Besides being a useful replacement for a missing bed-frame leg, a stack of books also makes you look smarter and can stop a crossbow arrow if you're being targeted by any misinformed vampire slayers. Today’s Groupon will help the Twin Cities edge out Seattle as America's most literate city. For $10, you get $20 worth of papery page-packed prose at Common Good Books, located in the basement of Nina’s Coffee Café in St. Paul's Cathedral Hill neighborhood. Everyone can use two Groupons per visit, so you can finally come home with enough building material to complete your Proust fort.
Owned by the artist formerly known as Garrison Keillor (before he changed his name to an unpronounceable glyph), Common Good Books is an independent neighborhood bookshop offering an eclectic array of novels, novellas, and poetry for one's intellectual enjoyment. If browsing the shop’s best-selling books, such as The Elegance of the Hedgehog ($15 for paperback) and The Turtle Catcher ($24 for hardcover), leaves one overwhelmed by the options, ask Common Good's friendly and almost frighteningly knowledgeable staff of bibliophiles for a recommendation. They love helping customers find the greatest book they've never read, as well as reciting Homer’s Iliad verbatim in exchange for a buffalo-head nickel. You can also talk to a local author at one of Common Good Books' many events, but don't be surprised if the writer suggests reading something from the signed stack on the table.
Common Good Books is open Monday though Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.—providing ample time for browsing, which will undoubtedly cause your TV to inject gratuitous nudity into every sitcom in a desperate bid to reclaim your attention. Buy as many Groupons as you like and burrow into Common Good Books' cozy underground confines like an exposition-starved bookworm.
- Unique, homey, and accessible, this Garrison Keillor-owned spot, located right beneath the stylish Nina's Coffee Café in the hip St. Paul Cathedral Hill neighborhood, seems too good to be true...The prices are reasonable, and the collection, especially given the shop's small size, is more than admirable. – City Pages
- This is a bookstore with St. Paul flair, partly because its owner is St. Paul resident Garrison Keillor. The bookstore just celebrated its two-year anniversary–a testament to the little bookstore’s importance to the larger St. Paul community…Also, customers enjoy trusted book recommendations from the staff since employees all have impressive experience in the field. – Jill Ackerman, Twin Cities Daily Planet
Yelpers give the book store a strong 4.5 stars and agree that it's a charming space with a knowledgeable staff.
Summit - University
165 Western Ave. N
St. Paul, Minnesota 55102Get Directions