Left Bank Books opened in 1969 by a group of graduate students at Washington University who wanted to create a place where one could find all kinds of literature. We are the oldest and largest independently owned bookstore in St. Louis, and we offer a full line of new and used books, gifts, cards, magazines, toys, and services. We’ve grown and changed throughout our 45 years, but our mission still remains the same—to spark public conversation by curating an intelligent, relevant, and culturally diverse selection of books.
We’re 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. We’re steps away from public transportation and enjoy greeting customers from all parts of the city and its surrounding area.
We see ourselves as a cultural institution as well as a retail business. In that spirit, we produce over 300 events per year, most of which are free and open to the public. These range from large events with dignitaries such as Hillary Clinton and Jimmy Carter to local poets in the River Styx Reading Series. We host nine book clubs of our own (including Ferguson Reads, Gay Men’s Reading Group, Lesbian Reading Group, Nerdy Girl Society Graphic Novel Book Club, Great Novels of the 22nd Century, Novel Ideas, Shakespeare Festival Reads, Summer Never Ends, and Writers Read as well as “Pop Up” reading groups that move through one author or theme and disband once finished) and sell books to many, many other private book groups. We also offer a weekly story time. We partner with three library systems, many churches, public and private schools, and other community institutions to bring this type of programming to our city, and work with them to encourage literacy.