Booked for the Season
145 S. Hancock Street
Pentwater, MI 49449
Recently while on safari in search of the sometimes elusive independent bookstore, I encountered a rare breed of the species, one that I had never before seen or even knew existed--the consignment bookstore. Deep in the heart of the western Michigan tourist oasis of Pentwater, I encountered this intriguing shop called Booked for the Season, so named as it is open only during the summer. Through wide-open double doors, I entered the smallish space with rustic floor boards and thatch-covered walls accentuated here and there with brightly colored, stylized lizards.
|Tori manning the desk|
While the rest of Pentwater is decidedly beach and boat themed, Booked for the Season has the feel of a tropical hut. A literary hole in the wall is how staff member Tori Carter lovingly described it. On the day of my visit, the owner was on vacation, but Tori was happy to provide some details about the store.
While the Pentwater store is the original, two other Michigan tourist towns, Grand Haven and Saugatuck, are home to similar stores. So how exactly does a consignment bookstore work? This is the question I posed to Tori. The process is pretty straightforward at Booked for the Season. Customers with books to sell fill out a form to become members and are given a unique account number by which their specific books are tracked. The store prices, displays, and sells the books. Then members get a cut of the profit as either store credit or a check.
Bookstore bargain lovers will especially appreciate Booked for the Season's prices. Used books are offered at 50-90% off list, and new books sell for 50-75% off list. Ironically, store members receive a 10% discount with a Barnes and Noble membership card. In addition, when shoppers buy 3 books, a fourth book is free. Extreme bargain hunters who buy 30 titles get 10 free. Wow!
Children are not left out at Booked for the Season. The back half of the store houses a cute area for kids' titles equipped with a table, small chairs, and a box of crayons. Artwork created by pint-sized customers is posted on the bare plywood walls. An adjacent door opens to an outdoor courtyard, while inside nearby, a large futon provides a comfortable place to sit and browse.
The front half of the shop features exposed ceiling joists with fabric of various prints draped between the beams creating a tent-like feel. Also adding to the tropical flavor of the shop is Sam, the bookstore parrot, whose cage sits behind the sales desk. I introduced myself, but Sam didn't have much to say during my visit. Tori says the bird enjoys books in his own way. He likes to rip them apart. Ouch!
|Bookstore parrot, Sam|
I left the shop with a smiling face and a heavy bag. Of course, I took advantage of the 4th-book-free offer. This was indeed a memorable discovery. Thanks to Rebekah from my book club for suggesting it.
If you are ever in the charming city of Pentwater, Michigan, during the summer tourist season, be on the lookout for Booked for the Season. This "hole in the wall" is worth a visit. But if you have children with you, be sure to keep an eye on them. Store policy states that children left unattended will be given a puppy and an espresso. It's this type of humor that typifies the quirky charm of this shop where, to quote a store flyer, "I got used in Pentwater at Booked for the Season."
You can find this store on Facebook at Booked for the Season in Pentwater.