Top 7 bookstores in the Twin Cities

Categories: Books
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L-R: Common Good Books (shot by popturfdotcom), Once Upon a Crime, Boneshaker Books, Wild Rumpus
Some say bookstores are dead. The age of e-books and online shipping has hit shops like Barnes & Noble, Little Professor, and the now-defunct Borders hard. However, there's something special about a small, independent book store that can't be replicated on a website. The ability to browse, to find a corner to read a chapter or two, to pick the brain of literature-loving staff members, and to see authors discuss their writing are part of what makes locally owned bookshops essential.

The following are some of our favorites in the Twin Cities.

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Photo courtesy of Magers & Quinn
Magers & Quinn Booksellers
3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis

Magers & Quinn is the kind of bookstore that you can get lost in -- and not in a bad way. It's a browsing kind of store that nurtures a proclivity to wander from one section to the next, immersing visitors in all its treasures. Between its extensive fiction collection and its wonderful selection of art and design books, as well as sections filled with tomes on history, foreign language, science, and other topics, Magers & Quinn has something for all nature of curiosities. The business also frequently hosts readings featuring local and national authors.

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Photo by Claire Lindsay McGinn
Boneshaker Books
2002 23rd Ave. S., Minneapolis

Ground zero for socialists, feminists, communists, Queer intellectuals, anarchists, and the Twin Cities leftist intelligencia, Boneshaker Books provides you with all the latest radical thought, as well as plenty of historical leftist literature. This volunteer-run shop is small but cozy, and offers books you won't be able to find anywhere else, such as work by local writers and cutting-edge zines. Located in Seward, across the street from the Playwrights' Center and just around the corner from 2nd Moon Coffee Cafe, this store frequently hosts wonderful radical speakers who spark great discussions.  

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Wild Rumpus
2720 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis

Wild Rumpus is a magical place where kids can travel to all different kinds of worlds through reading, meeting a few furry friends along the way. No, we don't mean imaginary furry friends (though perhaps those, too); we're talking about the actual kitties and mice and spiders and the chicken (a.k.a. Carl Sagan) who live at the store. Wild Rumpus is a fun place for children, which will get them excited about reading. There are plenty of guest authors and storytimes throughout each month as well.

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"Some say bookstores are dead" I dont think so. As long as you have great books to read like the ones listed above bookstores will always be there. There are many people still publishing books and printing them. Books will be always a part of our everyday lives.



Uncle Hugo/Uncle Edgar, on Chicago just north of Lake Street, is one place my husband and I can always agree to go -- he heads for the mysteries in Uncle Edgar's section, I hang out with the fantastic selection of science fiction in Uncle Hugo's wing.


What, no James and Marie Laurie Booksellers? Shame! They've got the NUTTIEST collection!


You left out one of the biggest and oldest used bookstores, The Book House in Dinkytown by the U of Minn.


Re Boneshaker's writeup: 2nd Moon Coffee Cafe is now Precision Grind. Thanks for the recognition of both!

Ross Levine
Ross Levine

Eee! Once Upon A Crime is in a building my company manages! Glad to see them getting props.

David Gustafson
David Gustafson

No Dreamhaven Books? It's likely the best bookstore for fantasy and science fiction in the country, one of the tops in the world. For shame!

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