Saturday, July 26, 2008

Weavers of a New Adventure in Books

Did you ever read one of the Hardy Boys mystery stories? Do you remember the name of the town where they lived?

For four years in a row, when I went to the Chesterton Conference, I drove through Bayport - yes, that's the name - on my way to another famous book place. A place far stranger, glorious and wonderful than any fictional invention...

In the town of Stillwater, Minnesota, at the eastern boundary with Wisconsin, just north from the point where 94 crosses the St. Croix River, is a fantastic place called Loome Theological Booksellers. They are located in an old church, now jammed with thousands of books. Some are quite ancient, such as a collection of the letters of St. Bernard printed in 1494. Those of us who have gone to the Chesterton Conferences in the Twin Cities have seen the Loome bookstand in the lobby, with GKC, Belloc, Baring, and others of that vintage...

Why do I tell you this? You may have heard that last year the Loome Antiquarian Bookstore (the "downtown" store which housed the "general collection") closed, and a new, smaller, and more condensed store opened. You may have been wondering whether other changes were imminent. Well, they were, and here's what happened.

This year, on July 1, Dr. Loome sold the store to Andrew Poole and Chris Hagen, two of his employees, who will continue to offer a grand selection of scholarly works. For more details, please see here for the complete report.

I myself have gotten several books from Loome, including a splendid thing called the Greek Lexicon of Liddell and Scott. (Yes, that's THE Liddell: Greek scholar, friend of Charles Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll, and the father of a girl named Alice!) And a few other items too, which have made me very happy, if a bit crammed for space. Hee hee. I wholeheartedly recommend them for a good selection and courteous, friendly and knowledgeable assistance.

You don't need to drive to Stillwater to learn more about Loome and their collection - simply go to where you may find things like this:
Book #MCL776
CHESTERTON, G.K. The Thing. Why I Am a Catholic. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1930. First Edition. 8vo, x + 255pp. Good cloth. Minor sunning to spine. Small bump to lower corner. Fore-edge uncut. Interior text clean. Binding sound.
Price: $55.00
Look around - they may have books that you need!

So, if you have any conceivable reason to get near eastern Minnesota, please be sure to get to Stillwater (wave to the Hardys as you drive through Bayport) and check out the Loome bookstores. It is an adventure worthy of the Hardys!

--Dr. Thursday

P.S. Sorry if you had been looking for that St. Bernard book from 1494 (see sample page at right), they already sold it. The price was $9,500, and no, I did NOT buy it - though I wished I could have.

Also, if this idea of a bookstore in a former church sounds utterly crazy, like something a lunatic invented in his stories, please visit the Loome website and you will see that it is real. But at the same time, please pay attention to future postings on our blogg, where you will see how, Chesterton-like, art imitates life. Hee hee.


  1. Who is Liddle and why should I care?

  2. Liddell. You should care because he provided a petticoat that inspired Carroll. I never cared much for the Alice stories, but Martin Gardner's annotated edition completely ruined it for me.


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