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Local News

Independent Bookstores to Check Out in Detroit

Credit: iStock

Parker Wallis

Book lovers will be pleased to know that Detroit and the Metro Detroit area have a vast array of independently-owned bookstores that cater to all kinds of bookworms of all ages. 

If you’re a fan of non-fiction, for example, consider stopping by Source Booksellers in Midtown. This Black and women-owned store has been in its current building since 2013, but the spot has been selling non-fiction books in the area since it opened 20 years ago. Guests can sit in one of the comfy chairs available and sample the store’s selection, which includes non-fiction for young adults and children as well. The space regularly hosts community events, such as author readings, live performances from local musicians, book talks, and even yoga classes. Information about upcoming events can be found on the Source Booksellers website. 

27th Letter Books initially opened as a pop-up store in West Village, but they have since cemented their place in southwest Detroit as a permanent brick-and-mortar bookshop. The store features underrepresented authors and regularly seeks recommendations from the community. The space also hosts events like children’s storytime, poetry readings, and open mics, all in the comfort of exposed brick walls and rustic wood floors. 

Some stores focus on Detroit authors, such is the case with Pages Bookstore, located in the neighborhood of Grandmont Rosedale. In addition to a wide variety of fiction, nonfiction, children’s, and young adult books, Pages sells t-shirts, postcards and journals. The store is also home to a cat named Pip, who may grace you with his presence while you flip through the shelves.

The largest bookstore in Michigan can be found in the western edge of downtown Detroit. John K King Books boasts a selection of over 1 million rare and used books and has four whole floors to explore. And yes, the store offers a map to help their guests. Ferndale features a smaller sister location that has a similar breadth of rare and used publications.

Downriver in the suburb of Taylor, the award-winning used bookstore Another Look Books prides itself as “A Special Place for Readers.” Having opened in 1995, Another Look has sold books of nearly all genres for decades in the metro Detroit area. Additionally, the store offers trade credit for any readers who want to give their unwanted books a new home. 

In Grosse Pointe park, Shaw’s Books specializes in rare, collectible books and is usually open by appointment only. The location also offers appraisal services and buys collectible books of all genres, so if you have any old tomes collecting dust, book an appointment and come visit. The owner, Hank Zuchowsk, provides regular talks on book collecting and appraising as well. 

For comic junkies and graphic novel enthusiasts, head over to Milwaukee Junction and spend an afternoon at Vault of Midnight. The shop is the perfect place to find comics, graphic novels, and manga and a fun place to shop for merchandise, like clothing, figurines, and keychains. The store provides a myriad of additional services, such as comic subscriptions and special orders. They will even appraise and buy comics, so feel free to bring your collection. Vault of Midnight is a firm advocate of including comics and graphic novels in school and public libraries, frequently offering support to educators and librarians. If you can’t make it to Detroit, consider stopping by one of the other two locations in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids.

All of these bookstores provide an invaluable service to the people of Detroit: keeping imagination and passion for reading alive.