We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Dog Ear Books via Facebook.

By Lucas Henkel

November 6, 2023

‘Gander readers weighed in with their favorite locally-owned bookstores from around the Great Lakes State. 

Michigan is full of bookworms. We asked ‘Gander readers to shout out their favorite locally-owned bookstore, and you folks did not disappoint. Whether you’re looking for a spine-chilling thriller or a risque romance novel, here are the top locally-owned bookstores from across the Mitten State—according to you. 

Northern Michigan

McLean & Eakin 
307 E Lake St., Petoskey
Mon. to Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of McLean & Eakin via Facebook

Google Review: “This is the best book store I’ve ever been to. The employees are incredibly helpful and provide recommendations that fit your tastes perfectly. This store changed my reading life and I order all my books there.”—Reid C.

Horizon Books 
243 E. Front St., Traverse City
Mon.-Sun. 7 a.m.- 10 p.m

115 S. Mitchell St., Cadillac
Mon.-Sun. 9 a.m.- 9 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Horizon Books – Traverse City via Facebook

Google Review: “What a treat to find such a superb book store while ambling about popular East Front Street in downtown Traverse City, Michigan. An excellent selection as well as a copious selection of titles of local interest. Plus, a cute cafe! Always nice to give business to a coffee shop that isn’t a Starbucks! As an avid reader of nonfiction, I found shelves full of history, biographies, and memoirs. In this day of social media twaddle, great to have a thriving book shop in a tourism destination in northern Michigan.”—Jeffrey Y.

Cottage Book Shop 
5989 S. Lake St., Glen Arbor
Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.- 5 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.- 4 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Cottage Book Shop via Facebook.

Google Review: “What an adorable book store! I wandered in looking for a book for my husband to read on our trip. The staff was so helpful with picking out a couple of options based on his favorite author- and he is really into the book they recommended. Would love to go back and browse more- great selection and charming store.”—Jamuna K.

Chillermania
1651 S. Straits Hwy., Indian River
Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.- 4 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Chillermania via Facebook.

Google Review: “Our granddaughter is huge fan of the Michigan Chiller books and Pandemia so when we saw a sign for this bookstore, we had to stop! The author Johnathan Rand was incredibly kind and we found out that he has adult books as well. He sells all of his books and they are cheaper than they are on Amazon. He is in the store quite often and he is so great when meeting with fans. If we are up north again, we will make another stop. Highly, highly recommended!”—Erica J.

Snowbound Books 
118 N. 3rd St., Marquette
Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Snowbound Books via Facebook.

Google Review: “Great bookstore! A huge variety of books to browse. The staff is helpful and friendly. I had to have a book ordered and it was no problem at all, and the shipping was much quicker than expected. My kids loved the children’s section and were able to find books they wanted/needed. Definitely recommend a stop!”—Kelly M.

Island Bookstore
7372 Main St., Mackinac Island
Sun.-Thurs. 9:30 a.m.- 9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 9:30 a.m.- 10 p.m, closed during winter months

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Island Bookstore via Facebook.

Google Review: “Definitely worth visiting! A surprisingly good selection for a smaller site, and excellent customer service. My wife bought me a book there on my honeymoon, and it turns out it was missing some pages, and Island Bookstore sent me a perfect copy free of charge (I didn’t even have to send back the original one).”—Paul H.

Between the Covers 
106 E. Main St., Harbor Springs
Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Between the Covers via Facebook.

Google Review: “Awesome little bookstore with an incredible variety of books of all genres! I forgot to ask the employee for their name but they were super friendly and helpful! We had a great conversation and she recommended some great books to read. I picked up a copy of Killers of the Flower Moon and cannot wait to read it. Thank you for the recommendation and for the lovely experience! Definitely check them out!”—Vince T. 

Grandpa’s Barn
340 4th St., Copper Harbor
Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Grandpa’s Barn via Facebook.

Google Review: “ADORABLE little book shop with a surprisingly varied selection. I was pleased to see a lot of local authors and Native American authors. The man who owns it is very friendly and nice to chat with.”—Nicole M

Dog Ear Books
106 S. Waukazoo St., Northport
Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.- 5 p.m, closed on Monday

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Dog Ear Books via Facebook.

