330 Main Street
Frankfort, MI 49645
Yes, Michigan, there is a summer. Finally! So on a glorious Sunday in June, I decided to take a drive. Now before your mind conjures up a stereotypical picture of a little old lady librarian out for a pokey, rubbernecking Sunday drive, let me just say that this was no ordinary Sunday drive. This was a drive on a gorgeous, sunny Michigan day. This was a drive unmatched for scenic beauty. This was a drive along the picturesque Michigan Highway 22. This famed stretch of roadway meanders along the northern Lake Michigan coastline through the Sleeping Bear Dunes area, recently voted the Most Beautiful Place in America. If you're new to my blog, you may want to read my earlier posts about this spectacular part of the country and some of its bookstores.
I took the opportunity to stop at one of the scenic overlooks along the route to oooh and ahhh and take a few pictures. In addition to the unparalleled beauty to be seen along M-22, Sunday drivers will also encounter several charming, small tourist towns. One such town is Frankfort, just south of Sleeping Bear. This lovely town is practically surrounded by lakes, situated on the shores of Lake Michigan to the west, Betsie Lake to the south, and just a few miles away from the Caribbean blue waters of Crystal Lake to the north and east. You may have guessed by now that on this day, there was more to my Sunday drive than just scenery, and you would be right. Frankfort is home to an endearing little bookstore called simply the Bookstore.
After spending so much time enjoying the drive, I was lucky to arrive at the Bookstore just before closing. I was immediately struck by the antique, cottage charm of the place. A collection of old tables and desks provides space for book displays, and antique chairs are placed throughout the store for casual browsing. Near one window is a cozy sitting area outfitted with wicker furniture adding to the cottage feel.
The well-appointed children's area takes up about half of the store's floorspace and features one of my favorite antique pieces, a table made from an old library card catalog. I laughed to myself thinking that children will likely have no idea what that funny cabinet is with its rows of small drawers. For that matter, many of their parents will have no idea either. Regardless, I'm sure that the children appreciate the two large stuffed bears seated nearby, and the parents must find it a cozy place to read picture books with their children.
Manning the store on the day of my visit was Frankfort resident, Regina Heck, now in her second year working at the Bookstore. We struck up a conversation about the town, the area wildlife, and of course, books. Many of my recently read titles were on display around the store, most notably John Green's The Fault In Our Stars featured prominently both inside the store proper as well as in the store window. (See, I told you it was a thing.) In one of the other displays, I noticed behind the beautiful forevers by Katherine Boo. This National Book Award winner and New York Times bestseller, subtitled: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity just happens to be a recent selection for John Green's Nerdfighter book club. Seemed like an obvious purchase to me.
The Bookstore has a great selection of bookmarks. I purchased three; I think I'm starting a bookmark collection. What could be more appropriate? Also for sale are various cards, notepaper, and the like, as well as photographic prints and other artwork. I purchased two maps, one depicting shipwrecks of the Great Lakes and the other showing lighthouses of the Great Lakes. As an interesting aside, just about five miles north of Frankfort is the historic Point Betsie Lighthouse, a tourist attraction in its own right. As I write this post, my map purchases are at the frame shop and will eventually grace the walls of our summer cottage near Baldwin.
I am probably lucky that I arrived at the Bookstore so close to closing time; my purchases were mounting rapidly as it was. However, it's not hard to imagine that I will be visiting this lovely store again at some future time. After all, I haven't yet seen the Point Betsie Lighthouse, and the Bookstore is right on the way.