The biggest shopping day of the year is almost here. You can find some great deals on Black Friday, and that goes for books as well. But it’s the day after that when book lovers and the people buying gifts for them will find the best bargains. Independent bookstores have run with Small Business Saturday over the last few years as a shop-local alternative to Black Friday, with one of the big draws being author Sherman Alexie’s Indies First campaign that organizes authors to volunteer as booksellers for the day at stores around the country. (Fun fact: the current Indies First spokesperson is Cheryl Strayed, former Minnesotan and best-selling author of Wild.)
Plenty of bookstores in the Twin Cities and around Minnesota are participating, so without further ado, here is your guide to the sales and other events going on this weekend! (And if you’re sick of shopping, don’t miss the list down below of stuff you can do instead.)
Friday, November 27
In Park Rapids, Beagle and Wolf Books and Bindery will participate in the Yuletide Sampler, which begins at 5:00 p.m. Friday and has local businesses running specials and handing out treats. Books from Beagle and Wolf’s holiday catalog will be 10% off, and author Eric Bergeson will be on hand to sign copies of his latest book, A Treasury of Old Souls.
Buffalo Books and Coffee in Buffalo is currently celebrating its 21st anniversary, and science, sci-fi, and self-help books will be 21% off on Friday as part of its celebrations. (Watch the store’s Facebook page for more sales happening outside of Friday and Saturday.)
On both Friday and Saturday at Cherry Street Books in Alexandria, all puzzles and in-stock Christmas books will be 25% off, and all hardcover books (including children’s picture books) will be 10% off. The store is giving away advance reader copies of books with purchases and will have Christmas cookies, suckers, and pencils for shoppers and kids.
At DreamHaven Books and Comics in Minneapolis, many graphic novels will be 50% to 90% off; backlist comics will be 10 for $1; all bagged collectible paperbacks (except those in the showcase or behind the counter) will be 50% off; and if you buy any new book, you can get 50% off a second of equal or lesser value.
Eat My Words Bookstore in Northeast Minneapolis is holding its second annual “anti-capitalist-excess” sale on Black Friday, during which any book the staff agrees is sufficiently anti-excess will be subject to a 20% discount.
High-Class Comics is having a sale from November 20 through December 1: 60% off all comic books, 20% off everything else, and 10% added to gift certificates. The store will be open early on Black Friday.
At Mead Hall Games and Comics in Loring Park, Minneapolis, back-issue comics will be two for one all weekend and board games, miniatures, game accessories, and Magic singles will be 15% off on Friday. These discounts also apply to online orders if they’re picked up in the store on Friday.
Midway Used and Rare Books in St. Paul will be holding a 20% off sale Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Scout and Morgan Books in Cambridge is also having an all-weekend sale, with all in-stock used books 20% off on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You can also print out a coupon from the store’s website to get 25% off any in-stock book or other merchandise, valid all three days.
At the Source Comics and Games in Roseville, a canned food item for donation to food shelves gets you a double discount with your Adventure Club Card. Local comic artists will make appearances throughout the day, and the store will have drinks and snacks on hand. (The Source’s big sale of the year is their annual holiday party in December.)
Uncle Edgar’s Mystery Bookstore and Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore in Minneapolis are celebrating the 35th anniversary of Uncle Edgar’s with a 10% off sale that runs November 27 through December 6. (The 10% stacks with the bookstore discount card but does not apply to gift cards or anything already 40% off.)
At the Village Bookstore in Grand Rapids, calendars will be 20% off, hardcover fiction 15% off, and children’s books 15% off for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. Author Jim Hoey will also be at the store from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Friday to sign copies of his book Ike: Minnesota Hockey Icon (written with Willard Ikola).
At Whitney Book and Print Store in South Minneapolis, most books will be 50% off on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Saturday, November 28
Addendum Books near St. Catherine’s in St. Paul will have a huge list of authors and illustrators acting as booksellers for the day. These include Steve Brezenoff (Brooklyn, Burning), Nancy Carlson (I Like Me!), Trisha Speed Shaskan (Seriously, Cinderella is SO Annoying!), Mike Wohnoutka (Dad’s First Day), and many more. See the store’s event page for the full list and schedule.
Beagle and Wolf Books and Bindery will host Dawn Rossbach (The Cookie Garden) and Debbie Hoven (Light Up the Year!) as booksellers.
Bev’s Book Nook in Perham will be discounting all new in-stock books by 20%.
At Buffalo Books and Coffee, all books in the store will be 20% off.
Richie Swanson (First Territory), Geoff Herbach (Nothing Special), Faith Sullivan (Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse), and Phyllis Root (Plant a Pocket Prairie) will be hand-selling and signing books at the Book Shelf in Winona, where staff will give away a Shop Small tote bag with every purchase while supplies last. Selected new titles and bestsellers will be 20% off, a number of used books will be on deep discount, and Melissa & Doug toys will be up to 75% off.
Chapter2Books in Hudson, Wisconsin—which recently moved to a new location in the same building—will host authors as booksellers throughout the day and run specials, discounts, and giveaways, including collectible Polar Express ornaments and other stocking stuffers.
As mentioned above, the promotions running on Friday at Cherry Street Books will continue Saturday: 25% off puzzles and Christmas books, 10% off hardcover books, and free treats and goodies on hand.
