Shelf Awareness highlighted a New York Times article about Open Book, “the first real estate home for literary arts in the nation.” Open Book is a large facility of 55,000 square feet. It houses three different business/literary facilities:
- The Loft Literary Center the largest of the three nonprofit groups that formed Open Book, offers writing classes, provides work space and grants for writers and is host of book events in a performance space designed for readings.
- The Minnesota Center for Book Arts provides equipment and space for professional artists and novices alike to work in letterpress printing, hand bookbinding and papermaking. Some of the resulting creations are unique and functional books, but others are more like art and sculpture.
- And finally Milkweed Editions is, by some measures, the largest independent nonprofit literary publisher in the country.
While part of the success of Open Book might be its non profit status and the fact that Minneapolis is the “most literate city” in the Nation, I really love the idea of incorporating the Book Arts facility into the store. Many people love making photography books and I think it would be great if bookstores would incorporate a few computers for rental that allowed for digital photograph manipulation, a printer and book binding facility.