Common Good Books, Garrison Keillor's new business venture, opened to great fanfare the day after Halloween—only two months after the radio personality and author announced his plans to open a bookstore. Keillor had planned to call the store Corner Books, until he was notified about a week ago that somebody already owns Corner Books in Minneapolis.
"We had a great day yesterday," said manager Sue Zumberge, the morning after the store's soft opening. She estimated that 450—500 patrons had visited the store, and while she declined to disclose sales, Zumberge said she counted 275 charge slips at the close of business.
The 2,200-square-foot retail space currently stocks about 6,000 titles, with a planned inventory expansion to 12,000—13,000 titles. There is an emphasis on literature, poetry, local authors and regional favorites, although there are business books in a section called "Money"; psychology and self-help books in a section called "The Head"; and religion titles in a small room with a sign— in Keillor's handwriting—on the door that reads "God."
A grand opening celebration is planned for the weekend of November 18—19. "People are delighted to have us here," Zumberge told PW, describing how nearby residents have been stopping by the store for the past few weeks, helping the three-person staff assemble shelves and even unpacking the books.