Saving Western Civilization… One Book and One Reader at a Time

I was in my native place last week and took part of the morning to visit a place I used to haunt… whose rent I used to pay.

Loome Theological Bookseller.

The used bookstore, the largest theological/Catholic used bookstore anywhere, was founded by a fellow named Thomas Loome, whom I ran into at the store as he picked up mail.  Now it is owned and operated by some intense young men who thoroughly know their work… and who have a fine sense of humor.

Here are a few shots, from my phone.

The store is housed in an old protestant church.

You can’t even get in the entrance before the temptation begins.

I actually don’t come here very often… for obvious reasons.

Liturgical books… stacks of old missals, sets of breviaries including those of religious orders, etc.

Since I am particularly interested in the writings of Dante, I was delighted to find a statuette of Il Poeta poised on top of some shelves bearing works by him and about him.  I think I want this statue.

I mentioned a sense of humor. 

Throughout the store are prints which can be purchased and various books are placed on special display.

This can be found in the bathroom.

Since the church had a dwelling for its minister and the family, the bathroom is a full bathroom, replete with bathtub, over which there are classical baptismal certificates.

They are a remarkable ancient and rare book section.

A view.  You can see how they have utilized the choir loft.

I spotted a hand missal in Irish.

Need a hand missal in Irish?



There is so much going on at Loome’s that I will from time to time, post about this store.

You should also take a look at the Loome blog called Ex Libris Theologicis.

However, the real site for the bookstore, which has its catalogue and business stuff is HERE at loomebooks.com.

If you are ever in the area of Minneapolis/St.Paul or Western Wisconsin, you would enjoy a visit to Loome’s.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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5 Responses to Saving Western Civilization… One Book and One Reader at a Time

  1. Mark M says:

    Thank you, Father, for this post. I’ve known of Loome for a while, but it is always helpful to see pictures, etc., to get a feel for the place! Finally, somewhere where I might (one day, pennies permitting) get a pre-61 Breviary….

  2. kmart says:

    I just happened to read about loome through some other blog just the other day, and now it seems that refernces for it are popping up all over the place. Not only that but I find out that its just a hop skip and a jump away in Stillwater, MN. I musts go there……

  3. Clara says:

    Loome’s is indeed wonderful… that was where I recently scored a copy of the Latin/English dictionary of St. Thomas Aquinas, which has been great… and one could easily spend one’s monthly paycheck there without even realizing what was happening.

    However, the store does have one built-in safety mechanism to help prevent this from happening. The main part of the store is not air conditioned in summer, nor does it have very significant heating in the winter. So unless you go on a brisk spring or fall day, the temperature issue alone might prevent you from spending the *whole* day there. Well done, Loome’s! Very prudent.

  4. ScottChicago says:

    Several summers ago I decided I would love to have a modern-notation Liber Usualis to add to my collection of square-note Libers. I put that wish on my Loome wish list online. Quite soon, Loome e-mailed me to say the book was available and would I like it sent or would I pick it up? The mere suggestion was enough to make me immediately plan on a four-day Minneapolis weekend (from Chicago), and a car was rented, hotel room booked, vacation days reserved, and I was off to St. Paul (where the hotel was). After catching a rare and quite superb performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, the next day I made my blessed pilgrimage to Stillwater and spent a quite warm afternoon at Loome. I happily picked up my modern-notation Liber, with probably the best-condition hardcover I’ve ever seen on a book printed in the 1950s, and I found quite a few other treasures. I had to stroll a few laps of the store pondering my budget and purchase choices before deciding. I came away happy and feeling enriched. Hope to do another such pilgrimage soon. Thanks for the reminder of that experience. We all need to support this excellent business.

  5. irishgirl says:

    Was this where you used to worship as a Protestant, Fr. Z?

    No way!

    I would go nuts in a store like this!