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Left Bank Books Closing Downtown Location (UPDATE)

Categories: Bidness, Books

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Google Street View

The lovely downtown location of Left Bank Books is closing.

In an e-mail message to its listserve this morning, owner Kris Kleindienst confirms that while they are departing downtown, the flagship location in the Central West End will soldier on. She adds there are no current plans for layoffs.

The last day open will be May 31st. We've left a message with Kleindienst and will update when we hear back. Click through for her message to customers in its entirety.

Update: Daily RFT just spoke with Kleindienst, who did her best to console us.

"It's OK. It's going to be OK," she said. "It's kind of a relief actually to be a decision we're acting on, as opposed to something we're agonizing through."

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The Code of the Hills: HarperCollins Picks Up Legal Thriller From Missouri Prof

Categories: Arts, Books

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The first thing one notices about Nancy Allen is her Missouri twang.

"My mother had a very pronounced Ozark accent, and I'm told I sound like her," says Allen. "I am stubbornly and defiantly Ozarkian."

Yet as proud as she is of her Southern Missouri heritage (Allen traces her family's Show-Me-State roots back to the 1850s), she's no apologist for the region's shortcomings.

"Just because I'm a card-carrying Ozarkian does not mean I'm blind to the way the Ozark hills need to be improved," adds the 57-year-old attorney and mother. It's that statement that may best summarize the theme of Allen's first-ever novel -- the one HarperCollins scooped up earlier this year with a sequel already in the works.

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St. Louis is America's 9th Most Literate City

Categories: Books

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Book House
A look back at the Book House's old location in Rock Hill.
St. Louis is the ninth most literate city in America, between No. 8 Boston and No. 10 San Francisco, according to a new study from Central Connecticut State University.

River City has ranked in the top fifteen since 2005, usually hovering around eighth or ninth place. We reached our peak at No. 6 in 2007.

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Bookworms Mourn as Rock Hill Book House is Demolished: Photos

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Photos courtesy of Michelle Barron
A bulldozer demolishes the Book House's old home in Rock Hill.
Every day Book House owner Michelle Barron drove past the shell of her old Rock Hill storefront wondering, "Will today be the day they tear it down?"

Tuesday, she got her answer. As she drove past in the morning, construction crews were already halfway through demolishing the 161-year-old home that once housed a bookstore beloved by St. Louis County readers. The two-story gothic revival house was torn down to make way for an EZ Storage.


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St. Louis Booksellers Close Up Shop After Half Century Selling Novels, Bibles And Porn

Categories: Books

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Danny Wicentowski
A-1 Book Exchange is the last of more than dozen of bookstores run by Francis Pfeiffer and his son, Ken, over the last 54 years.
A-1 Book Exchange is closing next week. All books are 99 cents till Tuesday, but after that the store will shutter, signaling the end of the bookstore chain Francis Pfieffer started in 1959.

Ken Pfieffer took over management for the family business from his father in the mid '90s.

"We're the only place in the world that I know of where you can buy a Hustler and a Bible and put it in the same bag," he says, cracking a smile. "And I have done that. More than once."

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Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz Poses with Shotgun, Blasts Obamacare in St. Louis Coloring Book

Categories: Books

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Images Courtesy of Really Big Coloring Books, Inc.
It's a very merry Cruz-mas for Really Big Coloring Books, Inc.

The Clayton-based coloring book publisher put out a coloring book based on the life of Texas tea party darling Senator Ted Cruz, and it's flying off the shelves faster than you can say "Obamacare."

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Joe Edwards Shrugs Off Loop Trolley Critics, Publishes Book on STL Walk of Fame

Categories: Books

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Joe Edwards: A big fan of color-coded indexes.
Joe Edwards is kind of a nostalgic guy.

Wait, that's not right. Edwards isn't "kind of" anything. He's the pop-culture obsessed businessman who built up Delmar Boulevard into a glistening consumer/pedestrian paradise and created the St. Louis Walk of Fame, enshrining our city's finest in concrete plaques set in the sidewalk.

Now, Edwards is putting those same great St. Louisans in a book called St. Louis Walk of Fame: 140 Great St. Louisans.

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Signs of Olden Times: Author William Stage Chronicles the "Fading Ads of St. Louis"

Categories: Books

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Photos: Wm. Stage
Like many St. Louis wall signs, this tobacco ad fell prey to blight when the building that housed it came crumbling down.
They're literally vanishing before our eyes -- the elaborate painted advertisements that once blanketed our city of brick. And while most of us give these fading "ghost" signs little thought, they've become something of an obsession for St. Louis author William Stage.


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Book House Gets New Home in Maplewood, Demolition Likely for Historic Rock Hill Site

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Jennifer Silverberg for RFT
Michelle Barron at the Book House.
The Book House has found a new home -- but the historic property the business is leaving behind in Rock Hill is likely to face demolition.

"It breaks my heart to see that building go down," Book House owner Michelle Barron tells Daily RFT. "That whole house has been more of a home to me than any other place I've been. I'm really sad to leave it."

But there's good news. Barron, a tenant in Rock Hill for decades who first learned of her eviction this spring, signed a lease yesterday on a new property in Maplewood, which means the Book House will stay alive.

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The Book House: Shop in Historic House Gets Eviction Notice, Storage Site in the Works

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Jennifer Silverberg for RFT
Michelle Barron at the Book House.
That was quick.

On Monday we reported that the Book House, a beloved local shop, could soon be homeless as developers and the city of Rock Hill explore the possibility of demolishing the historic property to make way for a large storage facility. The out-of-state developer Great Northern Development LLC and Rock Hill officials both told us that talks are very preliminary at this point.

Two days later owner Michelle Barron received her formal eviction notice.

"For the first time, I actually broke down crying," she tells Daily RFT. "The time I've been dreading...has happened."

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