Curling up with a Good Book

While there are plenty of activities to do both inside and outside this winter, sometimes the only thing I feel like doing is watching the snow fall while curled up with a good book. Many locals must feel this way, since we consistently rank as one of the most literate areas in the country (Minneapolis ranks No. 3, St. Paul No. 6). Besides boasting amazing authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Garrison Keillor, Vince Flynn, John Sandford, Louise Erdrich, and many more, as well as a popular public library system, we also offer a plethora of local bookshops, many of which are independently owned and easily competing against the big box retailers (both online and off). The employees at these shops know their stuff and shine on the Minnesota Nice. No matter what type of book you’re looking for, you’re bound to find it at one of our shops.


Common Good Books
Photo by Todd Buchanan

Common Good Books: Local humorist Garrison Keillor joined the book-selling fray by opening his own bookstore in St. Paul. The shop sells all types of titles and hosts readings by interesting authors.

Birchbark Books: Owned by author Louise Erdrich, this bookstore in Minneapolis highlights works by Native American Minnesotans, as well as others.

James & Mary Laurie Booksellers: Located conveniently right along Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, this shop is packed to the gills with used and rare finds. I could personally spend hours looking at old church lady-compiled cookbooks. 

Magers & Quinn: This Uptown Minneapolis store houses new and used books while hosting an impressive roster of readings, nearly every other day of the year, and featuring authors both big and small.

Once Upon A Crime: Owned by a husband and wife team, this is the place to go for the crime novels you love so much.

Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore & Uncle Edgar’s Mystery Bookstore: While unimpressive from the outside, inside these two neighbors you’ll find some of the most complete collections of sci fi and mystery books out there.

Wild Rumpus: This Linden Hills shop is just for the kids, but you’ll love it too. Keep your eyes open for the store pets, including Amelia the chinchilla, Ethel the chicken, Carlos the tarantula, and others.

The Red Balloon Bookshop: One of my favorites, this Grand Avenue shop is a magical spot for kids to pick out books. Stop in Cafe Latte for a treat afterwards.