The MN Guide to Independent Bookstore Day 2017

The independent bookstore scene in the Twin Cities is a vibrant one, and you can always count on lots of sales and special events for the annual Independent Bookstore Day, which happens this Saturday, April 29. For the second year in a row, the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association (MIBA) has produced a Twin Cities Independent Bookstore Passport, which allows local bookworms to get discounts and the chance to win special prizes by visiting bookstores around town. This year, 18 booksellers have signed on to be included in the passport. At each bookstore you visit, you can get a stamp in your passport. The more stamps you get, the better chance you have of winning a valuable prize pack, and anyone who gets five stamps can receive a limited edition Twin Cities bookstore map drawn by Kevin Cannon (shown below). See all participating stores here.

Independent Bookseller Map by Kevin Cannon.

In addition to these stores, many other independent booksellers in the Twin Cities and beyond will celebrate with fun activities and offers, and below is your full roundup. For more, follow @BookstoreDay and #BookstoreDay on Twitter or check out IBD on Facebook.


Birchbark Books and Native Arts will have a full day of author appearances, poetry, music, dancing, refreshments, door prizes, and more. Special activities for kids will be offered from ARTrageous Adventures. See a full event schedule here. There will be many special author appearances, including Louise and Heidi Erdrich (Louise being the owner of Birchbark), Beth Dooley, and Kao Kalia Yang.

Boneshaker BooksDaybreak Press Global Bookshop, and DreamHaven Books and Comics are all participating in the Independent Bookstore Day passport.

Eat My Words Bookstore will host Dr. Mary Martin, author of La Familia: An International Love Story, a book about the development of a grassroots international partnership based in St. Paul. Martin will be there at 3:00 p.m., but throughout the day, Eat My Words will be introducing the new game of Bookstore Bingo. The category of books on sale will vary with the bingo board, so it’s luck of the draw for book shoppers!

Magers & Quinn in Uptown will offer exclusive Independent Bookstore Day books, art, and other items, and store-branded merchandise will be 15% off. Early visitors can even score some free donuts from Bogart’s Doughnut Co., from 10:00 a.m. until the donuts are gone. The day also features a Wrinkle in Time read-a-thon beginning at noon and the chance to win prizes through the Twin Cities Independent Bookstore Day Passport. Later in the day, nearby restaurant Amazing Thailand will host a block party to celebrate the Thai New Year. More information is available on the Magers & Quinn events page.

Milkweed Books will celebrate its first Independent Bookstore Day with guest bookseller Peter Geye, author of Wintering, a Minnesota Book Award Finalist. He’ll be in the store from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The store will also offer a 10% discount on all books containing shelf-taker bookmarks, including staff recommendations and books by emerging writers. Milkweed is also included in the 2017 Passport, which contains a 20% off coupon.

Once Upon A Crime will also participate in the Twin Cities Independent Bookstore Passport, with a 30% off coupon in the passport for any new book. Earlier in the week, on April 27, the shop will have a book discussion and signing with John Sandford to feature his newest book, Golden Prey. The event begins at 7:00 p.m.

Paperback Exchange is also participating in the Bookstore Passport. The store is offering a buy-one-get-one-free promotion on children’s/YA, cookbooks, biographies, historical fiction, religion, and crafts/home improvement. You can also get a free cup of coffee at the next-door Sparrow Café with a book purchase!

Uncle Edgar’s Mystery Bookstore and Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore will be giving at least 20% off all used books, used magazines, used games, and used audiobooks and 50% off used true crime and used paranormal romance. T-shirts, sweatshirts, and book bags will be 30% off.

Moon Palace Books in Longfellow is another participant in the passport. The shop will offer great reads, temporary tattoos, and tasty treats from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. from the Kabomelette food truck. Wear a costume, win a prize!

Wild Rumpus Books for Young Readers will hold an all-day scavenger hunt. Search for eggs throughout the store containing coupons and other prizes! Wild Rumpus will also participate in the Independent Bookstore Passport.

