Located in a rambling, 150-year-old Victorian just off Manchester Road in Rock Hill, a quiet old suburb not far from downtown St. Louis, The Book House is one of those rare bookstores that actually looks, feels, and is just like the great bookstore of your imagination. Smart staff, killer selection, drop-dead prices, and genially messy, it’s a bookworm’s paradise. Plus, like any good bookstore, over the years there’s always been a cat skulking around in a proprietary fashion.
There was some consternation recently in the area when word got out that the store was being served with eviction papers. Since no charm or history may be allowed to mar the modern American landscape, a developer has decided to get rid of the Book House (there is a possibility that the Victorian could be moved intact to a new location) and a couple other quaint houses tucked back there to make way for … a storage facility. Exactly what suburban St. Louis needs more of.
The good news is that the Book House folks have found a new space over in nearby Maplewood. The former department store likely won’t have much of the old charm at first (owner Michelle Barron told Publishers Weekly “It will be pretty barebones and bohemian for a while”) but will eventually have many times the capacity of the old location. Which means they’ll be able to carry even more of the great titles they’ve been known for. They should be open for business in October, make sure to stop by if you’re in the area.