Contrary to popular forecasting a few years back, e-books haven't done to print what the cell phone has done to pay phones and land lines. Rather, thoughtfully curated, indie book emporiums are still a welcomed alternative to mega stores and e-readers.
will open at 124 E. Washington St., likely in early spring, says Hilary Lowe, who co-owns the store with her husband, Michael Gustafson. The couple moved to Ann Arbor from Brooklyn late in July with plans to open an indie book shop downtown.
"We want to be a general-interest store because there is a real void left by Shaman Drum and Borders, serving the populace as a general bookstore selling new titles," Lowe says. "We will be focusing on literary fiction and quality non-fiction."
She sees this as an underserved market in Ann Arbor. The West Side Bookshop, Dawn Treader, Kaleidoscope, and Motte and Bailey carry a huge assortment of used books. New book purveyors include Aunt Agatha's Mystery Bookstore and Crazy Wisdom, which primarily emphasizes spirituality.
And, "Nicola's does a great job, but they're not in the walkable downtown area, and that was kind of our goal," says Lowe.
The store has 2,600 square feet on the basement and ground-floor levels and is undergoing a refurbishment. The work includes refinishing the wood floor on the ground level, carpeting and painting the basement, new lighting, and a fire alarm system.
To begin with, Literati Bookstore will have 3-5 part-timers on staff, along with Lowe and Gustafson. It will be open seven days a week, with hours to be announced at a later date.
Source: Hilary Lowe, co-owner, Literati Bookstore
Writer: Tanya Muzumdar