We are open every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
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Who We Are
Founded in 1969, Left Bank Books is an independently-owned bookstore offering a full-line of new and used books and services in the greater metropolitan area of St. Louis.
Our flagship store is located at Euclid and McPherson in the historic Central West End neighborhood, situated among magnificent turn-of-the-century residences and some of the best restaurants and finest art galleries in the area.
Our second location opened in late 2008 in the heart of downtown St. Louis at 10th and Locust, where an exciting renaissance in urban living, working and tourism is underway.
Our mission has always been to offer an intelligent, culturally diverse selection of titles with a focus on politics, contemporary arts and literature, high-quality children’s books, African American interest, GLBT titles and more.
Left Bank Books regulars are a fiercely loyal group. At the suggestion of a couple of these fiercely loyal customers, Left Bank Books founded its membership organization, Friends of Left Bank Books Literary Society. By joining The Friends, you can support a local treasure and, in addition to helping to ensure our continued existence, you can also receive wonderful extras like a Friends discount, access to our wildly popular twice-yearly Friends-only sales, and invitations to private receptions with authors. Left Bank Books owners and workers are also a fiercely committed group.
Many of us are writers, performers, and artists and personally appreciate the importance of a store like Left Bank, not only to the cultural health of a community, but to the health of its creative people, too! Many of us are involved in other community organizations as volunteers and activists. Issues like peace, racial justice, civil rights, urban sustainability, education, animal rights, and support for the arts are some of the areas in which Left Bankers are involved.
Left Bank Books strives to be a good neighbor and, like many locally-owned businesses, gives back to its community. Besides reinvesting three times more of our revenue locally than non-local chain stores reinvest, we also give a lot of organic support to grass roots and non-profit organizations through donations of gift certificates, percent of sales, bookfairs and even free event programming.
Because we believe in community conversation and understand the importance of making space available for authors and their readers to interact, we produce well over 200 author events a year. Often, we partner with other organizations whose interests are addressed by a particular author’s work. These collaborations have added to a growing literary scene in the St. Louis area, with multiple author events taking place somewhere in the area many nights of the week.
We are proud to play a part in keeping literature in its rightful place in the local arts scene.
For the store owners and workers alike, working at Left Bank Books has been more like preserving a community trust than running a business. And while we know that being business-like is extremely important, we also know that earning and keeping that community trust is both our most fervent desire and greatest reward.
Famous Bookstore Cat(s)
No independent bookstore would be complete without a cat. Left Bank's first feline staff member was the legendary Captain Nemo, who was rescued from drowning (hence the name) and nursed back to health by the store owners. Nemo lived with us for fifteen years. He was grouchy, particular, and loved by all. After Nemo's passing, we were joined by a new and equally literary cat. Our customers named her Jamaica after noted author Jamaica Kincaid. Author and cat have met. Jamaica (the cat) passed away April 2005.
We were adopted by a very vocal and insistent kitty a few months after Jamaica's death. Spike enjoys long naps on the Special Orders desk, dancing for cat treats and shoplifting mouse-sized, furry covered children's books for his own pleasure.