Tag Archives: Independent bookstores-St. Paul

Venture forth to celebrate Indie Bookstore Day!

Today’s the second day of May

First-ever Indie Bookstore Day

So browse the shelves, explore the nooks

Talk with folks about the books

Not just the books that grab the news

But those with fresh ideas and views.

Get to know the friendly clerks

Who know the authors and their works.

Today’s a day to celebrate

What makes each indie bookstore great!

Yes, this is a bit tardy, but it’s not too late – because your indie is likely to be within walking distance. And there will be a warm welcome, possibly a cup of tea, waiting for you. There may also be special Independent Bookstore literary gifts available only at indies, gifts including signed prints by graphic novelist Chris Ware and Captain Underpants creator Dav Pilkey, a Roz Chast tote bag, a signed collection of essays by Roxanne Gay, or a set of tea towels with sayings by Lemony Snicket and Pat Conroy – stuff you won’t find online.

Over 400 stores around the country are participating in this new national holiday – each with its own unique panache, of course. The media offer some good points of entry to the many local options — MPR heralded Indie Bookstore Day with a lively discussion on Kerri Miller’s show and nice profiles and photos of some of the area’s indie’s by Tracy Mumford (http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/04/30/books-indie-bookstore-day)

Meanwhile, the Strib’s Laurie Hertzel provides an informative post about what’s happening at some of the TC’s indies. (http://www.vita.mn/crawl/302245541.html) Laurie offers a gentle suggestion that readers might want to spend the day visiting all of the area’s indie treasures. It’s a fun – if overwhelming – idea.

I’m thinking of an opposite approach – spending a few hours exploring the nooks and crannies –physical and intellectual – of just one neighborhood gem.   Either approach offers a lovely way to learn more about the creative ways in which independent bookstores enhance and expand this community of the book.

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Daybreak Bookstore Brightens St. Paul’s Grand Avenue

  • NOTE – Daybreak was not open when last I checked – sign read “returning soon” – Best to check before you plan a trip.  MT

A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.

The source of this observation, skeptic Jerry Seinfeld, would be a welcome guest this evening for the grand opening of Minnesota’s newest indie, Daybreak International Bookstore at 1665 Grand Avenue in St. Paul. (http://daybreak.rabata.org)

In truth, opening festivities have been been going on all week with the Grand Opening Celebration set for later today, Friday, September 19, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. There will be live music, free food, performances by Ali & Patrick and the best and brightest of the TC’s bibliophile scene.

Though the word “unique” is much over-used, Daybreak truly deserves the adjective. For starts, the shop is organized by continent.   According to founder Tamara Gray, Daybreak “will focus on global books with themes including social justice, religion/spirituality, women’s issues, language, travel and children’s book, as well as literature.” Readers can take a break to view the news in Arabic, French, Spanish or language of choice (within reason). There will be guest appearances by scholars, book signings, performances, book clubs, language tutoring and classes on global themes. Gray adds that the hope is that Daybreak will also become a gathering place for the community.

What’s more, the bookstore is a nonprofit venture, a project of Daybreak Press, a division of Rabata (Rabata.org).

Gray brings broad experience to the book store. She manages the Rabata website and founded Daybreak Press and Ribaat, an online academic program that brings college-level Islamic learning to women around the world. Got 20 years Gray lived in Syria where she studied Islamic sacred texts and subjects. She has worked with schools globally to set up, evaluate and improve curriculum; today she is a doctoral student at the University of St. Thomas.

Store hours will be 10:00 am – 9:00pm Monday-Saturday and Noon-5:00pm Sunday.