by Chelsea Reid
In 1992, Wild Rumpus, an independently owned bookstore in Minneapolis, Minnesota first used a kids story as a kind of blueprint for building their store. And for good reason! Even, today Wild Rumpus makes it clear that The Salamander Room continues to teach them about books and young people, and about the adults who love them.
Wild Rumpus has had a sort of conversation with the book The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer.
While architecture doesn’t have the luxury of page-turning or submerging the customer into a fantastical environment, Wild Rumpus definitely comes as close as they can without moving their entire store into a lush forest. Through the front doors, there is a fairly conventional interior with carpet, a comfortable reading chair and floor lamp. However, midway things begin to change.
There is a tree-trimmer sheet-rocked in the ceiling on a ladder, and the ceiling itself at this point starts to “crack open” to the sky.
Towards the back of the store, there are birds above and rats beneath a garden shed (sometimes literally), the store really wants you to feel like you’re outside.
Remember when I said that Wild Rumpus has birds and rats living in the sky and beneath a shed? Well it wasn’t a joke. This amazing place actually has a multitude of pets and critters that they consider family. Everything from a tarantula named Thomas Jefferson, to a pair of adorable chinchillas named Amelia and Mr. Skeeter, and a few friendly ferrets (Doodle and Ferdinand, respectively). They even have a chicken! Named Bilina aka Carl Sagan, Wild Rumpus is no stranger to animals.
Of course, like most independent bookstores, Wild Rumpus wouldn’t be complete without its own collection of bookstore cats. Wild Rumpus is a place that understands that reading and imagination go much farther than some words on a page.
Twenty years old, this bookstore has made a name for itself in Minnesota and is completely unafraid to let its wild side run loose. And it seems they specialize in letting their loyal customers (both big and small) do the same. The store has quite a few “Wild Happenings” throughout the year and they make it clear that these events, including story time, is for more than just the kids who frequent their store.
So take a walk on the crazy side of things and visit Wild Rumpus. A truly amazing place, this bookstore proves that we’re all a little wild at heart.
Images courtesy of Wild Rumpus and picaland
Chelsea A. Reid is currently a senior at Delaware State University majoring in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations/Marketing & Advertising and a minor in Studio Art. She is currently a Marketing intern for Author’s Boutique and is working towards become a successful Public Relations and Marketing Practitioner.