Friday, April 25, 2014

Subterranean Books - St. Louis, MO

Outside display window Subterranean Books, St. Louis, MO.

For the most part, indie bookstore owners and managers are a sympathetic brotherhood and sisterhood. They stick together.  After all, who else will help them and endorse them if not each other?  They share the common battle of survival and they all know what they're up against.  That's how I found out about Subterranean Books, from two different indie owners.  Mary Ann from NewBo Books in Cedar Rapids told me to check it out and Kris and Jay at Left Bank both told me to go visit Subterranean.  Both of them said that Kelly at Subterranean is a great person to work with.

So after visiting Left Bank on my recent visit to St. Louis I was off to Subterranean, a very short drive, to check it out.  If you're checking out books and visit one of these places, you might as well visit both.  As with many indies, Subterranean is housed in an older building.  It's located along a block of many small storefront businesses and if you're not paying attention you can walk right buy it.  They lost their awning but thanks to some help from author James Patterson they are able to replace it and make some minor upgrades.  The interior is long and narrow and it is packed with books.  Lots to look at and lots to look for.  Many local books displayed, smaller publishers featured like Europa, for example.  Even though I didn't have the good fortune to meet Kelly while I was here I did have the great luck to meet author Scott Phillips who just happened to walk in while I was there.

But here's the common thread with all these places: the people.  I didn't meet Kelly but she sure knows how to hire good staff because the staffer who was there, Tori Walters, could not have been nicer and more accommodating.  She balanced customers and phone calls but patiently and very enthusiastically talked to me about the store and all things books.  She recommended to me a a couple of books that I don't think I would ever have picked out on my own so I'll be anxious to read those.  Kelly, this employee is a keeper, give her a raise!  Everyone else?  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Didn't.  Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein.  This book is loved by the majority of all readers.  But not me.  Couldn't get through it and could not embrace the writing style.  But don't listen to me, everyone else loves it!

CURRENTLY READING: Actually just starting.  The Empathy Exams, Leslie Jamison.  I have high

Look carefully in the lower right hand corner and you probably recognize the celebrity caught on camera, my mom!  She's getting ready to pounce on her next purchase.   Exterior of Subterranean Books.

Interior, Subterranean Books.

Long, narrow, and stacked high!

Yours truly and Tori Walters, a great staffer at Subterranean.

View from the upper level rear of the store looking towards the front.


  1. I'll definitely check this book store out on my next trip to these parts!

  2. I'll definitely check this book store out on my next trip to these parts!