My Destination Ann Arbor blog post about small town bookstores in Washtenaw County

fullsizeoutput_c87.jpegYears ago, when the bookselling industry began experiencing seismic shifts – which can be summed up in two words: Amazon and e-books – bookstores of all sizes faced a dark night of the soul. How might they adapt and find a way to survive in this brave new world?

Many found that they couldn’t. A number of independent stores and big chains alike (looking at you, Borders) have closed their doors in the interim, leaving just a small number of bookstores still standing. And while you’ll still find a handful clustered in Washtenaw County’s college towns of Ann Arbor and Ypsi, you might wonder what the local bookstore landscape looks like beyond those academic hubs.

It’s sparse, not surprisingly; and none of the four stores found in the county’s smaller towns of ChelseaDexter, and Milan draw on the traditional model of a general interest bookstore with all-new merchandise. Instead, they’ve focused on niche markets (comic books, games, and hosting related events); or chosen to sell books for kids alongside toys and puzzles and music; or curated a collection of used books with a highly personal touch. READ THE REST HERE


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