Google Review: “Always a delight to visit Pamela at Dog Ears Used Books. It is a must stop when you visit Northport.”—Sandra C. 

Leelanau Books
109 N. Main St., Leland
Wed.-Mon. 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., closed on Tuesday

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Leelanau Books via Facebook.

Google Review: “You walk into this store and it’s just books wall to wall!! They have everything, children’s, adults, teens. And the workers are beyond helpful!! They were pleasant, friendly, knew exactly where things were located and appreciated light conversation. I will definitely shop here again just because our experience was so amazing!”—Amber 

Southeast Michigan

John K. King Used & Rare Books
901 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit
Mon. 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Tues.-Sat. 9:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m., closed on Sunday

22524 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
Tues. 12 p.m.- 6 p.m., Wed.-Fri. 11 a.m.- 7 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sun, 12 p.m.- 5 p.m., closed on Monday

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of John King Rare & Used Books – Detroit via Facebook.

Google Review: “What a fabulous find. This is the best book store we have ever been to. The store itself is perfection. Row and rows on floors and floors. Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time for exploring. The staff was so helpful, Chris was so incredibly helpful and friendly. We even chatted with the owner who was a true gem. This is a must stop while visiting Detroit.”—Marian G. 

27th Letter Books
3546 Michigan Ave., Detroit
Wed. and Fri. 1 p.m.- 8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.- 7 p.m., 12 p.m.- 5 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of 27th Letter Books via Facebook.

Google Review: “Incredibly friendly staff! Went in with no idea of what I wanted other than I knew I wanted something fantasy/sci-fi. Got recommended some amazing books and was helped along the way to my final purchase.Great vibes and a gorgeous space.”—Storm D. 

The Book Beat
26010 Greenfield Rd., Oak Park
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.- 5 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of The Book Beat via Facebook.

Google Review: “Truly my favorite bookstore in Metro-Detroit, it definitely has one of the largest sections on black literature and theory, and an expansive Queer section. Has used and new books and the interior is so pretty!”—Cariel G

R&B Used Books
12830 S. Saginaw St. # F, Grand Blanc
Mon.-Wed. And Fri. 11 a.m.- 6 p.m., Thurs. 11 a.m.- 7 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.- 5 p.m., Sun. 12 a.m.-4 p.m. 

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of R&B Used Books via Facebook.

Google Review: “Wonderful new find! Enjoyed the atmosphere, the kitties, and the huge, well-organized selection. The staff were terrific. Found five new treasures (one for my children’s book collection, one for my daughter, one for me, and one for my mom- and she found one for a friend) Five stars for sure!”—Kathleen C. 

Pages Bookshop 
19560 Grand River Ave., Detroit
Mon.-Sat 11 a.m.-5 p.m., closed on Sunday

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Pages Bookshop via Facebook.

Google Review: “Nice atmosphere, good selection, friendly helpful staff and a cat. Not sure what else you could want.”—Alex S. 

Totem Books
620 W. Court St., Flint
Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m.- 6 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m.- 7 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.- 7 p.m., closed on Sunday

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Totem Books via Facebook.

Google Review: “We had a great time here! Found a couple of neat old books for presents to people, got to chat with two really interesting authors, and I already want to go back! This bookstore is a gem: great selection, great vibes, and good people.—Aly C.

Squirreled Away Books
22985 W. Main St., Armada
Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., closed on Monday and Sunday

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Squirreled Away Books via Facebook.

Google Review: “We NEED this bookstore! There is nothing better then a family owned bookstore like Squirreled Away Books. I will absolutely be purchasing there again!”—Brianna

2 Dandelions Bookshop
428 W. Main St., Brighton
Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.- 8 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.- 5 p.m., closed on Monday and Sunday

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of 2 Dandelions Bookshop via Facebook.

Google Review: “This bookstore is such a treasure. My daughter and I started loving this store 2 years ago and I just had the pleasure of meeting the owner. Such a wonderful store, family owned & operated. If you are in Brighton, stop in there! There is just something so special about holding a real book! The family events they host are priceless.”— Rosie S. 

Serendipity Books
108 E. Middle St., Chelsea
Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.- 7 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.- 5 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Serendipity Books via Facebook.

