Forget the Kindle. Put away the iPad. Instead of swiping to the left, try flipping through the pages of an actual book. Yes, it’s easier to select your latest read from a list on some screen, but it’s way more fun to visit a local independent bookstore to browse the aisle and pick up a few novels or even some old magazines. Take the kids, too, for an adventure in the aisles.
Browse our list of independent bookstores in Detroit, Ann Arbor and beyond to find one near you. And if you aren’t sure what book to get your kid, check out our list of banned or challenged books all kids should read; our favorite classic kids books picks or the 20 top diversity books as chosen by Elena Reads to get some ideas.
- Address: 1729 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor
- Phone: 734-369-4345
- Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday
Ann Arbor residents Peter and Megan Blackshear opened this community bookstore after the closing of Borders – where Peter was an employee. The indie bookshop offers a collection of hand-picked fiction and nonfiction books, along with children’s books, greeting cards, gifts and more.
- Address: 27309 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores
- Phone: 586-773-7370
- Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday
This shop offers new and used books of all varieties for sale.
- Address: 24361 Greenfield Road, Suite 305, Southfield
- Phone: 248-209-6880
- Hours: noon-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, closed Sundays (watch for seasonal changes)
This small shop specializes in books and media aimed at the African American market. Find kids’ books, black-consciousness reads, how-to manuals, urban fiction novels and more.
- Address: 22524 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
- Phone: 248-548-9050
- Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday
Ferndale folks are walking distance from this local gem, which is located right on Woodward Avenue. While it’s smaller than the main location (see below), it’s still packed with fantastic reads for all book lovers.
- Address: 901 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit
- Phone: 313-961-0622
- Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday
Four floors of books to browse – that’s why this is Michigan’s largest used and rare bookshop. Staff is there to assist customers who are looking for specific reads.
- Address: 169 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
- Phone: 248-545-4300
- Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday
Owner Martha Sempliner bought the bookstore in the ’80s and has been welcoming customers of all ages to the Ferndale spot since then. Find thousands of books here.
- Address: 124 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor
- Phone: 734-585-5567
- Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday
This independent bookstore, which opened in downtown Ann Arbor in 2013, hosts author readings, book clubs and poetry nights, in addition to offering a wide range of reads to book lovers young and old.
- Address: 2513 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor
- Phone: 734-662-0600
- Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
Another Ann Arbor gem, Nicola’s Books prides itself in being the “premier independent bookstore” in the city. Here, find books from all genres, plus stop by for a number of events hosted at the bookstore.
- Address: 19560 Grand River Ave., Detroit
- Phone: 313-473-7342
- Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday
Metro Detroiter Susan Murphy opened this independent bookstore, which is located in Detroit’s Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood, as a way to encourage children to read. The spot offers loads of books for children, along with reads for adults. Be sure to pet Pip, the bookshop cat, when you visit.
- Address: 414 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak
- Phone: 248-677-4628
- Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily
Find a selection of over 20,000 books for sale at this Oakland County shop.
- Address: 4240 Cass Ave., Suite 105, Detroit
- Phone: 313-832-1155
- Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday
This nonfiction bookseller, which is located in Midtown Detroit, boasts being a “unique niche of nonfiction books.” Find books, along with products like incense and snacks, here.
- Address: 26010 Greenfield Road, Oak Park
- Phone: 248-968-1190
- Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday
Find art, children’s books and other literature at this Oak Park bookstore, which opened in 1982.
This post was originally published in 2017 and is updated regularly.