I'm madly in love with bookshops; big, small, big box, and Indie. I'm the person that, when you take me shopping at those large warehouse stores, I always seek out the book tables while you find the bags of bulk shrimp. I've been known to stop at garage sales, just to see if they're selling any books (far be it for me to abandon homeless books!), and I have been known to browse at a bookshop for up to five hours at a time (to the complete frustration of my husband); and come home with an armload of books. I read them all, eventually. And it doesn't matter how full my shelves are, I will always buy more. You can never have too many books. Books make the best gifts, no matter the celebration. They're great as birthday presents, holiday presents, and "please forgive me for being stupid" presents. Seriously, there's not an occasion in this world that a book doesn't perfectly fit and the perfect gift.
My favorite bookshops though, are the Indie Bookshops. These are wonderful escapes, carefully curated by souls who love books just as much as I do - perhaps even more - although that's doubtful. The moment you walk into these spaces, you know that someone with a severe love of the written word has created a place where kindred souls can easily find each other, no matter their profession, hobby interests, or age. Three of my favorite Indie Bookshops are right here, in Michigan. I love each of these for different reasons. And I recommend you visit them all!
Toadvine Books; Berkley, Michigan is owned and operated by Luke Janes. He's a wonderful man who brought his love of bookselling with him from Denver. He had a shop there, too. Luke is super-knowledgeable about books. He's has a special affinity for information about rare and unique titles. He carefully curates each box of books, to be sure that it fits his standards of excellence, and the literary dreams of his visitors. The shop is small and inviting; with gentle jazz or classical music playing on vinyl, from a real turntable! It's a very intimate place with beautiful wood shelving and floors, and high-back, comfy chairs placed strategically throughout. Toadvine Books offers a wonderful collection of used and new books, and they have a very special collection of rare and unusual books, as well. There is a large youth room at the back of the shop, filled with books for children, as well as a hearty collection of comic books and graphic novels. Luke also offers a prominent set of shelves near the front of the shop to showcase local Indie Authors. If you haven't been to Toadvine Books, I highly recommend the trip; you won't be disappointed. You can find Toadvine Books at 2783 Coolildge Highway, Berkley, Michigan 48072 The phone is 248-439-0409; and you can reach them at ToadvineBooks@gmail.com. The shop hours are Tuesday thru Saturday, 11am - 6pm; and Sunday, 1pm - 5pm. Luke offers curbside pick up and advance ordering via phone, Facebook, and email. Be sure to call him to learn about any COVID restrictions or changes in their bookselling processes.
Book Cottage, Jackson, Michigan is owned and operated by Nancy Lemler-Oakley. She's a wonderful woman, and a terrific author, in her own right. Book Cottage is an eclectic mix of both new and used books. There is a large shelf near the front door where Nancy displays books written by local Indie Authors, and she also has a large children's section with toys, games, and puzzles, including the Michigan Chillers series. As you walk through the shop, you're enticed by the overflowing shelves of books, all easily organized. But the extra gem here, is that Book Cottage also hosts a market area with consignment items. Here, you can find wonderful treasures from toys to glassware, clothing and tools. The fun thing is, you come in looking for books, and leave with books AND an unexpected extra treasure or two. Nancy hosts events throughout the year to showcase both local authors and local consigners... it's always a delightful surprise to discover something new at Book Cottage. You can find Book Cottage at 4500 Francis Street, Jackson, Michigan 49203. The phone is 517-768-8030 and you can reach them at BookCottage@gmail.com. The shop hours are Monday thru Thursday, 9am - 5pm; Friday 9am - 7pm; Saturday, 10am - 4pm, and Sunday, 12pm - 4pm. Nancy offers curbside pickup as well as advance ordering via phone, Facebook, and email. Be sure to call her ahead to learn about any COVID restrictions or changes in their bookselling processes.
R&B Used Books; Grand Blanc, Michigan is owned and operated by Beth Dumity. This shop has been around for over fifteen years, and it keeps growing each year. Beth has organized her gargantuan collection of used books into eleven rooms, each one holding shelves full of one particular genre. You'll find both paperback and hardback books here, and she accepts books on trade for store credit. One of the most fascinating things about R&B Used Books is that Beth rescues books from donation sources - both private and organizations - and finds them new, forever homes. She has a non-profit organization that gives back to the community with the love of literature. Her goal is to provide books to anyone who wants to read, and she does a stellar job at it! R&B Used Books also has a generous space to support local Indie Authors, and, something extra-special; Indie Author, Boyd Craven is the author in residence at the shop. Much like a shop cat, you may find him on any given day, sequestered in his writing space, crafting his next book. The wonderment of having a resident author is that occasionally, when Boyd comes up for air, you can ask him questions about his books, his writing process, and when you're hooked - and you will be, quickly - he will gladly sign books for you. His entire catalogue us hosted at the shop, of course. Make sure you visit R&B Used Books... but plan on spending a few hours. There are literally THOUSANDS of books at amazing pricing! You can find R&B Used Books at 12830 Saginaw Road, Suite F, Grand Blanc, Michigan 48439. The phone is 810-695-7762 and you can reach them at Beth@RandBUsedBooks.com. The shop hours are Monday, by appointment only; Tuesday thru Saturday, 11am - 5pm; Thursday, 11am - 7pm, and Sunday, 1pm - 5pm. Beth offers curbside pickup as well as advance ordering via phone, Facebook, and email. Be sure to call her ahead to learn about any COVID restrictions or changes in their bookselling process.
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