“I had a delightful experience browsing the shop while I was in town. A surprisingly robust selection of genres, books, and authors for a small shop. A welcoming and warm environment. The perfect place to spend a rainy and gross day. And my daughter loved the book I brought home for her from my trip. If I lived nearby I’d certainly be a regular.”—A.T. 

Literati
124 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor
Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-9 a.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-9 a.m., Sun. 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Literati via Facebook.

Google Review: “This is a gem in Ann Arbor! I haven’t found a brick and mortal bookstore as cute as this one. Many books have handwritten introductions about them, and it is fun to look at stationaries the bookstore offers. I highly recommend you to stop by when you are in downtown Ann Arbor.”—Gator M.

Comix Corner
32032 Utica Rd., Fraser
Mon.-Tues. And Sat. 11 a.m.- 6 p.m., Wed. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Thurs.-Fri. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Comix Corner via Facebook.

Google Review: “DAN THE MAN. He never loses his cool when my kids come with me. Has my comics in hand ready to go before I even reach the counter. Highly recommend the Club. I never have to worry about missing an issue!”—Ryan S. 

Brooks Books
1805 Ford Ave., Wyandotte
Mon. and Wed. 12 p.m.-6 p.m., Tues. and Thurs. 12 p.m.-7 p.m., Fri. 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Brooks Books via Facebook.

Google Review: “This is my husband and I’s go-to book store. Every book we read now we order through Brooks Books. Great atmosphere, friendly staff, and monthly book club are just some of the awesome qualities this business provides.”—Elizabeth V. 

Fenton’s Open Book
105 W. Shiawassee Ave., Fenton
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Fenton’s Open Book via Facebook.

Google Review: “Extensive variety of books in store, as well as remarkably fast turn around for special orders. Book clubs, local theater tickets, author events, signed copies of books, wide selection of puzzles, games, and vintage style toys. Coming in is like coming to visit friends every time.”—Nichelle C. 

Mid-Michigan

Deadtime Stories
1132 S. Washington Ave., Lansing
Wed.-Fri. 12 p.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Deadtime Stories via Facebook.

Google Review: “I drive an hour to get my books from here! I love the selection and always have to grab a mystery grab from the rub too!! Jenn always remembers me when I come in, no matter how long it has been since I’ve been there! The conversations while shopping and checking out are an added bonus!! Love my true crime bookstore!!”—Andraelle S

Everybody Reads
2019 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing
Mon.-Sun. 12 p.m.-6 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Everybody Reads via Facebook.

Google Review: “An absolutely stellar bookstore. An excellent and vast collection of comics with solid selection of traditional literature, as well as a bunch of cool community oriented events and knick knacks. You can tell real humans work here.”—Wells F. 

A Novel Concept
222 S. Washington Square, Lansing
Tues. 3 p.m.-6 p.m., Wed.-Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., closed on Sunday

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of A Novel Concept via Facebook.

Google Review: “Just found out about this place a few weeks ago and have already been in three times. Great central location, super friendly staff (responsive on social media too, which is a plus), and an AWESOME curated collection of books. All of their second hand finds are reasonably priced and are in great condition. Can’t recommend it enough as well as the stationery shop attached to it, super cute cards. A lovely addition to the growing downtown scene, especially with its proximity to local cafes!”—Josephine O. 

Jellybean’s Used Books and Entertainment
2256 E. Main St., Owosso
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.-4 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Jellybean’s Used Books and Entertainment via Facebook.

Google Review: “This store is amazing! Its such a nice place to find old games, tech, music, books, and even some new stuff! The man that works here is wonderful as well! Very friendly.”—Justin S. 

Bestsellers Books and Coffee Co.
360 S. Jefferson St., Mason
Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.-6 p.m., closed on Sunday

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Bestsellers Books via Facebook.

Google Review: “Loved the vibes! I got the milky way latte (highly recommend!!) and the bacon breakfast sandwich. SO good!! And very well priced. Pretty good selection of books; I’m not an avid reader but I did buy one to dabble in! 🙂 Definitely a good place to visit if you’re in the Mason area!”–Elyza S

Midland Street Books 
809 E. Midland St., Bay City
Mon. and Thurs.-Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Tues.-Wed. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Midland Street Books via Facebook.

