Saturday, November 29, 2014

Birchbark Books - Minneapolis, MN

Birch Bark Books - Minneapolis, MN

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Throughout my journey, every bookstore I visit I learn something.  What I learn on my visits is not always limited to books and bookstores.  At Birchbark Books in Minneapolis, I was immersed in a culture of Native America.  Language, people, art, books, authors, music and anything else you can imagine.  This is not only a fine independent bookstore, it's an experience and a beginning to learning more about our nation's Native American heritage.

This is a small, one-level (except for the tree house), neighborhood bookstore where you can find current best seller releases like ones offered at other indies, but you can also find many things related to Native Americans, including the Ashinake people.  Renowned author Louise Erdich, is a Native American and also owner of this independent bookstore.  She also wrote one of the essays in My Bookstore, about Magers & Quinn, also in Minneapolis.  You'll find all kinds of topics on Native Americans in every genre, including children's books and young readers.  There are many books here written by Native American authors and you'll also find many anthropological studies.  All of the sidelines here are related in some way to our Native American heritage.  Greeting cards that are done by local artists, local art work, bird houses made of recycled wood, jewelry, ointments, healing sage, and more.  Parts of the store include the trunks of actual birchbark trees.  There is a tree house that you can go up and look down into the children's section, all made of birchbark.  This store has been here for 15? years and is very well supported by the local community but it is also a destination for many tourists who come specifically to this store for its Native American books and items.

I didn't get to meet Louise Erdich during my visit but I did get to meet and talk to Elizabeth and Nate.  Elizabeth was very helpful and told me a lot about the store, the Ojibwe (oh-JIB-way) language, the Ashinake people, and more.  This store is truly a wealth of information for people who want to understand and learn more about Native Americans.

I would like to offer my miigwech (thank you) to the staff at Birchbark Books for a wonderful visit to a super and unique independent bookstore that if you take the time to visit, will teach you a lot.  But part of your education will be buying a book there before you leave.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Cuckoo's Calling, Robert Galbraith.  Seems like it's taking a long time to get to the resolution but I'm almost there.  Author is pseudonym for J. K. Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter series.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Orenda, Joseph Boyden.

Great window display and entrance to the right.  

Looking into the store from the front entrance.  

Looking directly to the left from the entrance.  

A great display of staff picks.  

American Indian studies by native authors.  

A great place to sit and try out a book.  

Looking up at the treehouse from the main level.  

A great view of the store looking down from the treehouse.  

Looking down and to the left from the treehouse into a portion of the children's section.  

Some of the sidelines featured here.  

Many of the greeting cards are by local artists.  

Jewelry available here, also by local artists.  

If you don't know what boozhoo means, they provide the translation!  

A great sign for any store!

Great assortment of greeting cards.  

I've been to a lot of bookstores and seen a lot of sidelines but don't think I've seen birdhouses made from recycled wood!

Another great place to try out a book.  

More items made by Native American artists.  

Elizabeth was great to visit with and tell me about the store.

You haven't found any sage in other bookstores?  Look no further, here it is!  

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