Content Bookstore in Northfield will give away a free tote bag with all purchases while supplies last. The store will also welcome Jason Gobble, David Huyck, Benjamin Percy (who is also visiting Magers & Quinn), and Kaethe Schwehn as guest booksellers.
At DreamHaven Books and Comics, if you buy any 10 $1 books from the store’s Buck-A-Book Room, you’ll get 5 more free, and the purchase of any used hardcover or trade paperback book $50 or under gets you two more of equal or lesser value free. Additionally, as on Friday, many graphic novels will be 50% off or more and backlist comics 10 for $1.
At High-Class Comics, 60% off all comic books, 20% off everything else, and 10% added to gift certificates continues through December 1.
At the Little Professor Book Center in Owatonna, everything will be 20% off.
At Magers & Quinn in Uptown Minneapolis, author Benjamin Percy (The Dead Lands) will be volunteering starting at 1:00 p.m.
The two-for-one sale on back-issue comics continues at Mead Hall Games and Comics on Saturday (and Sunday).
The 20% off sale at Midway Used and Rare Books also continues on Saturday.
Moon Palace Books in South Minneapolis will give out free donuts and tote bags to shoppers.
At An Open Book in Wadena, author Jerry Mevissen (Nimrod Chronicles) will recommend his favorite reads to shoppers from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. New books will be buy one get one 50% off, toys will be 35% off, back issues of comics will be 50% off, and the store will give out a surprise pre-wrapped book with each purchase over $25.
At Paperbacks and Pieces in Winona, you can enter to win two Indies First tote bags filled with books: one for adults and one for young adults.
Red Balloon Bookshop on Grand Avenue in St. Paul will have Brian Farrey (With or Without You), Eleanor Glewwe (Sparkers), Michael Hall (My Heart Is Like a Zoo), Joseph Kuefler (Beyond the Pond), Diane C. Mullen (Tagged), Pat Schmatz (Lizard Radio), Jane St. Anthony (Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart), and Stephanie Watson (Elvis and Olive) as honorary staff members.
SubText Books in downtown St. Paul (formerly Cathedral Hill) will have coffee and donuts for Saturday morning shoppers and soups and snacks in the afternoon. Everything in the store will be 10% off, purchases of $50 or more get you a free Indies First tote bag, and a number of authors will help wrap gifts, work the cash register, and promote reading throughout the day.
SubText has also partnered with eight other downtown businesses for a joint Shop Small promotion: Eclipse Records, Amsterdam Bar and Hall, Sophist A Gifts, the Hamilton Ink Spot, Dunn Brothers, Heimie’s, Artist Mercantile, and Candyland. If you make a purchase at at least six of the nine, you’ll be entered to win a holiday gift basket full of freebies from the participating businesses.
In addition to the 10% off anniversary sale described above (running November 27 through December 6) Uncle Edgar’s and Uncle Hugo’s will give away a store book bag with purchases of $100 or more on Saturday.
At Valley Bookseller in Stillwater, select items will be 40% off and Melissa & Doug toys will be buy one get one 50% off. There will be free coffee, treats, and drawings for gift cards and the store will host two authors to sell and sign books: Kristi Belcamino (Blessed Are Those Who Mourn) and Sue Leaf (Portage).
Village Bookstore will continue its sales from Friday (20% off calendars, 15% off hardcover fiction, and 15% off children’s books). Novelist Margo Hansen will also be signing pre-release copies of her novel Greatly Beloved from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
As on Friday, Whitney Book and Print Store will have most books 50% off.
And Wild Rumpus Books for Young Readers near Lake Harriet in Minneapolis will hand out copies of its holiday buyer’s guide, featuring over 40 staff book reviews and recommendations, as well as show off its new selection of vinyl and turntables.
Need a Break?
If you need a time-out from all that shopping, here are a few bookish alternatives to check out on Saturday:
- Weekly story time for kids at Cherry Street Books in Alexandria (10:00 a.m.)
- A signing with Peg Guilfoyle, author of Offstage Voices: Life in Twin Cities Theater, at Lake Country Booksellers in White Bear Lake (10:00–11:30 a.m.)
- Signings with children’s author Lori Evert (The Christmas Wish) and Duluth Mayor Don Ness (Hillsider) at the Bookstore at Fitger’s in Duluth (11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. and 1:30–3:00 p.m., respectively)
- Author appearances by Bette Hammel (Wild about Architecture) and Aimee Bissonette (North Woods Girl) at Excelsior Bay Books in Excelsior (11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.)
- A signing and conversation with Christine Husom (Secret in Whitetail Lake and The Ice Princess) at Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis (noon)
- The monthly Cracked Walnut Reading Club at Boneshaker Books in Minneapolis (1:00 p.m.)
Other Bookstores to Visit
Don’t forget about the other indie book and comic stores around Minnesota not mentioned above. There are plenty of other places to shop local this weekend, including:
- Birchbark Books and Native Arts (Kenwood, Minneapolis)
- Black Letter Books (Stillwater)
- Common Good Books (Macalester-Groveland, St. Paul)
- Drury Lane Books (Grand Marais)
- James and Mary Laurie Booksellers (North Loop, Minneapolis)
- Mayday Bookstore (West Bank, Minneapolis)
- Micawber’s Books (St. Anthony Park, St. Paul)
- Paperback Exchange (South Minneapolis)
- Sixth Chamber Used Books (Macalester-Groveland, St. Paul)
Did we miss something? Let us know!