One rainy misty afternoon, I finally managed to make my way down to John King books. I’d long heard about this 4 story institution devoted to books and I have long wanted to visit.
Well, it finally happened and I can tell you that it lives up to all the accolades it has earned over the years.
The bookstore was founded by Mr John King in 1971 and its original location was in Dearborn. It moved to its downtown location in 1983 when Mr King purchased the Advanced Glove factory. It later expanded to have two other locations though sadly, one of these two has recently closed.
They have an inventory of over a million titles divided among its two remaining branches thought the downtown one has a much larger inventory. It’s not far fetched to think they have a book on possibly every topic you can think of. No wonder it was once ranked no 2 of the world’s 18 Bookstores Every Book Lover Must Visit at Least Once. I’m keeping this list by the way and making it one of my goals to visit as many as I can. But I digress.
In this day and age where everything is digital and online, John King books is firmly on the old fashioned side. There is no computerized inventory except for their rare book collection. They cannot look up titles for you, instead, they have booksellers who can direct your search for titles and then you’re on your own– to peruse the alphabetically arranged shelves and get lost in the warren of musty corridors of shelves lined with books and yet more books. When you come, don’t expect to surface for air until hours later. Actually, it’s best to simply clear your schedule of all other things.
As for my book haul, I came away with a very modest one. But this just means another trip down very soon!