Best Specialty Bookstores In Minnesota

April 29, 2013 8:00 AM

Six metro-area specialty bookstores reveal the diversity and richness of culture in Minnesota. Escape into comics or mysteries. Delve into academics or heritage. Enjoy life as a kid. Just a short drive can open a new world.

Wild Rumpus
2720 W. 43rd St.
Minneapolis, MN 55410
(612) 920-5005

The central idea of Wild Rumpus is to welcome kids inside in a way that they will experience a much larger outer world. The architecture and the animals provide a comfortable natural surrounding. Events and book clubs targeting every age group help stimulate reading interest. The store is worth a trip to Linden Hills.

Red Balloon Bookshop
891 Grand Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
(651) 224-8320

The many events and story times at the Red Balloon Bookshop encourage kids of all ages to come back to the bookstore. They even have an adult book club that focuses on kids books. Sign up for $3 off anything in the store with the Kids Birthday Club. Adults may notice that the store has a large inventory of books suited to their taste in fiction, fantasy and non-fiction.

University of Minnesota Bookstores
St. Paul Store
2017 Buford Ave., Suite 7
St. Paul, MN 55108
(612) 624-9200
Don’t overlook the University of Minnesota Bookstores. Bibliophiles can get signed copies and meet the leading authors by attending readings at the Coffman Memorial Union Bookstore. Gardeners can find the extension publications on vital topics. Health science professionals will find the largest selection in the nation. A place for more than books, sports fans can pick up official Golden Gopher sportswear and techies will find calculators, cameras, headphones, smart phones and tablets and can trade in their gear. The University of Minnesota Bookstores focus on brands such as Apple, Kindle and Verizon.

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Once Upon A Crime
604 W. 26th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
(612) 870-3785

Mystery sleuths can be thankful that owners Pat and Gary have established a 25-year-old full-service mystery institution. In addition to its boundless inventory of new mysteries, thrillers and crime fiction, The Annex has out-of-print books, rare first editions and unique gently used volumes. It maintains a vigorous schedule of events, a list of Minnesota-based mystery writers and has published an anthology to celebrate its 10th Annual Write of Spring event.

Birchbark Books
2115 W. 21st St.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
(612) 374-4023

“It is the largest, most complete selection of traditional and authentic American Indian books,” according to Susan White, store manager. The Birchbark Books store also features artifacts, paintings, quillwork, silverwork, baskets, dream catchers and even a birchbark canoe. Owner Louise Erdrich is a member of Turtle Mountain Chippewa, but also a prolific writer of acclaimed books. The store is chock full of books of every genre.

Source Comics & Games
2057 Snelling Ave. N
Roseville, MN 55113
(651) 645-0386

Source Comics and Games is giving away free comics on Free Comic Book Day, May 4. Come in to meet the friendly staff and greet the iconic Soldier. Check out the new comics in the store or go online. The staff is always friendly and the store is long recognized as a leader in the comic world.

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Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at

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