BEST BOOKSTORE (NEW) - 2010
Though both Minneapolis and St. Paul's "Most Literate Cities" standings slipped in '09, from first and third to third and seventh, respectively, it sure as hell wasn't for lack of commerce. The Twin Cities are filthy with bookstores, and we mostly give 'em the love they need. We even still patronize independently owned, neighborhood generalist shops. Granted, none has anywhere near the square footage of Barnes & Noble's regional flagship in Rosedale or new-and-used indie behemoth Magers & Quinn, but with books, space often plays second fiddle to taste. Micawber's bristles with the latter. Nestled in St. Paul's charming Saint Anthony Park neighborhood, this cozy institution packs substantial selling power into a deceptively small frame. To wit: "In the next few days we will sell our 500th copy of Kao Kalia Yang's The Latehomecomer," the store's website noted back in March. Staff enthusiasm extends well beyond local authors and publishers, too—especially in the well-stocked fiction and poetry sections, where books often come with handwritten endorsements. While Micawber's isn't the best place for list-based raids (unless you take advantage of its killer special-order options), it's the sort of browser's paradise that offers something for all but the most depraved shopper—from the Robert Crumb-illustrated Book of Genesis to the latest issue of McSweeney's. Apart from a carefully selected clutch of remainders, prices are list, but if the person who rings you up does a little gentle data mining, cooperate. You might just find yourself getting a discount.