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.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Friends Don't Let Friends Drink STARBUCKS"

The Book Nook & Java Shop
8726 Ferry Street
Montague, MI 49437

My sister Sue in front of the Book Nook & Java Shop--Note: No Jacket.

Noting the tongue-in-cheek sign displayed atop the coffee maker at The Book Nook & Java Shop:  "Friends Don't Let Friends Drink STARBUCKS," I realized that here is an establishment fighting the war of independents against the established commercial giants, not just on the printed-and-bound front, but also on the fashionable beverage front. I like this spunky attitude.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The date and circumstances of my visit and the charming locale in which this noteworthy shop resides deserve a certain amount of attention.

November weather in Michigan, by and large, is a mystery. You never know what you're going to get. My Michigan friends will bear witness to the fact that it is possible to have howling winds and snow one day and go out sans jacket the next. November 7, 2011, happened to be one of those jacket-free days when the amount of blue in the sky pretty closely equaled the amount of cloud cover. So I called my sister Sue and suggested that she accompany me to visit a bookstore I had heard about that is not far from her home. Getting to be a regular companion on these bookstore jaunts, (She was with me in Williamston.) she quickly agreed, and her husband Ralph suggested we meet for lunch at a local establishment before beginning our adventure. In addition to the Book Nook, the quaint town of Montague on the shores of White Lake just a stone's throw from Lake Michigan is also home to an assortment of galleries, antique shops, and a most enjoyable lunch spot, Lipka's Old Fashion Soda Fountain. I can think of no better prelude to a bookstore visit than a nostalgic lunch in a historic pharmacy and soda shop. It promised to be a great day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Slightly Off Topic, Barnes and Noble Book Fair

A post about a visit to Barnes and Noble? I know. I know. This blog is about independent bookstores, and that is indeed my focus. But regular readers will recall that I don't have anything against Barnes and Noble. (See Tiny Giant post.) Before retiring, I regularly took advantage of their educator discount to acquire books for my high school library. Truth be told, I love all bookstores, and I promise to get back on topic with my next post. Meanwhile, this being only my first year of retirement, I still have a strong bond with and affection for Kelloggsville High School and its staff and students. So when I learned that their English department would be holding a book fair at a local Barnes and Noble, I was interested to say the least. When I learned that Gary Schmidt, one of my favorite authors, would be there, I was thrilled. I knew that I had to attend to support KHS and to get my copy of Okay For Now (See Book Reviews and Favorites.) signed by the author.