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.

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.

The Leelanau Books staff are particularly proud of their children's section, and rightly so. A separate room tucked in the back of the building is home to an abundant array of picture books, I Spy, how-to-draw books, ghost stories, puzzles, books for beginning readers, and the like. To my delight, there is also a fine young adult area featuring many of the current titles with high teen appeal. Also within the space, a pint-sized table and chairs painted with whimsical balloons beckons a child to sit and read for a spell. I noted several Michigan-related kids books like Michigan Chillers and one specific title that caught my eye, Diary of a Michigan Kid. Published by Sleeping Bear Press, a small Michigan publisher of children's books, the Diary provides, among other things, pages for kids to record memories and thoughts of their state.

Specializing in regional books and Michigan authors, the store's attendance to things local is not limited to the children's section. An entire wall devoted to Michigan and Native American books provides the focus for another room in the shop. And the respectable selection of cookbooks is highlighted by those of famous local summer resident, Mario Batali.

Can't find what you are looking for? No problem. Special orders are another specialty of Leelanau Books, and the helpful staff members will also be happy to make suggestions for patrons wondering what to read next.

Had I not so recently enjoyed lunch in Glen Arbor, I would certainly have been tempted to purchase a coffee beverage from the small cafe. I did, however, make a purchase related to another beverage love of mine. Those who know me well know that I enjoy red wine more than occasionally. My kitchen is decorated in what I like to call "Early Vineyard." So when I spotted a magnetic bookmark ornamented with pictures of wine bottles, I had to have it. I will use it to mark my place when I begin reading one of my other purchases, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. Lastly, I purchased a fridge magnet depicting Sleeping Bear Dunes to remind me of my trip to the area and my lovely visit to Leelanau Books.

With just enough of my afternoon left, I headed off across the Leelanau Peninsula to another of the area's charming villages.

The journey concludes in Part III.

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