About This Blog

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm not on board with the whole ebook thing. I enjoy books in all their formats. But there is nothing quite like a bookstore with its neatly arranged shelves of books and artfully created displays of new arrivals, best sellers, and suggested reading. I especially enjoy discovering small, independent bookstores and have made it my mission to visit and report back on as many of these gems as I can. That is my focus, but there is really nothing that is off limits as long as it is about books or reading. Hope you enjoy my blog and come back often.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Most Beautiful Place in America, Part III

Leaving the delightful Leelanau Books (see Part II), I set off across the Leelanau Peninsula (see map below) on the third leg of my bookstore discovery trip through "The Most Beautiful Place in America" (see Good Morning America video) and headed toward the small town of Suttons Bay.

Brilliant Books
305 St. Joseph Street
PO Box 550
Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go. OK, so I didn't actually cross a river, and if I were to be really accurate, neither did I go through the woods, but when I arrived at Brilliant Books, I felt for all the world like I was paying a visit to someone's friendly and inviting grandmother. The phrase "warm and cozy" is cliche, I know, but it is nonetheless an appropriate description for this comfy shop, located in what looks to be a converted two-story house with an interior that incorporates wood floors and stained wood shelving with many homey touches like a self-serve coffee pot and a small nook for food, cooking, and wine books, aptly called "The Pantry."

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Most Beautiful Place in America, Part II

Leelanau Books
PO Box 1108
109 N. Main Street
Leland, MI 49654

Leaving behind the lovely village of Glen Arbor, (See Part I) I headed north past a scenic mixture of coastal beauty, farmland, and vineyards into the Leelanau Peninsula where I was greeted by the picturesque town of Leland. Situated on the western shore of the peninsula where Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau meet, Leland is home to a rich assortment of shops and galleries including Leelaunau Books, another recommendation by a friend. (Thanks, Tim.) The charm of Leelanau Books struck me before I even entered the building. The bright white clapboard exterior, punctuated with black shutters has a clean, traditional look replicated within by crisp white walls and shelving. A window seat and windsor chairs sprinkled throughout the shop add appropriately to the charm while displays of postcards, greeting cards and framable posters and maps of the area also grace the space.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Most Beautiful Place in America, Part I

The Cottage Book Shop
5989 Lake Street
Glen Arbor, MI

There I was. Open road ahead. My only companion, the brilliant blue sky looking over my shoulder through the sun roof. It was Wednesday, September 7, the second day after Labor Day, and I was relishing every aspect of this road trip to--drumroll please--The Most Beautiful Place in America. This past August, tens of thousands of Good Morning America fans voted to bestow that honor on Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes, and since I was already at the family cottage barely 2 hours from this esteemed locale, I turned my attention to three bookstores in the area. Click this link (GMA video), watch the announcement video closely, and you will get a brief glimpse of the first stop on my scenic tour, The Cottage Book Shop. The scenic drive along the Lake Michigan coast is reason enough for such a road trip, but when a bookstore awaits, well, it just doesn't get any better.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Deception can be a good thing.

Bay Leaf Books
49 E. Lake
P.O. Box 105
Sand Lake, MI 49343-0105

Preferring to forgo the efficiency of the expressway in favor of a more relaxed and far more interesting drive on roads through small towns, I have an assortment of routes that have become my custom when I travel from my home in Lowell, Michigan, to our family cottage near Baldwin. One such route takes me through the small village of Sand Lake. Many times I have passed by the unassuming storefront of Bay Leaf Books. An equal number of times I have thought I should stop to see what this small shop had to offer, but was usually too intent on my journey to the cottage--until recently. The deceptively modest shop exterior belies the noteworthy size and assemblage of items therein.