Garrison Keillor is selling his saint Paul bookstore:

“I opened Common Good Books because I loved the bookstores I knew around the U, Perrine’s and McCosh’s and Heddan’s and Savran’s,” Keillor said Wednesday in an email. “And now I’m leaving town and am busy writing a book of my own so it’s time to turn over the business to someone else. The world is full of wonderful independent bookstores and needs every one.”

Keillor put his St. Paul home on Summit Avenue up for sale last year. He wrote in a Facebook post last month that he and his wife, Jenny Nilsson, had moved to Minneapolis.

I may actually have to get in there Dash I rarely make it south of Midway books these days…

Since we’re talking Garrison Keillor, I thought I would throw this out there; Keillor had a reputation as one of the worst bosses in radio, and he always brought so much smug entitlement to his brand of Minnesota politics that it was sometimes hard to parity without lapsing into self-parody in turn – but I loved A Prairie Home Companion. I listened to it most weekends for probably 15 years. Whatever Garrison Keillor’s many flaws, he got small town rural Scandinavian life.

Nowadays the show – rechristened Live From Here after it turned out Keillor was #HimToo, and still starring PHC’s designated replacement Chris Thile, seems to specialize in a really, really excellent underground country/bluegrass music, really really really really really bad standup comics, and skits written to a target audience of Brooklyn hipsters by, apparently, Brooklyn hipsters that Garner the occasional giggle and usually make me desperately miss Tim Russell and Sue Scott.

So who knows – maybe I’ll run down and buy a book from the old guy.

But it will be some Hayek or Paul Johnson. He’s not winning this thing.

6 thoughts on “Unbooked

  1. The business is worth something if it comes with the building. Otherwise… very hard to sell a book selling practice. Its something you’d have greater luck liquidating in parts and closing.

    Yeah, Keillor is a great writer and a great ass.

  2. I visited there a few years back, and suffice it to say that my impression was that the purchasing department was weighted heavily on the port side of the equation. Dunno if you’d find any Hayek or Bastiat there.

  3. I thought the same thing as BB: Since Keillor owns the place outright (no corporate overlords to obey), and has the means to not necessarily stock every mindset (lose out on some sales), it is very possible that the average progressive “priniciple over profit” mentality will mean you won’t find anything to the right of Freakonomics there.

  4. I haven’t bought a Dead Tree book for ages. I read Kindle, and mostly free stuff, provided daily from: https://www.freebooksy.com/

    Sure, it’s crap. So? It’s escapist entertainment. It’s free. If I get a few chapters in and hate it, I hit DELETE and move on. And if an author writes the first book well, I might purchase the sequel (Trulbert Two!).

    Nowadays, buying a bookstore is like buying a buggy whip franchise. Well, except in parts of San Francisco and maybe Loring Park – there, a store selling leather whips would be a gold mine.

  5. I was listening to PHC before I moved from the California that no longer exists to MN. It was great; very entertaining, often featuring Bluegrass that I love and it put not a whiff of leftist stink over the public airwaves.

    I remained a loyal listener, even as the leftist hate started to sloowly creep into his show, just a little shot here and there. I was still pretty hooked, but right after GWB was elected Keillor went completely berserk. He couldn’t go 5 minutes without hocking a gob on Bush and Republicans. Enough already, I was done.

    But books…

    Maybe, well probably, it’s just another indication of what a dinosaur I’m becoming but I still buy several books every month. I don’t buy paperbacks, either. I figure if something is good enough to invest time into reading, it’s good enough to invest enough cash money to buy a copy worthy of passing along some day.

    Over 30 years, I’ve collected enough books to fill the walls in many rooms. Packing up the books has always been the single biggest job when we have moved; thank God they are staying put this time.

    All that being said, I wouldn’t invest the cost of anything I’m likely to find in Keillor’s sexual harassment emporium.

    And I’ll bet his neighbors throw a party when his house sells.

  6. You don’t sell a bookstore in St. Paul because you’re moving to Minneapolis.

    You also don’t move to Minneapolis because of its Scandinavian heritage. You move to Denmark. On the other hand, if you leave Denmark (too many Mohammedans) is Minneapolis a good call?

    Cuba needs bluegrass as much as anyone. If that’s too big a move, then do a Jimmy Buffett show from Key West and sell Marx memorabilia.

    Mr. Berg is way too generous to our National Treasure Keiller.

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