Bookstores » Detroit, MI

Bookstores in Detroit, MI

Top-notch service, exceptional collections and the welcoming smell of old books make each of these 10 independent bookstores a page-turner for bookworms across Detroit.
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Book Beat

A visit to Book Beat is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get – whether it be a new book, a piece of artwork or just a quirky little knick-knack. Walk into the store and be greeted with the scent of burning incense, calming music and a friendly staff member. Book Beat has served metro Detroit as an independent bookstore for the past 29 years and specializes in art, photography, literature and children's books. The store’s slogan, “Serving the collective unconscious since 1982. Feed your brain!”, is the perfect fit for literary lovers.

Dawn Treader Book Shop

Once a tiny basement bookstore, the 22-year-old Dawn Treader Book Shop has become a popular destination for book collectors of all ages and interests across the metro Detroit region. More than 70,000 titles are housed in the shop, which specializes in rare and antique books, maps and prints. Prices range from a few cents to thousands of dollars. Customers can also trade in used books for new novels. The store is especially interested in scholarly books in the sciences and humanities; modern first editions, including science-fiction, fantasy and mysteries; and early travel and exploration.

John K. King Used & Rare Books

Bibliophiles rejoice at the mere site of John King Books in Detroit. Michigan’s largest used and rare bookstore and one of the largest bookstores in the country, this four-story behemoth is organized by subject and author for an easy shopping experience. The store is housed in two buildings – one an old glove factory, where most of the books are kept, and the other a former Otis Elevator Building, stocked with art books and a rare book room – with 30,000 titles – available for perusing by appointment only. Bottom line: If you can’t find a book here, it probably doesn’t exist.

Leopold’s Books

Creatives unite at this well-organized shop located in Detroit’s cultural district, tucked in the Park Shelton Building. Founded in 2009 by owners Greg and Sarah Lenhoff, Leopold’s carries a carefully curated collection of unusual books, ranging from graphic novels and art monographs to local zines, literary fiction and nonfiction. Additionally, there is quite a collection of Detroit-centric works so visitors can learn about the history of the Motor City. Patrons can expect a quiet place where they are free to explore the sea of words and find a one-of-a-kind treasure for themselves or to give as a gift.

Nicola’s Books

For a booklovers bookstore, head to Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor. Cozy alcoves, a welcoming fireplace and regular author readings help turn 20 minutes of perusing into an hour. The knowledgeable staff helps guide visitors to the perfect choice, whether it’s a pleasure read or a book for the kids. Additionally, the store can handle special orders at no extra cost and offers online shopping, combining the advantages of local, personal service with the convenience of the Internet. Stop by to find the unexpected book that you did not know you were going to love until you picked it up.