Monday, March 30, 2009

Left Bank Books - New Downtown Store

During these hard economic times it is always good to celebrate good things that happen.  One of the good things that has happened here in St. Louis is the opening of a new downtown location for Left Bank Books, an independent bookstore that, up until now, has had only one location in the city's Central West End.

In this economy many bookstores are closing.  But the "powers that be" are really trying to attract businesses downtown and they felt that a local bookstore would be a plus. So, rumor says, they worked hard to get Left Bank to open a branch downtown, not far from Washington Avenue and the loft district with its residential flavor. 

Although the store has actually been opened for a number of weeks, the "Grand Opening" was a couple of weekends ago and I went down for the Friday night festivities.  The event was a talk and book signing by author Mike Lux who is on tour promoting  his book The Progressive Revolution.  A good crowd showed up to hear him and during the Q&A they asked a lot of really good questions.

The downtown store is very different from the West End Store.  The West End store, situated on a busy corner, looks like an old fashioned book store with dark wood shelves.  The high ceilings don't make it any less crowded with books and people. Personally, I always get a little claustrophobic in it.  The downtown location is much more modern, with plate glass windows looking out onto the streets and the HVAC system and other structural elements exposed.  It has a lot of room, which I liked.

Here's the only photo that I thought to take that night, it isn't the greatest but it will give you an idea of what it looks like:

Author Mike Lux acknowledges Mo. Secretary of State and Senate Candidate Robin Carnahan (in the red jacket) during his talk. 

I hope they can make a go of it.  Rumor says that part of luring them downtown was giving them a really good deal on rent.  I hope that's true.  And I hope the people who live and work downtown stop by often and BUY BOOKS. 

Nikki at Puddn'head Books in Webster Groves sent out an e-mail last week extolling the St. Louis community's ability to support local independent bookstores.  That made me reorganize my links over on the side and provide a category for local independent bookstores.  Where they have a blog I've linked to the blog.  So, if you are local check out the links and then go check out the stores. We are fortunate to have some good ones - let's keep it that way.