Google Review: “Best place to shop for books in the tri cities. You can get like new or excellent used condition books for a fraction of retail. I make a stop here every time I’m in Bay City. And follow their Facebook page too, as the owner posts a lot of interesting content!”—Kate M. 

Sleepy Dog Books
120 E. Broadway St., Mt. Pleasant
Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Sleepy Dog Books via Facebook.

Google Review: “There’s no better place to find your next read than at Sleepy Dog Books. The ambience of the shop takes readers back to the days when you spent hours in a bookstore…because you could. It just feels good to get your books here rather than to just toss them into your shopping cart at a market next to your green beans and herbal shampoo. Do yourself a favor…spend some time at a real bookstore…Sleepy Dog!”—Barbara K. 

Southern Michigan 

Bookbug & This Is A Bookstore
3019 Oakland Dr., Kalamazoo
Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Bookbug & This Is A Bookstore via Facebook.

Google Review: “This is my favorite bookstore ever. If they don’t have a book they will order it for you and there is an option to place an order online which they will have wrapped and ready to go for you to pick up. The table of contents Cafe/factory coffee there is excellent and there are many great spots to sit and relax by the windows. 10/10 best bookstore in Kalamazoo.”—Madison L. 

Hello Books
330 Kalamazoo St. #2, South Haven
Thurs.-Mon. 12 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Tuesday and Wednesday

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Hello Books via Facebook.

Google Review: “Formerly Black River Books and now under new ownership this store has the same energy with some cool improvements that have made the experience even better. We met the new owner when we visited on vacation and we’re so ecstatic to continue our now 11 year tradition of going to this store while staying in South Haven!!!”—Jacob S. 

Lowry’s Books and More
22 N. Main St., Three Rivers
Mon.-Wed. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Thurs.-Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Lowry’s Books and More via Facebook.

Google Review: “So many books!! I could live here! Seating throughout the stacks, gifts, toys, and games. It took me a long time to go through it all!”—Kea N. 

Casperson’s Books and Art
302 Broadway, Niles
Wed.-Sun. 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., closed Monday and Tuesday

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Casperson’s Books and Art via Facebook.

Google Review: “Too often when buying rare older books you kinda have to roll the dice and hope for the best as to what you might actually get. So overwhelmed with my recent purchase with Casperson’s Books. Above and beyond what I expected.”—Donald C.

West Michigan

Bettie’s Pages
11635 Fulton St. E. #500, Lowell
Tues.-Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.-4 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Bettie’s Pages via Facebook.

Google Review: “My wife and I visited recently, from the moment we walked in we fell in love. The store is so welcoming and filled with books (the kitties helped as well). It was very inclusive and made sure no group was left out. A new favorite store and will definitely be back again.”—Alex P. 

The Bluestocking Bookshop
501 Butternut Dr. Suite 3, Holland
Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of The Bluestocking Bookshop via Facebook.

Google Review: “The Bluestocking Bookshop is a gem in Ottawa County! They offers a wide variety of books (used and new!) and unique gift items, and are invested in supporting local authors and makers. With budget-friendly prices for all reading levels and interests, I am so grateful to have such an empowering refuge in Holland!”—Rose P. 

Book Nook & Java Shop
8744 Ferry St., Montague
Mon.-Wed. 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Thurs.-Fri. 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Book Nook & Java Shop via Facebook.

Google Review: “This place is incredible! I walked in the door and was immediately happy that I came. I spent a long time enjoying looking at books, then I got a coffee from their coffee bar. It was a relaxed environment. I didn’t feel rushed and really enjoyed the experience there!”—Aubrey B. 

Books and Mortar
966 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids
Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

We asked, you answered: Here are 38 of the best locally-owned bookstores in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Books and Mortar via Facebook.

Google Review: “This is such a cool place! A proudly progressive, consciously curated, and fiercely independent bookstore. Kind staff, unique offerings, I will definitely be back!”—Stevie W. 

Author

  • Lucas Henkel

    Lucas Henkel is a multimedia reporter who strives to inform and inspire local communities. Before joining The 'Gander, Lucas served as a journalist for the Lansing City Pulse.

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