Dog Ears Books
106 Waukazoo Street
Northport, MI 49670
Fair warning—I'm going to rave about my beautiful state of Michigan again. Why shouldn't I? Once again my fabulous state has received national recognition. One of my very favorite places, highway M-22, has landed squarely at the top, yes first place, in USA Today's Ten Best Scenic Autumn Drives. The paper describes M-22 as “a 116-mile route along Lake Michigan that is absolutely breathtaking come autumn.” Having driven this highway many times, I can attest to the fact that it is quite breathtaking even before the fall color arrives. I am not alone in my admiration; M-22 even has its own website: m22michigan.com.
Up until recently, though, I had never taken the time to follow this lovely byway to its northern peak in the the charming town of Northport on the Leelanau Peninsula. So early in October I decided to make that drive and was happy to discover, as you might have guessed, a unique bookstore, Dog Ears Books.
|Store owner, Pamela Grath|
The quirky name alone prompted me to take a closer look at this store that sits in an older building along the main street of this quaint tourist town. Now I believe that avid book lovers fall into two camps: those who annotate and dogear books and those who abhor such actions. I happen to fall into the first category believing that such notes and selected passages add value. Thus I felt an affinity for this shop before I even entered.
Once through the door, I immediately met friendly owner, Pamela Grath who has run the business since 1993 and was happy to provide information about the store between customers.
The shop, now in its fifth location, inhabits a building that previously provided a home for the likes of a Ford Agency, a garage, and even a lumber yard. Today the only cars you'll find here are in books, and you'll see lumber only in the shelves that hold them.
Though the furnishings are sparse, touches like framed art on the walls, a classic table lamp, and fresh flowers on the front desk create a warm, homey atmosphere.
Are there are any actual “dog ears” at Dog Ears Books, you might be wondering? Absolutely. There are two actual dog ears owned by Sarah, a sweet-tempered canine fixture in the shop. Relaxing on the floor or in a cozy leather chair, she seemed quite comfortable with visitors and accustomed to requests for photos.
Dog Ears sells used and rare books and some new books, especially titles by Michigan authors or about the northern Michigan area. It should come as no surprise then that I purchased a book about my beloved M-22. What may be a surprise is that I also purchased a print from the adjoining art studio. That's right. Amid the bookshelves along one wall is a door that leads to a gallery and studio, David Grath Paintings, run by Pamela's artist husband.
David was out of the shop at the time of my visit, so Pamela was manning both establishments. Fortunately, before I left, David arrived on the scene and was happy to sign a print of one of his paintings for me. I intend to have it framed and hang it at our cottage.
A scenic drive, friendly people, books, art, and a dog--a special day. I highly recommend the scenic M-22 drive, and if you go, I also recommend a stop at Dog Ears Books and David Grath Paintings.