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.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Not All Vases Hold Flowers

Blue Vase Book Exchange
13963 S. Robinson Road
Traverse City, MI 49684

Fellow book lovers, can you imagine a warehouse full of books? I'm talking about a large metal building filled with almost nothing but books—tables of books, bins of books, boxes of books, and bookshelves a great deal taller than I am filled with books topped with boxes of still more books. Yes, such a place actually exists. Just outside of Traverse City, Michigan, lies one such warehouse, Blue Vase Book Exchange, and I had the pleasure of visiting this place last fall. But wait. There's more!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

What's In A Name?

Buy the Book
2894 S. Huron Road
Kawkawlin, MI 48631

In my last post I described a pleasant fall day, a day perfect for a drive across the state to Bay City and a couple of bookstores. (See 99 Trees.) Well, it may have been a lovely day then, but Mother Nature has a way of turning the tables on us, and now that I have found time to write about my second bookstore visit that day, the weather is anything but pleasant. I drove up to the cottage a few days ago for the express purpose of getting a head start on raking leaves before we shut the place down for the winter. Sadly, I ended up heading to the hardware store for a snow shovel instead. I must say shoveling leaves was a whole new experience for me—more accurately, trying to shovel leaves embedded in snow and ice. I somehow managed to clear a path to the door before giving up. On the plus side, the weather is perfect for sitting inside and blogging about a great bookstore.

I have found bookstore owners to be an interesting and creative lot. I've come across bookstores inhabiting unique locations like one in an old train car, one in a former  J. C. Penney store, and still another in a huge old glove factory. And I have encountered bookstores with very creative names. Booked for the Season and Books & Mortar are two of my favorites. On this particular visit to the Bay City area, I found a shop that offers both a unique location and a fun, creative name. Just outside Bay City proper in the small community of Kawkawlin, I was fortunate to discover Buy the Book.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Headed to the East Side

99 Trees
302 Center Avenue
Bay City, MI 48708

You know you're truly retired from education when September ceases to feel like the start of your new year, and January alone claims that distinction. It took a few years of retirement before I was fully able to relinquish the notion of the ninth month of the year as a starting point. And what a month it is. September at the cottage is glorious, the perfect combination of temperate weather with just the right amount of solitude replacing the flurry of activity that marks the summer cottage season. On one such pleasant September day, I was in search of something to do. Okay, truth be told, I was looking for a reason to put off doing laundry and cleaning. Find a bookstore to visit? Perfect! Even better—find two bookstores to visit. With a little assist from Google, I found two potential bookstores about a two-hour drive away in Bay City. I grabbed my notebook and a bottle of water, and off I went, headed for 99 Trees, the first stop on my double bookstore tour.