A Bookstore of a Million Books! John K. King in Detroit, MI

Our “Friday Fun” item this week takes us to the other side of the great state of Michigan and a fabulous bookstore waiting to be explored. The massive store is King Books in Detroit, a treasure trove of tomes rare and regular waiting to be browsed, purchased, and read.

I am ashamed to admit I have never been there. Baseball has drawn me to Tiger stadium in the Motor City but books have not drawn me to King. Yet, that is, for it is truly on my agenda, maybe even this summer. After all, a trip farther east is planned, and that could easily be on the route. Time (and wife) will determine whether I am successful or not. 🙂

Here’s the introduction to a brief video on the bookstore with the owner, John K. King. Ah, what a visionary bibliophile! If I wasn’t a librarian, I think I would have a bookstore. Enjoy! And visit it yourself sometime. Along with a baseball game. Now, THAT’S a dream trip – baseball and books!

Detroit – Inside a formerly abandoned factory on Lafayette Boulevard is a treasure-trove of stories waiting to be discovered. Those driving by John K. King Used and Rare Books might have thought there is probably about a million books inside. They would be correct. This bookstore has around million books in over 900 categories.

For the owner, John K. King, books are a fine piece of art. “You enjoy it, you read it, you appreciate it, you can touch it, you can smell it, I mean it’s just a wonderful thing to have in your hand.” In this age of digital books, the paper version still plays a significant role. King mentions that traditional books need no battery or won’t break when dropped. He continues “it’s just a tactile part of it […] to do that electronically just seems so different from what people have been doing for hundreds of years.”

One of the key features of the bookstore is the rare book section. Located in a different building, this section has rare first editions of Tolkien and Hemingway, signed Matisse books, and even a page out of the Gutenberg Bible, which was the first book printed using movable type around 1455. Patrons that are financially frugal might be surprised by the price tag for these rare editions.

Published in: on June 1, 2018 at 10:06 PM  Leave a Comment