returned I take them to our little Twice Told Tales book store here in Mahtowa. Volunteer run and stocked with donated books it is open on the weekends. My personal library went there when I decided I needed to share!

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    1. I was going to mention Twice Told Tales also (thanks, slilyss) as my closest independent bookstore…I have found some amazing books there, including several in Norwegian (a little book about the Norwegian artist Theodore Kittelsen), Swedish (dictionary, language lesson books)…even one in Hungarian (about a Hungarian artist). Keepers. And my cast-offs also go there. Reading book books more and more often these days.

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  11. When We Fight, We Win from the May Day book store. All books are 15% off. I have only glanced through the book which I learned about for listening to Democracy Now. It has very good examples of art work to promote social causes.

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  12. For my grandson, from Red Balloon: Shh! We Have a Plan and Where is the Green Sheep.
    Last year I bought a bunch of used books from the book sale put on by the youth at my church. Reading Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder now.
    Like many (all?) of us, I am a lover of the library and I use it well.

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  13. The last book I purchased was a used book. And boy is it a tome. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I’m chewing my way through it, ever so slowly. It has footnotes galore in tiny print. Very hard on the old eyes. It’s well written, but it’s too soon to tell whether I’ll finish it. This is one book that would be easier to read on a Kindle or some such device, as it is heavy, literally weighs a lot.

    Thanks for the birthday wishes folks. I have a box of chocolate bonbons! 🙂

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  14. B & N did not close here. I was speculating it might be in an announced list of closures. It seems to half limp along. B & N is also the college bookstore.
    Re buying books: wish I could. No room here. Also, books I want to read are seldom in libraries or bookstores. Mostly I use my Amazon reader, which I do like for several reasons. I seldom buy a book for that. Mostly get free ones, one way or another. I have cut back on buying coffee or any drink out and buying books.
    No indie store here. Has apparently not been one for a long time.
    Refrigerator quit yesterday. Dealing with that. Apartment across the hall is empty so our stuff is there. Coffee maker may be shot. Sandy at dr. this p.m.

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    1. coffee makers are 15 bucs at big boxes these days. dont get fancy.refrigerator may be available on craigs list.
      too bad you are not up here. my moms place has next to new ones for 50 bucks. i just picked up for the garage after my previously blogged accident occured

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  15. The last ebooks I purchased were two by an author I like, Susanna Kearsley. I only bought them because they were on sale for $1.99 or some such cheap price; otherwise, I would get them from the library. Previous to that, I bought Marie Kondo’s second book.

    I used to buy books compulsively; now I find I can go into a bookstore and spend an hour browsing and then buy nothing. Sometimes I use my phone to take pictures of books that I think I may be interested in, so I can check them out of the library, or buy later if I have to, but I usually never get around to looking at them, proof that, for me, buying books on a whim doesn’t usually translate to getting books that I want to keep.

    BiR, I went to Birchbark Books for the first time last summer. My friend from Vermont, who is a very literary person, was visiting and she wanted to go there. She was very impressed with the shop and felt that the books there were obviously selected with great care.

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    1. I can’t believe I forgot about the most recent book I purchased: Minnesota: State of Wonders by photographer Brian Peterson. When he had an exhibit at the Minneapolis Photo Center, I went to see the exhibit (I had to write a gallery report for my class and I chose this exhibit) and I bought that book there. The exhibit was fantastic, but since exhibits don’t last forever, I bought the book so I could look at the pictures whenever I want.

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  16. i was somewhere and hit the triple play
    a david sedaris book i had looked at but didnt own,. an art book and a book on bill holms poetry. total of 6 bucks but id better not bring them home no room on my headboard( my headboard made me laugh the other day.11 foot long 4 shelves all double racked with front and back row on each shelf unless they are art or otherwise oversized stuff.
    i have a problem

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    1. This is really funny, tim. I know it says it’s a Danish birthday song, but, really, it isn’t. That’s why no one in the group really know it. What they are singing is a Danish translation of a Swedish Christmas song. Gave me a good chuckle. Thanks.

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  17. Daughter is packing up her stuff to move to a new house with three other friends. She texted me today to say “I have a book problem, mom” and also sent photos of the bins and boxes of novels and mysteries (now I know what she spends all her money on!). Oh dear. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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  18. RE:
    verily sherrilee
    APRIL 27, 2016 AT 4:04 PM
    Field trip????? Let us know when the signing is!

    Haven’t set a date for the farmer’s market gig, but I have set up a “book release party” (I’m choosing to call it that since it’ll be my first event) with my local cupcake “dealer.” YES, her cupcakes are addictive! That’ll be on June 2 (tentative but pretty firm) starting at 4 pm.

    However, I’m not averse to driving up to the Cities to sign books. PJ gave me the name of a bookstore events manager at Subtext Books who is supportive of regional writers and might host a signing. I’ll keep the Babooners posted if and when that happens too.

    Chris in Owatonna

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