Dec 07 Written by 

Trending: The Micro-Bookstore

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stlbooksLet's scoop Publishers Weekly, which spoke with new indie bookshop owner Robin Theiss for an article about the phenomenon of micro-bookstores, intimate spaces with curated collections and personalized service. In a reversal of a longtime trend, Theiss, a book collector since age 13, moved her online store, stlbooks.com, to brick-and-mortar on November 21. STLBooks, at 100 W. Jefferson, Kirkwood, MO, near St. Louis, already has regular customers and neighborhood foot traffic thanking her for opening a bookstore. It's a cozy space devoted, Theiss said, to her interest in creative expression, so the store carries plenty of literature new and classic, books on art and design, books by local writers (she has read them all), and Theiss loves graphic novels and wishes they had been around when she was in art school in the '70s.

 

People say STLBooks is "just like a little Parisian bookstore," or "an English bookstore," but it's really the bookstore of the future, a concentration of books that all look fascinating. I bought there today The Essential Rumi, Stephen King's On Writing, and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Most books are new, but among them are some used books (always in excellent condition); that's a trend, too. A cabinet of collectibles holds "relics of St. Louis literati, going way back," from spiritualist Patience Worth to William Gass. A window next to the door features the shop's bestselling titles.

The one thing STLBooks doesn't have: space for events. Theiss says she'll find other ways to feature local authors. The more you look, the more you'll notice. Tarot cards? Tee shirts? Middle-grade novels? James Patterson's latest? They are there.

Catherine Rankovic

Writer, with 30+ years' writing and publishing experience, 20+ years' teaching experience. Last book read: Mrs. Lincoln by Catherine Clinton.