Ann Arbor Weather:
Friday September 22, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed

The Post-Borders Bookstore

Bookbound's discreet bargains

by Sally Mitani

From the October, 2013 issue

Peter Blackshear pulls China: The World's Oldest Civilization Revealed off the bargain shelf. "It's put together by an Australian guy, Gordon Cheers," he murmurs, leafing through it. "He's kind of a crazy dude, but he makes good books." Blackshear, co-owner, along with his wife, Megan, of Bookbound, Ann Arbor's newest bookstore, is the kind of publishing insider who can casually toss off names like Gordon Cheers--even though his name doesn't appear anywhere inside the book.

"Peter knows where this stuff really comes from, what it goes through to get on the shelf," Megan explains. He learned the business as the bargain book buyer for the entire Borders empire from 1999 to 2011. But Megan's background in fundraising for Food Gatherers may be just as useful in figuring out how to run a bookstore in the eBook, Amazon, and post-Borders era.

The Blackshears were mildly surprised that they didn't sell more of these bargain art and coffee table books during their soft opening week in early September. The China book is a spectacular deal at $30, as is a book of Edward Curtis photos for only $18. But it's still early.

"We seem to be selling mostly what I'd call 'reading material in paperback form.' That sort of implies fiction, but some narrative nonfiction," Peter says. "History, biography," Megan puts in. And children's books. A bookcase refinished by their west-side neighbor, artist and glassblower Ralph Stephenson, demarcates a kind of kids' area, with a huge, friendly rug on the floor that invites sprawling.

The Blackshears are hoping people will eventually discover the wall of gorgeous hardcover bargain books (to the right, as you walk in). The front table is also liberally sprinkled with bargain trade paperbacks. There are no neon "bargain" labels on them--just discreet white stickers with prices and bar codes that override, and undersell, the list prices printed on the cover.

Bookbound, 1729 Plymouth (Courtyard Shops), 369-4345. Tues.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Closed Mon.    (end of article)

[Originally published in October, 2013.]


Bookmark and Share
Print Comment E-mail

You might also like:

Nightspots: Crazy Wisdom Tea Room
Hams Online
Radio buffs stay ready for emergencies.
Patti Smith
Comedy, Storytelling, & Performance Art
Computer Transition
As Affordable Computers closes, A2 Computers adds sales.
Sabine Bickford
Becky Warren
War distilled
James M. Manheim
City Administrator Howard Lazarus
Asking "Why can't we?"
Eve Silberman
Individual Sports
Food Carts Restaurants
Health Care - Support Groups for Other Physical Illnesses
Individual Sports
Regent Hotel
Senior Living Communties 734-677-0071
spark ann arbor