Actually it’s probably a lot more than that. I just have to brag a little because I came across the list of America’s Most Literate Cities for 2013. This is a survey of cities with populations of 250,000 and above and takes into consideration things like number of bookstores and library resources. Minneapolis is number three on the list and St. Paul is number 7. Minnesota is the only state with two cities on the list, not to mention that both those cities are in the top ten. The Twin Cities rock!
But before you pack up your books to move to Nirvana, be sure you are of a cold hardy nature. Today was our first morning with a temperature above zero (-18C) in a month. And we were all giggling our way through the day over how warm it was outside. We topped out at 22F (-6C). While waiting for my bus on the way home me and my fellow riders weren’t huddled in the bus shelter, instead we were upright, smiling, and in an expansive mood leaving one lonely person in the shelter. We are practically giddy about the forecast for tomorrow when we will get up to 30F (-1C)! So if those temperatures seem unbearable to you, stay where you are, the bookish Twin Cities are not for you.
Graywolf Press, independent publisher, is a major contributor to Minneapolis’ ranking. If you’ve never heard of them, check them out. I just borrowed one of their books from the library, Don’t Let me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine. I don’t remember where I learned about it, but it is one of those multi-genre books. It is classified as lyric essay/poetry but it also has pictures/illustrations. I haven’t gotten far in it but, oh, I can tell already I am going to love it. The book is an “examination of solitude in the rapacious and media-driven assault on selfhood that is contemporary America.”
Fantastic libraries, fantastic independent presses (Graywolf is not the only one here!), third most literate city with number seven a short drive across the Mississippi River, lots of cold weather that encourages reading, no wonder I love Minneapolis so much!