Happy bonus week!
It feels like it has been awhile since I have written post that was bookish, rather than focused with a book review. With the fifth Wednesday this month, I thought it was time to get back to something along those lines. As promised at the beginning of the month, I wanted to share some information about my tote from the “Michigan Booksellers.”
A few years back, a group of independent bookstores across the state of Michigan decided to create a sort of books passport—in the form of a tote bag featuring a map of the state and a list of stores to visit. As a little extra incentive for the project, each store included offered a 10% discount on your first purchase at their store when you brought in your tote. I first heard about this through the Instagram account of my local store, when some of their staff did a social media takeover for a weekend trip to all 15 stores. Shortly after, I found myself in one of the smaller towns included. As luck would have it, the first open parking spot I found was just across from the bookstore! I decided to stop in, and so my journey began.
I think it’s fair to say that this kind of promotion was made for someone like me: I have a hard time turning down a good tote bag and love an excuse to visit a new bookstore. It’s been an extra treat that I get to do a bit of exploring along the way, including my first trip to Marquette and a few other out of the way towns. There were even a few stores within an hours drive of home that I had never visited before! A few times I have enticed others to join me by combining bookstores with local breweries—a perfect combination.
When going in to a new bookstore, I like to go in with an open mind. Although I usually have an idea of what I am looking for, I like to leave it open ended. I go in thinking about one thing, but leave with more than only that—it makes the experience more fulfilling. Over time, visiting these new stores has evolved into a search for recommendations from small booksellers. Each time I visit a store for the first time, I buy a book that is a in a special display or featured as a recommendation. It has been a nice addition to my book collection, and has earned itself a special section on my bookshelf.
So far, I have visited 13 of the stores, and only need to visit Cottage Books in Glen Arbor and Island Bookstore on Mackinac Island to complete the list. (I tried to get a picture to show this off–but that did not quite work out as intended.) It has been an exciting journey, and while it will feel like an accomplishment to check off that last store, it is a little bittersweet. Maybe in the future there will need to be another round of visits to each of these locations. Do you think that could count as the ultimate Michigan road trip?