The cover story of today's "Play" section in the Detroit Free Press is my feature profiling ten great bookstores in metro Detroit, including Ann Arbor. I tell you, I consider myself pretty good about this sort of thing, but reporting this piece led me to discover thriving places I never knew about, like New Horizons in Roseville (pictured above) and Old Village Bookshop in Plymouth. And of course, the favorites are spotlighted here, too: old friends like The Book Beat, Nicola's, and John K. King.
From the introduction to the piece:
The staid realm of reading is in revolution. With the rise of online reading and e-books, there is an unprecedented diversification of how we find and read books. Bookstores are caught in the headwinds, but while the headlines focus on those that close -- even Borders and Ann Arbor's Shaman Drum couldn't make it -- there has been less attention on how booksellers are carrying forward by carving out niches.
Independent booksellers in particular are digging in their heels at what they're best at: deep literary knowledge, vibrant book events, community partnerships, friendly banter and creating cozy and distinctive spaces designed to match readers with books that will delight. The idea is to offer an experience that simply cannot be replicated elsewhere: not on a screen, or in any other bookstore.
Many are offering uniquely curated book choices; others have a remarkable store space; still others cultivate literary culture by hosting book clubs and author signings.
Sensing that there is still a hunger for the three-dimensional experience, despite the conveniences of online reading, independent booksellers are taking the leap: Literati Bookstore will open in Ann Arbor this spring, and Source Booksellers in Detroit just this month moved to a larger space.
I really hope you pick up this one in print: the design is much nicer, and I love the cover photo (which doesn't appear online).