Nothing comes close to the feeling you get when you walk into a bookstore. These are retail sanctuaries for devotees of hardcover and softcover books. It's not that they won't read on a tablet, it's that they have a true connection to words on pages they physically feel, turn, and eventually place on a shelf to revisit when the time is right.

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While Barnes and Noble and chain bookstores like them are wonderful and offer a variety of seating options, there is nothing like the atmosphere of an independently owned bookshop. The selection is often curated by the owner or staff, as opposed to a corporate algorithm that determines how and where the books are displayed.

Exploring Independently Owned Michigan Bookstores

Every one of Michigan's independent bookstores has its own unique personality. Some focus on local authors and tales, while others offer a mixture of regional and national chart-toppers. Regardless of their selection, a Michigan bookworm cannot resist the allure of literature in any form.

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Another bonus of shopping in these Michigan small businesses is many of them are home to animals. Cats and dogs are something you won't find at a Big Box Bookstore, but they're almost expected in Michigan's small shops.

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While, unlike Barnes and Noble, offering Starbucks and bagels isn't something most of these independent bookstores provide, many of them are located in some of Michigan's growing downtown districts. This means coffee, snacks, full meals, and new places to explore are just around the corner!

Ready for a reading road trip in the Mitten State? Read on!

27 of Michigan's Finest Independent Bookstores

A list for book lovers who are not only looking for a new story but, a place to spend hours looking for it. Independent bookstore owners share your passion for books and the need to hold them in your hands. Here are 27 of Michigan's Finest Independent Bookstores, as compiled by The Gander and its readers.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

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