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2010 Alive Magazine

Assert Your Independence

Pledge your allegiance to Subterranean Books and explore every shelf of this local indie bookseller

By Sheniqua Faulkner
Photos by Sarah Quatrano

Alive Mag Pic

Bookish types and fashionistas have something very fundamental in common: most members of both camps would rather explore the aisles of an indie store stocked with carefully selected gems than rifle through a big-box gargantuan where the good stuff can sometimes be overshadowed by heaps of the run-of-the-mill.

When it comes to treasure of the ink-and-paper variety, Subterranean Books offers an impressively well-edited yet diverse selection of independent bookstore bestsellers, lesser-known tomes from small presses, classic lit, children’s titles—the literary gamut. Open since 2000, this Loop treasure trove made its mark as the locally owned source for both new and used books, especially for Wash U. students.

Nowadays, the nook only sells new books, but the atmosphere of discovering an unexpected gem still remains; the shelves are filled only with that which Subterranean’s staff of literary curators find cool—much like a great boutique that only sells the clothing its devastatingly stylish employees find fabulous. But unlike some elite fashion boutiques, Subterranean staffers have not a single ounce of pretension. Here, you’re encouraged to ask questions, make recommendations on what the store stocks in the future and pore over each and every shelf until you find something that fits you perfectly (6275 Delmar Blvd., 314.862.6100).




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