The Bottom Line
- Excellent hand picked selection of books
- Great coffee shop right upstairs
- Easy to miss
- 165 Western Avenue North, Suite 14, St. Paul, MN 55102
- On the corner of Western Avenue and Selby Avenue. Enter through Nina's Coffee Shop, or down the stairs on Western Avenue.
- Park for two hours on Selby Avenue, or if you need longer, in the neighboring streets.
Guide Review - Common Good Books
Garrison Keillor may be most famous for his radio show A Prairie Home Companion on Minnesota Public Radio, but did you know that the resident of St. Paul's Summit Hill owns a bookstore in the neighborhood too?
Common Good Books is tucked away in the basement of the Blair Arcade, a chic building on the corner of Selby and Dale Avenue. It's well hidden with only a subtle window sign announcing its presence. The sign advertises "Classics (All Types), Good Poetry, Quality Trash and Local History."
Head down the stairs into the basement store, where a book lover's paradise awaits. A wide selection of carefully chosen books arranged in a bright but cozy space invite browsing, and often buying. There's a table for the quality trash, which turns out to be chick-lit and upmarket fluffy novels ideal for taking on vacation.
Stairs in the store lead directly to Nina's Coffee Shop above. Nina's hosts poetry readings, and local author events in partnership with Common Good Books.
When patrons can supply themselves with a cappuccino, a comfy chair and a good book, it's no wonder they can linger here for hours. This is a bookworm's heaven, so if that's you, don't be surprised if you go in during the day, and darkness has fallen by the time you leave.