Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Who Says Bookstores Are Dead?

post by Michelle Griep
Fair Trade Bookstore, Red Wing, Minnesota
What should one do when the weather dips below zero? Visit a bookstore, of course, and today I found a hot shop to warm the cockles of any booklover's heart.

Fair Trade Books in Red Wing, Minnesota, about 50 miles south of Minneapolis/St. Paul, is well worth the drive. Located in the heart of small town America, this little bookstore is awesome.

The first one to greet you with a smile and handshake is owner, Rick DeVoe. And right on his heels is Reveler, a pile of fur and love.

Fair Trade's Owner, Rick DeVoe
After greetings, Rick asks if you're a first-time visitor, and if you are, you're in for a surprise. He goes on to discover what you like to read, lets you browse around, and then he awards you with a free book that he's chosen based on your answers. How many bookstores do that?! Like none. The only catch is that he has you proclaim in public, "Books make great gifts."

And they do. I went on to purchase two as gifts and a few for myself.

This is more than simply a bookstore, though. This is a community bedrock, bringing neighbors together for all kinds of readalicious events.

Reveler, the resident bookstore dog.
January highlights range from an open mic night featuring music, poetry and comedy, to an author signing, and even a game night where anyone can come and play cooperative board games, featuring the locally created game 3 Seeds. They're also sponsoring an evening for a new initiative to conserve and invest in renewable energy.

Okay, enough gushing from me. Fair Trade Books is in the running to be one of my all-time favorite bookstores, but if you're not in the area, I challenge you to go out and find a bookstore that captures your heart. You might as well. What else is there to do in January?


chappydebbie said...

Sounds like a very cool store. If I had a car, I'd venture out in search for Book stores, but for now I have to rely on my son or daughter to take me places.

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