Books,  Bookstores of the World

Common Good Books: Bookstores of the World

This may be a record for school time – two posts in one week! It may even end up being three in one week, because I finished Are You There Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea last night.


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In Saint Paul, Minnesota there is a small bookstore on Cathedral Hill called Common Good Books. My first encounter with this hidden gem was during a study break. Two years ago I was studiously working away on some assignment in Nina’s Coffee Cafe when I decided procrastination would be more rewarding. Off to the side of Nina’s there is a small staircase that leads to Wonderland, with a giant arrow that reads “Common Good Books” providing the White Hare’s guidance downward.

Rounding the corner to what appears to be a giant room stacked floor-to-ceiling with books, sends a book lover’s heart a flutter.

Despite the fact that the store is not that large, it is still easy to lose yourself among the tall shelves and hidden, cozy corners. Time spent in Common Good can only increase one’s affection for the printed, bound medium called books because the store evokes the feeling that everyone in there has the same literary love you do.

It only gets better when you learn that the store is owned by Garrison Keillor, the Prairie Home Companion Host.

Common Good Books, however, is moving!  As reported in the Mac Weekly article “Keillor brings Common Good Books to Macalester,” the store is moving to Snelling Avenue to Macalester’s Lampert Building. I won’t go into detail about the move, because everyone should click the link above!  Yes, this is a shameless plug for my school’s paper.

If you’re in the Twin Cities, go experience the old location of Common Good Books. Then, when it re-opens on Snelling you can be one of the awesome people to have been at both locations.  Yes, I am judging the quality of your character by how dedicated of a book store connoisseur you are.

Find Common Good Books


  • emily

    Have you heard of Micawber’s in SP/have you been there? My best friend’s father owns the store and I’ve always wanted to go. They frequently win the word for best independent bookstore for fiction in the Twin Cities, but my friend just laughs that off because he says his dad’s store is the only store in the TC that has decent fiction. Anyway, I’ve been on this quest to find someone from the TC who’s visited it to get their feedback on it, so if you ever end up going, let me know! Plus, if you see a bald-headed kid named Max working, say hi for me.

    Good luck with your senior thesis!

  • Ashley

    I haven’t heard of Micawber’s. I will definitely check it out and if there’s a bald-headed kid named Max, I’ll pass along your greeting. How are classes going for you?

  • Chris

    I love Micawber’s! It is a great bookstore in a really charming section of St. Paul. I work at Macalester so am especially excited about CGB coming to our area but I will miss W. A. Frost across the street.

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