Turn a new page at these fine bookstores

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. — Neil Gaiman

Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood. — John Green

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will. —Charlotte Bronte

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore? — Henry Ward Beecher

Pick up a good book lately? Statistics say you probably did. The Twin Cities frequently numbers high in the list of most literate cities in America. We also have one of the largest clusters of Little Free Libraries in the world. We’re also a maker of fine books. Numerous publishers are spread throughout the metro area and entire state and Downtown is home to many. Three nationally acclaimed literary presses reside here: Coffee House Press, Graywolf Press and Milkweed Editions. Lerner Publishing is one of the largest independently owned children’s book publishers with more than 5,000 books in print. Quarto Publishing Group is the largest international producer of illustrated books and carries several imprints including Voyageur Press, Motorbooks and Rockport. Free Spirit Publishing creates self-help books for children and teens as well as parents and teachers. Fortress Press concentrates on religious scholarship. The University of Minnesota Press was established in 1925 and produces 110 new titles a year in both academic and general interest subjects. And there are so many more!

Clearly, we like to read. Help celebrate Independent Bookstore Day by browsing through hand-curated selections in Twin Cities’ locally owned bookstores. We are lucky to have so many independent bookstores still in the Twin Cities and more keep springing up. Support them at the second annual Independent Bookstore Day on April 30.

There will be exclusive deals on new releases available only on this day. Pick up a limited edition, signed and numbered Kate Di Camillo novel or an exclusive Neil Gaiman coloring book illustrated by Chris Riddell. Several local bookstores are participating in a Bookstore Day passport giveaway. Pick up your passport at any of these ten stores and receive a stamp. If you get stamps from all 10 stores on April 30, you’ll receive a $10 gift card from every participating bookstore — $100 in all!

Have fun and remember what Groucho Marx said: “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

Ten bookstores participating in the Indie Passport program (all stores located in Minneapolis unless noted):

Birchbark Books and Native Arts, (new books, 2115 W. 21st St.)

Common Good Books, (new books, 38 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul)

Daybreak Global Press, (720 Washington Ave. SE)

Dreamhaven Books and Comics, (2301 E. 38th St.)

Moon Palace Books, (new and used, 2820 E. 33rd St.)

Magers & Quinn Booksellers, (some new, mostly used, 3038 Hennepin Ave.)

The Paperback Exchange, (mostly used, 2227 W. 50th St.)

The Red Balloon Bookshop, (childrens’ books, 891 Grand Ave., St. Paul)

Subtext Books, (new books, 6 W. 5th St., St. Paul)

Wild Rumpus, (childrens’ books, 2720 W. 43rd St.)

Other independent bookstores:

Addendum Books, (young adult, 478 S. Cleveland Ave., St Paul)

Ancestry Books, (indigenous authors and authors of color, at Juxtaposition Arts, 1104 W. Broadway Ave. N.)

Big Brain Comics, (comics and graphic novels, 1027 Washington Ave., S.)

The Book House in Dinkytown, (used and rare, 1316 4th St. SE)

The Book Trader, (used books and vintage collectibles, 5344 S. 34th Ave.)

Boneshaker Books, (specializing in radical and progressive literature, 2002 23rd Ave. S.)

Eat My Words, (used books, 1228 2nd St. NE)

Hmong ABC, (books and crafts, 217 Como Ave., Suite 108, St. Paul)

James & Mary Laurie Booksellers, (used and antiquarian, 250 3rd Ave. N., Suite 115)

Lien’s Bookshop, (used and rare, 681 17th Ave NE)

Once Upon A Crime, (mysteries and thrillers, new and rare, 604 W. 26th St.)

Mayday Books, (a volunteer collective selling left-wing literature, 301 Cedar Ave.)

Micawber’s Books, (a cozy neighborhood fixture that just moved around the corner to 2230 Carter Ave., St. Paul)

Midway Books, (used books, 1579 University Ave. W., St. Paul)

Sixth Chamber, (used books, toys, and fun things, 1332 Grand Ave., Saint Paul)

Uncle Hugo/Uncle Edgar’s, (science fiction, mystery, and fantasy, 2864 Chicago Ave. S.)

LUNCH TIP: Bring your new Moon Palace book around the corner to Peace Coffee (3262 Minnehaha Ave. S.) and enjoy homemade soups and sandwiches.

For more adventures, follow Linda Koutsky on Facebook.