Thursday, August 20, 2009

King Books is one of Detroit’s hidden treasures

It isn’t shiny and new like Border’s. And it doesn’t serve up latte frappe mochachino, or whatever it’s called. Actually it’s a pretty dirty old place.

But if you’re just looking for a particular book, and don’t mind that somebody else has already laid eyes on its pages, start your search at John K. King Used & Rare Books in Detroit. It’s the kind of place where you can get lost for a few hours.

You’ve probably seen it, the old brick building next to the Lodge at the end of the Howard Street exit. If you didn’t know better, you might think it’s just another of Detroit’s vacant, dying buildings. Inside, though, are five-stories worth of books, unending shelves that hold every author, title and genre imaginable. In all, they’ve got more than 750,000 titles! In stock!

I don’t know what the building used to be (signs hanging from the ceiling say “No Smoking in the Plant”, so make of that what you will), but King Books has been there since the early ‘80s. Before that, the store was located somewhere across town since 1965.

Hey, not many businesses in Detroit can say they survived the ‘80s. That alone is a reason is to check it out next time you’re heading downtown.

FOR MORE INFO: John K. King Used & Rare Books is located at 901 W. Lafayette Blvd. If you’re looking for a particular title, you can call them at 313-961-0622 or e-mail and they’ll check the shelves for you.