25 January 08 | Chad W. Post

Meant to post this earlier, but it’s been a crazy day . . .

In addition to the presses (Graywolf, Coffee House, and Milkweed), the review publication (Rain Taxi), the literary center (The Loft), and the building for literature (Open Book), the other thing Minn-St. P has are a couple really stellar bookstores.

This is the area where Hungry Mind/Ruminator used to exist (so sad), so there is a tradition for great bookstores in the Twin Cities. In fact, David Unowsky—the former owner of Hungry Mind—is the Events Coordinator at Magers & Quinn the first store I visited in the city. M&Q is most well known as a used bookstore but in the time since Ruminator Books closed down, and since the Borders that was nearby shut down (really), they’ve stepped it up and started carrying more and more new titles. Jay Peterson knows a lot about literature, and the selection of new books on display was superb. As a store that’s relatively new to new books, they’re looking to hook up with the upper echelon of bookstores, like the Shaman Drums, McNally Robinsons, and City Lights of the world . . .

If for nothing else, Micawber’s is awesome for their slogan: “The Eternally Optimistic Book People.” The two owners are former-Hungry Mind employees who bought this beautiful store about six years ago. The store is very well-stocked, and it the front table titles are any indication, Hans Weyandt has fantastic taste. Taking Things Seriously, The Diving Pool, and Omega Minor were all front-and-center.

I didn’t have a chance to visit any other bookstores—like the University of Minnesota store, which I’ve heard great things about—but just based on these two, it looks like MSP is in great shape.

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