by Grace Gaskill

With its storefront positioned directly on the populated sidewalk of Hennepin Avenue in Uptown, Magers and Quinn Booksellers has an easily accessible location. Opening the door to the new-and-used bookstore is like opening the door to a million little worlds all at once. My nose was instantly bombarded with the smell of ink and old paper. My eyes were overwhelmed by the endless aisles of wooden shelves stocked full of books. The selection at Magers and Quinn is extensive and very well organized, containing almost every subject and genre imaginable.

Photo courtesy of Grace Gaskill

Photo courtesy of Grace Gaskill

Magers and Quinn has had its doors open to local shoppers and book-lovers since August of 1994. However, the building itself was built in 1922. With that being said, it is easy to imagine the antique character and creaky wooden floors of the homely bookstore. Friendly and knowledgeable employees are equipped to help you find the right book. The shop has expanded since 1994 and now takes up all three floors of the old building. As of right now it is the Twin Cities’ largest independent book store.

So, why drive twenty minutes (or more) to Uptown when there’s a Barnes and Noble five minutes down Snelling Avenue that most likely has the same books? Buying from local, independent sellers is important for the economy. Research shows that buying locally means more money stays in the local community. Local companies employ local people and usually pay their employees better benefits and wages than a large franchise. Local businesses generally have better and more genuine customer service than that of a corporation.

“We buy for our customers instead of buying what a headquarters tells us to buy,” said Jessi, a Magers and Quinn employee.

Magers and Quinn makes sure its shelves are stocked with customer preferences. This technique ensures high sales and happy customers.

Four reasons to support  local businesses

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

It’s good for the local economy. Buying locally means the money stays local. Cooperate stores have to divide their money between many states, companies, and people. Local stores, on the other hand, have the ability to put more money back into the local economy because they do not owe money to headquarters or other companies.

It provides job security for locals. Local businesses are likely to higher local people, and locals are likely to apply for a job at local companies. Instead of a sales clerk from Stillwater commuting to Minneapolis every day, a local business might employ someone who lives in town and is knowledgeable about the town.

It helps reduce consumer costs. It is a common misconception that small, independent stores have higher prices. In actuality, prices are comparable to those of a cooperate chain, and sometimes even cheaper (depending on the product) because shipping and handling costs are reduced or nonexistent.

It sparks a sense of community. A town filled with individual independent shops has more character than a town containing a strip mall, a McDonald’s, and a Wal-Mart. There is a unique element to the towns that have local products and businesses.

Address: 3038 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55408


Sunday – Thursday: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

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