With over 30,000 books in the store and over 30,000 in our warehouse, there's plenty to look at both in store and online.
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New books are arriving every day and getting added to our catalog. You can search these listings using the search function on the left hand side of the page. However, many sections of the store are not cataloged (like our extensive paperback literature section), so if you are looking for a specific book and you don't see it online, please contact our store directly.
It all started with Melvin McCosh. Melvin, pictured here, owned a book store in Dinkytown back in the days of the beatniks. Bob Dylan was almost a student at the University of Minnesota (1959-60) back in those days and played in a local coffee house. Many Book House customers still fondly remember McCosh as the grandfather of Minneapolis bookselling. He lived in Shorewood in an old mansion, once a retirement home for Swedish lodge members, nestled in the woods, McCosh filled the rooms and hallways with thousands of books on every subject.
When McCosh moved his store to a West Bank location in 1976 he helped Krisen-Eide Tollefson, James Cummings, and Rob Wasniak open The Book House. Some still argue that the new store moved into McCosh's old space but the smart money is that Melvin's store was across the street in the space now occupied by Hollywood Video's parking lot. The Book House borrowed fixtures from the recently closed Perine's Bookstore and The Dinkytown Dime and the Book House in Dinkytown was born. When Mel McCosh passed away some years later, his remaining inventory migrated to the Book House.
The current owner of The Book House in Dinkytown, Kristen Eide-Tollefson, pictured here with her husband, Ted Tollefson, has, for the past 30 some years, dedicated herself to buying libraries and stocking a vast quantity of scholarly titles. In the little magazine Gig, author Tiger Roholt interviewed Kristen in 1997. There Roholt commented, "Kristen has allowed the Book House to become more of a book archive than a book store. One reason for this is the changing role of libraries. Libraries are starting to evaluate their stock based on rate of use. And since certain books are only taken out once a decade or more, the libraries are starting to discard or destroy books which do not have a high rate of use, even though many of these books are classics."
Absolutely LOVE this bookstore. The staff is always extremely friendly and helpful. The hours are great and the selection is impressive. It's a lot of fun to browse the stacks here - I highly recommend checking it out!
Called the store to search for a text book, was told that they ""don't carry text books"" and when I gave the title of the book, was then told ""those are the type of books that we just pass over..."" I wouldn't go searching for text books here.