Sunday, November 21, 2010

Detroit Part 1 - John King Bookstore

Note: There are many pictures from Detroit so I will be spreading them out over a series of posts in the next few days...expect Friend's Thanksgiving, Random Detroit Street Scenes, and who else knows what...)

When we left Michigan to move to Colorado, I promised my two best Michigan friends here that I would always return for the party of the season here in Detroit - Friend's Thanksgiving.

True to my word I booked a ticket out to Detroit to see them. I arrived on Thursday, and had Friday to wander around the city for the better part of the day while B and A arrived home from their respective business trips. Luckily, B left me her car keys so I was able to do a little "Best Of" tour of Detroit and hit up most of the places that I love in Detroit Proper.

Detroit in Fall

The first thing on my list of any trip to Detroit is a visit to John King Books. I'm a sucker for used bookstores and John King is a used bookstore I have spent entire days in before. It's four factory floors of books on any topic you can imagine, similar to Renaissance books in Milwaukee, for those of you who are familiar with it. John King is more organized (Detroiters won't believe I'm saying that!), has older stuff for a lot cheaper, and keeps a bucket of haphazardly stacked daguerreotypes in the back display case that I always dig through.

Detroit in Fall

Detroit in Fall

I've found a lot of treasures while shopping there - old photographs and wedding invitations tucked into books, most of my original Grace Livingston Hills were purchased there, and even a tiny silk and leather bound new testament from the 1820's that I purchased as a gift for my Dad. This trip I picked up three new vintage Grace Livingston Hills...all ones that I had never read before!

Detroit in Fall

The giant factory windows are covered in a thick, heavy plastic and let in this soft, filtered light, so on sunny days you can wander around the stacks of books, staring at endless rows of spines without even turning the lights on - John King keeps the lights off in the stacks - as you go in you have to pull the cords for each aisle to illuminate what you are looking for.

Detroit in Fall
If you ever find yourself passing through Detroit, venture on over to John King - you will not be disappointed at all, if even just for the fact that you are surrounded by billions of works and words, and millions of ideas. I'll bet you the sum of human history is held in places like that and we don't even know it.

3 comments:

  1. Heaven for book lovers like me! *

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  2. I love books. I could spent hours, even days here. WOW.

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  3. this is a great post...such cool photos! i love bookstores :)

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