The February issue of Midwest Living magazine lists five independent bookstores around the region with cozy corners, author events and good selections. Common Good Books of St. Paul, owned by author and radio host Garrison Keillor, is one of the five.
“We’re delighted that people think we’re worthy,” said manager Sue Zumberge. “I don’t mean to sound like it doesn’t matter, but we’re just who we are. Of course, we love to be in the same group as Prairie Lights [in Iowa City].”
The other stores on the magazine’s list: Town House Books in St. Charles, Ill., Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop in Milwaukee, and Watermark Books and Cafe in Wichita, Kan.
“We don’t try for these things, or think about them; we try to serve the needs of our neighborhood. So I guess we’ve got a pretty cool neighborhood,” Zumberge said.
“We started with Garrison’s footprint, but we’ve evolved and like I always say, ‘A good local bookstore is like a good local bar.’ People come to us with different needs and we try to meet them. They’ve had a death or are having a baby or something else is happening and we can say: ‘You should read this.’ “
Common Good Books is at 165 N. Western Ave. in St. Paul, at the corner of Selby Avenue, in the level below Nina’s Cafe.
To readers: Besides Common Good Books, which Minnesota bookstores offer the best cozy corners, author events and good selections?