Appropriately for the birthplace of author F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Twin Cities boast an impressive literature scene that spans libraries, bookstores, writer resources and literary events.
Hennepin County alone has 41 libraries that reach over 1 million residents and 600 square miles. Most notable is the Minneapolis Central Library downtown, the city’s oldest, with nearly 40 miles of shelving, plus spaces for kids and teens and free events throughout the year.
On the edge of downtown, you’ll find Minneapolis’ Open Book, a bookstore, publishing house, event center, workshop and art gallery in one. Here, Milkweed Editions operates as an independent and nonprofit publisher, and the Loft Literary Center holds writing classes and talent-attracting events like the Wordplay literary festival and the Wordsmith conference. Be sure to check out the galleries on display at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts—the most comprehensive independent book-arts center in the nation—and sign up for workshops in origami and calligraphy.
Other big events for bookworms include the Twin Cities Antiquarian & Rare Book Fair, at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, and the Twin Cities Book Festival. And writers should check in at Tellabration, Narrativity and the Rosemount Writers Festival for workshops and collaborations with writers from around the metro.
For a more eccentric experience, kids and adults both head to the Wild Rumpus bookstore. While the south Minneapolis store has an array of all-ages books, it also houses chinchillas, cats, birds and even a tarantula. Don’t forget to buy a bag for a discount on your purchase, too. And for rare, used or out-of-circulation finds, check out Eat My Words in Minneapolis, where the oldest book is from 1787. The team also puts on literary events like poetry workshops and author talks.