Independent Book Stores Worth a Visit in Metro Detroit​

Skip big box stores and Amazon for books and shop these local independent bookstores instead.
Photograph Courtesy of John K. King Used and Rare Books

Despite the emergence of e-books, good old-fashioned physical copies are still a go-to for book worms. And while big box stores and Amazon dominate the market, there are a surprising number of great independent bookstores scattered around metro Detroit.

Build up your reading list with a trip to these local favorites.

John K. King Used and Rare Books (Detroit)

A Detroit institution, John K. King Used and Rare Books, opened in 1983, houses four floors of books. The store features rows upon rows of shelves packed so tight that books are even piled on the floors. Be sure to visit their Rare Book Room to explore more than 25,000 fine books, bindings, maps, first editions, and more. Open Monday-Saturday. 901 W. Lafayette, Detroit; 313-961-0622;

Sidetrack Bookshop

This Royal Oak shop offers a wide selection of curated new fiction as well as non-fiction books for all ages, plus gifts for readers. The books are selected with the mission of sharing comfort and laughter as well as building a community and compassion. Events at the shop include their own book club meetings, open mic nights, pop-ups, and author readings and discussions.  325 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak; 248-341-0777;


Owners Truly and Shaun took over the old Bookbound location in 2021. Today, the shop caters to readers of all ages and preferences with shelves lined with recent releases, graphic novels, fiction novels, non-fiction reads, and community favorites. Join their Banned Book Club to read books currently experiencing contemporary bans or challenges in U.S. public schools and watch their website for reading lists filled with books written by BIPOC authors. 1729 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor; 734-929-4112;

Black Stone Bookstore and Cultural Center

Black Stone Bookstore, which opened in 2013, specializes in African American literature, but does carry some literature from various ethnicities and cultures. Check their website for lists of bestsellers, staff picks, audio books, upcoming releases, and much more. 214 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti; 734-961-7376;

Literati Bookstore

Literati opened in 2013 as “an independent, general interest bookstore.” Today, they offer a welcoming space for readers to come and explore a wide variety of written works including fiction novels, graphic novels, music books, and non-fiction reads. Check out their book clubs for fun reading offerings, and watch for special events, too. 124 E. Washington, Ann Arbor; 734-585-5567;

Classic Book Shop

Opened in 1988, Classic Book Shop offers a varied selection of reads from rare literary finds to well-loved sci-fi. This Royal Oak staple embraces all genres. Stop in for a reasonably priced paperback or sell old books to make room on your shelves for more. 32336 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak; 248-549-0220;

The Book Beat

The Book Beat has been in the independent bookstore industry for nearly 40 years. Hosting authors and serving the community with books for decades, this independent bookstore has seen a rise in consumers veering back to hard copies. Purchase hard copies at the Book Beat Gallery, explore out-of-print and rare books through Biblio, or support them with an audio book purchase. 26010 Greenfield, Oak Park; 248-968-1190;

Source Booksellers

Currently located on Cass Ave., Source Booksellers opened in 2013.The shop offerings include a breadth of subjects from health and wellness, and history and culture, to children’s books, and world maps. The store also carries oils, incense, shea butter products, fair trade chocolates, and raw snacks. 4240 Cass Ave., Suite 105, Detroit; 313-832-1155;

Pages Bookshop

Located in Detroit’s historic Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood, Pages was opened by Susan Murphy in 2015. The cozy shop’s selection is primarily fiction, with books by Detroit authors, as well as gifts that encourage reading and writing. Stop in to visit the shop cat, Pip. 19560 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313 473-7342;

Detroit Book City

Detroit Book City is a Black-owned travel and pop-up bookstore. Owned by Reginald and Janeice Haynes, the independent bookstore sells new and gently used books of multiple genres, as well as apparel, mugs, candles, African body oils and soaps, and more. 15900 W. 10 Mile Road, Southfield; 248-993-3844;

This post has been updated for 2024.