Birchbark Books is an independent bookstore in Minneapolis which is owned by the award-winning author, Louise Erdrich. Erdrich’s bookstore is a joy to visit. Its focus is on Native American books of all kinds. The store also has Native American crafts and a fantastic children’s section. There is a “hobbit hole” where kids can read books and play. There’s also a small upper level which is like a tree house. Suspended from the roof of the bookstore is a full-sized canoe. It is fun to just stop and gaze at the canoe and all the other colorful and unique things displayed there.
Visitors to the store can purchase signed copies of Erdrich’s books. (I bought all four of the Birchbark House series books there.) The store also hosts readings and other events.
Birchbark Books is located about a block from the beautiful Lake of the Isles. In the summer, after a visit to the bookstore, you can rent bikes nearby and join hundreds of riders bicycling around the lake. If you are visiting in the winter, as I was, it’s still amazing to walk through snow to reach Birchbark, be greeted with “BooZhoo” (the Ojibwe way to say hi) by a stuffed animal in the entryway, shop and browse, and then take a car ride around the icy lake. In all kinds of weather, Birchbark Books is one of the most memorable bookstores you’ll ever visit.
Birchbark Books is the first stop on Part One of our Minnesota Trail!
Rebecca Blake Beech