Sunday, March 24, 2019

Milkweed Books - Minneapolis, MN

Milkweed Books, Minneapolis, MN
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Milkweed Books is located in a large, old building in downtown Minneapolis and is part of a much larger enterprise called, Open Book.  Open Book is a non-profit and under its business umbrella is everything a book lover could want.  Most bookstores offer sidelines but in this building you go to the store that stocks greeting cards, tote bags, and other items.  Some bookstores have cafes and in this building you go to the large open space that houses the cafe, conveniently located next to the bookstore.  In this multi-level building you'll also find spaces to host events, rooms for workshops and classes, offices, the Milkweed Editions publishing company, and more.  If you need to reserve a space for an event, Open Book can do that for you.  Basically, think of this as a bookstore with lots of different business spaces for specific purposes.  And within all of this, you'll find a terrific bookstore with a great inventory and, on the day of my visit, two wonderful young booksellers who made my visit enjoyable, engaging, and a fun bookstore experience.

Milkweed Books is a little over two years old and things are going very well with the business showing good growth during this time.  This well-curated store offers an excellent breadth of inventory with many books published by small presses, like Milkweed Editions, for example.  I've been in indies like this one and really enjoy seeing so many books that I'm unfamiliar with from small independent presses.  The store has some great options for hosting events right in the building.  Store manager Hans W., does a great job of getting the stores' name out there by offering a pop-up store at the weekly farmer's market held year round.  When classes or workshops are held in the building to discuss a particular book, Milkweed Books is the store that provides the books.

Always best of all along my journey are the terrific people I'm fortunate to meet.  If you look up in the dictionary, "friendly, kind, intelligent, and darn nice booksellers," you'll see pictures of Allison and Sophie.  Clearly, somebody at Open Book knows how to staff a bookstore with the right people.

This building is located in the shadow of U. S. Bank Stadium, home of the Vikings.  The next time you go see the Vikings and they're taking it on the chin, stop in and see Milkweed Books.  It will be the salve to ease your pain and relieve your stress.  Don't miss this super bookstore in downtown Minneapolis.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The President's Hat, Antoine Laurain.  French president Fran├žois Mitterrand forgets his hat in a local cafe.  The person who finds it notices the mistake too late to get it back to the president so keeps it for himself.  This begins the journey of the hat that passes from person to person and changes the fortunes of all who temporarily own it.  A short, very readable and enjoyable book.  Recommended.

CURRENTLY READING:  Natchez Burning, Greg Iles.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  An American Marriage, Tayari Jones.  Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer.  

This is the Open Book building.  The main entrance to the building is underneath the marquee.  The entrance to the bookstore is just beyond that.  

All things books can be found here.  

Lots of front window display space.  

This is the exterior entrance to Milkweed Books.  You can also reach it by entering the main entrance of the building and walking through the cafe and to the right.  

Looking straight into the store from the street entrance.  

Looking to the left from the main entrance.  If you proceed in this direction, you'll enter the coffee shop conveniently located adjacent to the bookstore space.  

Front table display with a few of the staff recommendations.  

Always ask about gift cards at any indie.  

If you're a regular at Milkweed, I strongly encourage you to check out some creative ways to support your local indie and receive some great books.  

If you enter the main entrance for this building, Open Book, you can turn to the right and enter the coffee shop.  

Here's the bookstore entrance from the coffee shop.  

If you enter the main building entrance and go to the left, you'll enter this wonderful shop filled with the sidelines you might find together with the books in other indies.  

Display of new releases in the bookstore.  

Community advocacy is an independent bookstore trademark.  I haven't seen anything like this and I think it's great.  

Lots of great staff picks.  

There are a few sidelines in the bookstore.  

Customer participation!  Another great indie idea.  

If you're on a budget, go to this section.  

A wonderful place to stretch out and try a book.  

Overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance. 

With Sophie on the left and Allison in the center, two of the fine booksellers you'll meet at Milkweed Books.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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