Tag Archives: Minnesota booksellers

Twin Cities Book Festival – Where the “right words” rule

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning. ~~ Mark Twain

The Great Minnesota Get-Together 2017 is history, and yet the Fairgrounds will come alive October 13-14 as bibliophiles gather from far and wide to celebrate “the right word.”  It’s the annual Twin Cities Book Festival.   (http://www.raintaxi.com/twin-cities-book-festival/

Sponsored by Rain Taxi, the free and open tribute to the book is the call for “word people” to meet and learn from bibliophiles who write, publish, read, edit, sell, and otherwise shape and share the “right words.”  It’s a time to refresh the mind and soothe the soul of the faithful who cling to the idea that the right words not only read well but speak truth.

The agenda for TC’s Book Festival is robust, overflowing with exhibits, speakers, opportunities to meet and greet – the Festival calls for serious preparation!  If, perchance, you can’t attend, the website itself offers a great read and reminder of the many faces of the state’s book world!  The online guide to the Festival includes authors of every genre, publishers, booksellers (new and used) along with myriad options, including but not limited to food vendors — Be sure to save time to experience the Poetry Bus! (http://www.raintaxi.com/twin-cities-book-festival-poetry-bus/)






For Twin Cities Readers Book Fare Trumps the State Fair!

For some among us the iconic Minnesota State Fair should eschew the politicians, dump the Skyride, douse the corndogs and replace it all with a tasteful gathering of bibliophiles, Minnesota writers, readings, book talks, exchanges of bon mots among the literati. That’s why we have the Twin Cities Book Festival, the ultimate antidote to the State Fair.

Once again Rain Taxi will restore the natural order to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds when writers, publishers, readers, booksellers and their ilk will gather for the Twin Cities Book Festival. It’s Saturday, October 11, 10:00 AM til 5:00 PM and it’s happening in some of the Fairgrounds classiest settings, including:

  • The Progress Center where there will be an all-day exhibit of publishers, magazines, literary organizations, local authors, booksellers and more.
  • And there are readings and talks on the Reading Stages in the Fine Arts Building, just next door. Participants include Julie Schumacher, Laird Hunt, Okey Ndibe, Hoa Nguyen, Steven Pinker, and an ever growing-list of authors who write for adult readers.
  • There are sites for children’s authors and activities (Michael Dahl, Chris Monroe, Phyllis Root and Lauren Stringer, to name a few),
  • Options for middle grade readers (Margi Preus and William Alexander among others)
  • And teen favorites (Marie Lu, Pete Hautman, Carrie Mesrobian and other YA authors)
  • There’s an author hub featuring Dessa, Michael Fallon, Julie Kramer, John Rosengren, Ben Weaver and who knows who else…. (If you really must know “who else” keep checking the Rain Taxi website (http://www.raintaxi.com/twin-cities-book-festival/ or Facebook for updates….)
  • So no one goes home bookless there’s a used book bonanza,

And it’s all free and open to the public!

The Festival is sponsored in part with funds from the Legacy Fund distributed through the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.


“Book nerds” Pitch in for Indies on Small Business Saturday

Author Sherman Alexie is well known to Minnesota readers.  In fact, he will be in Minnesota next week to speak at Minnesota State University Moorhead. (Thursday, September 12, 7:00 p.m.)   His talk at Plymouth Congregational Church last fall drew an SRO crowd.  He’s been on “Talking Volumes” and was interviewed on Bill Moyers’ show.

His fans may want to heed his recent brainstorm:   Alexie is out with an idea that may resonate with Minnesota writers, readers, booksellers other “book needs”, as Alexie calls his colleagues.

The popular writer has proposed this week that writers enter the world of commerce by participating in Small Business Saturday, the national initiative of independent business;  more specifically, Alexis suggested that writers – and presumably other bibliophiles, join ranks with independent booksellers.   Small Business Saturday 2013 is November 30, Thanksgiving weekend– in the wake of Black Friday.

Alexie may be taking a lead from the Obama family who last year celebrated the day by shopping at One More Page Books in suburban Virginia.  Or he may be buoyed by the fact that Oren Teicher of the American Booksellers Association has reported that 2012 sales by independent booksellers were ten percent ahead of 2011 sales.

In a letter to a small group of authors (http://www.bookweb.org/indies-first)  sent over Labor Day weekend Alexie called on them to become “superheroes for independent booksellers“ by working at their favorite indie in whatever role is needed.  “We book nerds will become booksellers.  We will make recommendations. We will practice nepotism and urge readers to buy multiple copies of our friends’ books.  Maybe you’ll sign and sell books of your own in the process. I think the collective results could be mind-boggling …The most important thing is that we’ll all be helping independent bookstores and God knows they’ve helped us over the years.”

Though the drive is just aborning, the mechanics are actually in place The ABA has created a webpage for those who wish to sign up.  Authors sign up here:  (http://www.bookweb.org/indies-first-author-sign) and booksellers can sign up here: (http://www.bookweb.org/indies-first-bookstore-sign).

Minnesota “book nerds” may want to call or stop by an indie bookstore to learn more, express support, even sign up to lend on hand to sell, shelve, hype, to get up and do what needs to be done to help out the Indies First cause on Small Business Saturday.