Best Bookstore (New) - 2012
Common Good Books
As independent, brick-and-mortar bookstores become more and more rare in today's internet world, it's heartening to hear that Garrison Keillor's little St. Paul bookshop is not just thriving but will be open in its new location at Macalester College by the time you read this. What has helped the store thrive? Well, it cuts a deep swath through the current fiction and nonfiction landscape, providing interesting reads for the curious and adventurous. It hosts regular author appearances, readings, and special events. Beyond that, the real key to keeping a living, breathing bookstore alive is the staff. Hand-selling is a dying art, but the store still employs plenty of knowledgeable folks who can not only work out what book you might be looking for from a few half-remembered words of the title but can make recommendations based on what you like to read. Sure, computer algorithms can approximate this, but no computer program can read a customer in quite the way a dedicated bookseller can.