|Winding Trail Books, St. Paul, MN|
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Rick G., co-owner of Winding Trail Books along with wife Sue, shared with me what one of their customers told him while visiting the store. "Man, you cram a lot of stuff in here." I've decided this is an understatement! This small space in the Milton Square retail area is able to fill a space with books and sidelines and yet you don't feel crowded or cramped while browsing and shopping. Rick and Sue have managed to do an excellent job organizing their space to offer new and used books along with a few vintage editions. The books of local interest and by local authors are especially strong. The sidelines they offer are too numerous to mention them all but they are largely sourced locally from area artists. This includes jewelry, puzzles, greeting cards, candles, stickers, and MUCH more. Truly, there is something here for everyone.
Winding Trail just celebrated its 2nd birthday having opened at the inopportune time right before covid took off and shut everything down. When that hit, they had to rethink their business model and started offering online orders, curbside pick-ups, and home deliveries which all made a difference for the store's survival. Slowly but surely the store is beginning to see an uptick in business with the declivity of the coronavirus. This will coincide with the return of author signings and children's events which were huge before the pandemic.
Winding Trail is located in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood and is surrounded by many other independent retail businesses, a great location and very compatible for foot traffic. It is also situated right between the St. Paul campus and Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota and attracts many customers from those communities.
One of the best things you'll enjoy during your visit here is the mural artwork throughout the store's interior. The store logo, parts of the walls, and the entire ceiling in the back children's room are all covered with beautiful work done by local artists. If there are awards for bookstore art/decor, this store should be a nominee. Very impressive.
If you're in the Twin Cities and haven't discovered this gem yet, hop to it. You'll experience a delightful store that might be small, but it packs a big punch. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: Shaking The Gates Of Hell, John Archibald. The author, born and raised in Alabama, is a descendant of generations of Methodist ministers and when he was born in 1963 at the height of the civil rights unrest, he was curious about his father's platform in the Methodist church. Did he preach about equality during these uneasy times or did he remain silent? A deep look into 1960's Alabama and the part the white clergy did or didn't play during those days. Part memoir and part family history. Recommended.
CURRENTLY READING: My Life And Hard Times, James Thurber.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: Wolf Kill, Cary J. Griffith. The Latehomecomer, Kao Kalia Yang.
|Follow the signs.|
|You're almost there. |
|Browse these offerings before turning right from here and entering the store. |
|Looking into the store from the front entrance. See the realistic looking twisted vines? That's actually part of a mural. |
|The store has a strong Minnesota flavor of offerings like this jewelry. |
|Display of new and recent releases. |
|Beautiful table display featuring a few Minnesota authors. |
|I think the store's logo is fantastic. Nice work by a talented local artist|
|Another look at the twisted vines.|
|Music lovers will enjoy this display just inside the front door. |
|Lots of browsing to do here. |
|Looking for a cause? Find one here. |
|Locally sourced greeting cards. |
|Just a few of the books of local interest or by local authors. |
|Most indies have had great success selling puzzles. Same here for Winding Trail. |
|A variety of North Shore candles can be found here. |
|Find this display in the children's room. |
|This is a portion of the mural in the children's room. I think the woman looks very realistic. That stream of blue coming out of the book continues up onto the ceiling...|
|...where you'll see this. Outstanding work and I can't imagine how the artist did this without getting a stiff neck. I actually laid on the floor to get this picture. |
|Another corner mural in the children's room. |
|Hands down one of my favorite authors and you might bump into him here. He lives in the St. Paul neighborhood. |
|An overview of the store looking toward the front entrance. |
|Many indies feature some really unique art works. Remember my advice, if you see it in a bookstore and you like it, GET IT! It will be hard to find anywhere else. |
|Can't get here in person? Here's your solution. |
|With Rick on the left, the fine co-owner at Winding Trail Books. Thanks for a great visit. |