Other indies to visit in Minneapolis include:

St. Paul

When customers visit Addendum Books, they can get their Independent Bookstore Day passport page stamped, which activates a coupon for a return visit. The coupon is good for a one-time use to get $5 off a purchase of $25 or more in 2017, as many of the other indie bookstores are doing.

Also stamping passports throughout the day, Common Good Books in Mac-Grove will present a reading and discussion of History of a Disappearance, the fascinating true story of a small mining town in the southwest of Poland that, after seven centuries of history, disappeared. Author Filip Springer will discuss his book at 7:00 p.m.

Common Good Books on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul. Photos by Preston Dhols-Graf.

Lake Country Booksellers in White Bear Lake will have three author visits: children’s author David LaRochelle (10:00 to 11:00 a.m.), mystery author Jenifer LeClair (11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.), and children’s author Tracy Maurer (1:30 to 3:30 p.m.). There will also be treats on hand for store visitors.

Midway Used and Rare Books will be having a 20% off sale in honor of Independent Bookstore Day.

Micawber’s Books has not announced any special Saturday promotions but is always a local favorite.

Red Balloon Bookshop on Grand Avenue will host a fun-filled day of bookish pleasures including, but not limited to, books, launch parties, scavenger hunts, and prizes. You might find yourself caught up in a Storytime Flash Mob or sporting spectacular facepaint. There will be performances by the Ramsey Junior High jazz band and the Ramsey Braggarts Morris dancers. Add a butterbeer sampling at 1:00 p.m. to top it all off. See a full schedule here.

Also on Grand, Sixth Chamber Used Books will have “Treats, A Special Offer, and Fun!”

SubText Books, a passport participant in downtown St. Paul, will have coffee and donuts in the morning, Storytime with Matt, music and Tin Whiskers beer in the evening, and a sale on used books. A Poetry on Demand station will put you in touch with local artists and get you personalized recommendations form local authors. Click here for full details.

Outside the Twin Cities Area

Beagle and Wolf Books and Bindery in Park Rapids will give away a free book with every purchase, along with free audiobooks and cake to celebrate the business’s second anniversary. Musician Debbie Center will provide outdoor music 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. you can bring the kids to make slime with Dr. Bob. Authors Michael Meuers (Road to Ponemah) and Barry Babcock (Teachers in the Forest) will sign books from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Chapter2Books in Hudson, Wisconsin, is another stop in the Independent Bookstore Passport, and it will also have freebies such as a make-your-own Golden Book activity for kids and exclusive, limited-edition merchandise for sale. There will also be author signings and drawings for prizes such as a beautiful coffee-table book from Lonely Planet. For those who listen to audiobooks, there will be a giveaway of five free audiobook downloads from

Content Bookstore in Northfield is celebrating its grand reopening after a move into a new space across the hall from its old location. The shop will open at 10:00 a.m. with free donuts and coffee for customers. At 11:00 a.m., local illustrators Aimee Hagerty Johnson and David Huyck will help young readers age four and up make their own Little Golden Books, in commemoration of the iconic books’ 75th year in print. At 4:00 p.m., the shop will host a celebratory happy hour. Content will also offer a selection of exclusive books and art pieces created especially for Independent Bookstore Day 2017 by major publishers and authors.

Drury Lane Books in Grand Marais offers an 11:00 a.m. Story Hour with the Muffin Man as well as a 5:00 p.m. poetry reading and discussion with Duluth Poet Laureate Ellie Schoenfeld. The will also provide a free card with every purchase.

Valley Bookseller in Stillwater will participate in the MIBA passport and will have special merchandise, refreshments, drawings, prizes, and more. Stillwater is also home to Black Letter Books and St. Croix Antiquarian Booksellers.

And finally, a few other shops you can visit outside the metro are:

Happy reading!


  1. By Jason Carlson


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