Borders a Bummer but Michigan Indies Still Alive and Kicking

In light of the Borders liquidation, I decided to post this indie piece once again. If you are an independent bookstore in Michigan and wish to be included on the list, please feel free to reach out to NLR through Comments or via Contact page. Night Light Revue will be offering a monthly Michigan Indie Feature starting this fall to promote the variety of bookstores that continue to entice readers and promote the written word throughout our state.

While big chain book retailers continue to shimmy, Michigan boasts a solid slew of fabulous independent bookstores throughout the state. An indie worth its salt is staffed with a knowledgable crew that not only loves to shoot the breeze about books, but can often provide you with the perfect pick regardless of your literary appetite.

If you’re headed Up North and are looking for a good read, an independent bookseller is a great way to go. Not only will you be falling into unique establishments that house both fringe and mainstream literary works, but you’ll also be adding much needed fuel to Michigan’s economy and the book industry at large.

While I can’t possibly cover all the indies in northern Michigan, here are a few of my personal favorites. Keep in mind that author events, book signings, and related discussions often go hand with individual bookstores. Also, most progressive booksellers roll with the techno tide and provide related links on their homepage and can be followed on facebook and Twitter.

Independent Booksellers due North

If you’re headed to Petoskey, stop in at McLean and Eakin.

If you’re headed to Gaylord, stop in at Saturn Booksellers.

If you’re headed to Traverse City, stop in at  Horizon Books.

If you’re headed to Glen Arbor, stop in at Cottage Books.

If you’re headed to Northport, stop in at Dog Ears Books.

If you’re headed to Suttons Bay or Traverse City, stop in at Brilliant  Books.

If you know of other bookstores, please feel free to add them in Comments!

*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

-Post by Megan Shaffer

7 thoughts on “Borders a Bummer but Michigan Indies Still Alive and Kicking

  1. I live in Macomb county and I have only 1 indie bookstore that I can find in the county. The reason I won’t go there is because the sell pornography.
    I’m not a prude but, at the same time I would like to have a bookstore I can go to with my family. If anyone can point me to a indie beside “New Horizon”
    I would be very appreciative. I’m not the biggest customer in the world but I do spend roughly $1500 a year on books and as of right now I’m begging someone to take my money.

    P.S. I won’t buy books online and I am a total Luddite when it comes to E- readers.

    1. Hi Tracy,
      Thank you for the comment. While I can’t guarantee what content these independent bookstores, it is at least worth a try. Go to for a full listing of potential stores in Michigan. Also, if you can’t find an indie to support, it is quite likely that there is a Barnes & Noble somewhere near you. E-readers are not for everyone so stick with your personal preference. Also, I’m not sure about the services at your local library but you might have luck there as well – though wait lists can be quite frustrating.
      Best of luck and happy reading!

  2. Megan,

    Thank you for the link. There were a couple of stores that I’m not familar with on the list and I will definately make calls tomorrow to make sure they are still up and running.

    Thank you again,

  3. For anyone in the West Michigan area, Baker Book House in Grand Rapids is one of the best indie Christian bookstores in the world. Over 100,000 used books, a great selection of new books, music, and gifts. And a knowledgeable staff.

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