St. Paul, Minn. — Common Good Books is opening a store at Macalester College, owner Garrison Keillor announced today. The independent bookstore will reside at 38 South Snelling Avenue in the 1923 Lampert Building, just north of the corner of Grand and Snelling avenues.

The building is owned by Macalester and the college’s textbook store is upstairs.

“We are delighted that Common Good Books will be part of the Macalester community,” said President Brian Rosenberg, “and look forward to having a bookstore of its caliber on campus.

“Macalester has a special relationship with Garrison Keillor, since the very first Prairie Home Companion took place in the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Theater in 1974, and he’s been back to campus many times since. It’s simply a good fit for us.”

Renovations will begin December 1st, and the bookstore is expected to open in April 2012.

“We’ll be just behind my favorite bakery and around the corner from a terrific cheese shop and a few blocks east of the old Hungry Mind, where I used to buy all my books,” said Keillor. “And Wet Paint, where I buy pens and paper. And around the corner from St. Paul’s on the Hill, a good Anglo-Catholic church. It’s a good neighborhood, and with all those college students around, there’s a sense of high spirits in the air, and you need to inhale that if you’re in the book business.”

“Common Good Books has found a large and loyal clientele, and we hope they’ll like the new store,” said Martin Schmutterer, store manager. “The new space is larger and more convenient, and we’ll partner with Macalester for more literary events.”

Macalester has been without a trade bookstore since July 2004, when Ruminator Books, which opened in 1970 as the Hungry Mind Bookstore, went out of business.

When he opened Common Good Books in 2006, Keillor wrote:

A bookstore is for people who love books and need
To touch them, open them, browse for a while,
And find some common good
  that’s why we read.
Readers and writers are two sides of the same gold coin.
You write and I read and in that moment I find

A union more perfect than any club I could join:
The simple intimacy of being one mind.
Here in a book-filled room on a busy street,

  living and dead  are hoping to meet.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,958 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at

December 2 2011

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