Lost In Literature: Metro Detroit’s Bookstores

By: Carolyn Hall | April 8, 2024
Library shelf full of books on different subjects - education theme background.

In Metro Detroit, a love for literature is deeply woven into the urban fabric, with independent bookstores standing as vibrant testimonies to the power of words. Each bookstore, with its unique character and ethos, contributes to the rich, literary tapestry of the region. They are not just places to purchase books; they are sanctuaries of imagination, connection, and community. In this article, we explore the distinct charm of some notable but low-key bookstores, each offering a unique contribution to the local culture and community. Let’s explore these remarkable book havens, each with its own story to tell.


92 Kercheval Avenue, Grosse Pointe

Flyleaf is a three-story experience, with a bookshop, bistro, and bar all in one building. Shop literary fiction and nonfiction titles throughout the multi-level shop, grab a coffee or cocktail and relax. You can curl up by a fireplace, sit at the bar, check out the seasonal rooftop, or host small groups in the Reading Room. Host a book club, a small celebration, or catch up with friends in this secluded area. The overall cozy ambiance, coupled with the knowledgeable staff and shelves and shelves of books, makes every visit a delightful adventure into the world of literature.

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325 South Washinton, Royal Oak

Sidetrack Bookshop offers an escape into the tranquil world of reading. It specializes in contemporary fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature, making it a perfect spot for family visits. The bookstore hosts regular community events, including author readings, monthly book clubs, pop-ups, children’s story times, and highly-anticipated midnight release parties, fostering a sense of community among local book lovers. Sidetrack Bookshop’s commitment to promoting literacy and love for reading in younger generations is evident in its vibrant, welcoming space filled with the laughter and excitement of discovering new stories.


16555 East Warren Avenue, Detroit

Located in the East English Village Neighborhood, Next Chapter Books is a new and secondhand bookstore for general-interest topics. “Our vision is a community where people of all ages love reading, where books are valued, and neighbors feel reflected in and connected to their local bookstore,” says Co-Owner, Jay Williams. “Since opening our permanent brick-and-mortar space in September, we’ve hosted numerous author discussions, poetry readings, and open mic nights, opening a space for Detroit creatives to express their work. We are committed to highlighting the work of local authors and Authors of Color and offering our customers affordability through a selection of new and secondhand books.” Some initiatives to look forward to are story times, monthly book clubs, and more in the future.

book displays at next chapter books with children's novels, cookbooks, and more
Photo courtesy of Next Chapter Books


1729 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor

Booksweet stands out as a beacon for community impact, with missions to contribute portions of sales and books to support various groups and organizations. Booksweet also works with local authors to showcase their work through reading nights as well as sections in-store dedicated to books by local authors. Aspiring authors can benefit at Booksweet too, with events like writing workshops and poetry nights available. Featuring a wide range including titles that reflect the voices and stories of underrepresented communities, Booksweet is a welcoming space for all readers.


19560 Grand River Avenue, Detroit

With its charming facade and warm, inviting interior, Pages Bookshop is a cornerstone of the local literary community. Pages Bookshop is deeply committed to supporting the local literary scene, hosting readings, book launches, and signings that allow patrons to engage directly with authors. Pages also hosts book clubs and offers a 15% discount on the clubs’ selected books. One club alternates between non-fiction and fiction and another focuses on the classics. Choose from a selection of bestsellers, indie hits, and staff picks, or ask for a recommendation if you can’t decide. 


10345 Joseph Campau Avenue, Hamtramck

Book Suey is a cooperative bookstore that embodies the spirit of collaboration and community ownership. It offers a diverse selection of books across all genres, with sections dedicated to foreign languages, urban studies, and more. This shop hosts writing workshops, book clubs, and author events for literature lovers and enthusiasts to attend. For more community engagement, Book Suey hosts poetry readings, live music, and even a Community Mending Circle.