Bookstore Feature: Subterranean Books
I finally got up off my butt and down to University City and the Delmar Loop. The Delmar Loop is half tourist trap and half 20-something hang out. It’s full of one of kind boutique shops and overpriced restaurants and bars. There’s an art store, an actual record store, and several large concert venues. (I’ve been down to the Pageant several times.) It’s the type of place where there are honest to god street performers on Saturdays and a drum group gathers in the small plaza in front of the parking lot in the afternoon. They can be heard throughout the area and it is awesome.
(I actually had a friend who lived further up the street, in the residential area in a four square apartment house. [Four square means that there are two apartments downstairs and two apartments upstairs, all identical.] It’s a gorgeous area with a lot of trees and we ended up in the Delmar Loop quite a lot.)
The Delmar Loop also has a bookstore that I’ve been planning to hit for ages, Subterranean Books. It’s a small place. I admit that I walked past it the first time and had to backtrack. I didn’t know what to expect from Subterranean Books. To be honest I thought it might be a little too artsy-fartsy for my tastes. The front window was decorated with a paper pumpkin tree in honor of Halloween when I visited.
Subterranean Books had a huge selection of adult fiction books, much bigger than I’ve seen in other independent bookstores. There was a small selection of young adult books and a tiny section of children’s books. Upstairs had the cooking section and the history section. There was also a good selection of music books, writing guides, humor books, and local Missouri history and travel guides. Everything had handmade signs marking the sections and tucked under certain books were little blurbs about them. The cards were mostly about the subject of the book being featured, why the reader had liked this book so much, and other little information that would attract a browsing booklover’s attention.
It’s an adorable store. I was dead broke when I stopped by and I’m sure I drove the poor sales girl crazy with all my pictures and book fondling. They had some very nice copies of some classic books I’ve been meaning to get but I stood strong against the temptation. I didn’t see anything really obscure or hard to find. Subterranean Books tag is “From High Culture to Subculture”, which sounds like some magic pronouncement. Really, it’s just a small bookstore. The selection was merely decent. The sales girl did offer to order a book I asked about for me but since I don’t live in the area I declined. I was down on the Delmar Loop to attend a kick-off party at Fitz’s Restaurant and picked up a couple of books for the raffle I thought were amusing. (How to Swear in a Foreign Language and Everything a Woman Should Know.)
Saint Louis, MO 63130