Saturday, October 21, 2006

Loome Theological Booksellers

Karla and I are visiting some friends up in the Twin Cities (that's Minneapolis-St Paul for our non-Americans) this weekend--North Park had a fall break on Friday so it meant and extended weekend. We have very good friends who live outside Minneaopolis, Joel and Myndi Lawrence(they were DTS and Cambridge contemporaries and Joel now teaches theology at Bethel Seminary). In addition, Paul and Caroline Mathole, dear friends from Cambridge, are visiting the US and we all met up at the Lawrences.

Outside of the Twin cities is a little town called Stillwater. Stillwater sits on the banks of the St. Croix River which forms the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota. It is known for two things: antiques and second-hand books. Believe it or not in this small Minnesota town resides the largest second-hand theological book shop in the world: Loome Theological Booksellers. It possesses approximately 225,000 to 250,000 volumes in ares including biblical exegesis, patrisitic & mediaeval literature, Byzantine & Eastern Orthodox studies, liturgy & worship, sacred music, church art & architecture, religous biography & hagiography, Reformation & Recusancy, and Protestant & Catholic Americana.

It is no exaggeration to say that one could spend a weekend pursuing the shelves of the two buildings full of books. While I was only able to look for a few hours, I did find a handful of things I needed and many more I would have liked to have purchased.

It is worth the effort to visit Stillwater sometime. It could be a lovely weekend away as the little town on the shores of the St. Croix river offer an inviting and relaxing invitation. By the way, there is a cool Starbucks just a block from the bookshop which invites you to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee as you marvel over your discoveries.


A. B. Caneday said...


You discovered Loome's. It is a great bookstore. And, as you aptly described, Stillwater is a wonderful and interesting town with a rich history.

Sometimes, we who have ready access to places and things don't properly appreciate the treasures we have. Loome's is a great treasure that we who dwell in the Twin Cities ought to savor more frequently.

Luther's Stein said...

I was in Loome's 2 years ago and remember being astounded by the architecture, the number of theological volumes available, and their rare books available. However, I didn't buy anything as their prices aren't premiere, and I was a penniless engaged student.

Anonymous said...


Make sure you go visit Piper's church in Minneapolis. It is Bethlehem baptist church.



JT said...


Glad you got to go to Loome's. In fact, Stillwater is considered a "book town." They have multiple bookstores--the others seem to focus on quality fiction.

Too bad you weren't able to go in the dead of winter. It's quite an experience, as they basically turn off the heat to save money. For some perverse reason it's enjoyable to hunt for books in gigantic stacks while shivering and seeing your breath. When Al Mohler visited a few years ago, his stack of books he was planning to buy actually got frozen together and had to be unstuck!