Indie Booksellers almost always captivate me, put me under their spell. Last week I had a few minutes at one of the very best. McLean and Eakin Booksellers in Petoskey, MI. Wow! What a place! Not only is it a place filled with terrific books, so many of them. It is also brimming with welcoming spirit that will fill your heart with joy.

I had only a few minutes last week when I dashed in like I was being chased by the rain. Two delightful staffers gathered my scattered self. You would have thought I was their oldest customer. In moments they had a pick for me. The recommendation: The Invisible Bridge. It is a novel by Julie Orringer. A New York Times Notable Book the Chicago Tribune says it is a tale of war-torn lovers, family and survival of the luckiest rather than the fittest. Other reviewers sing its praises. It sounded like a fit for me. I bought it and left with enough McLean and Eakin newsletters for five friends waiting at a nearby restaurant.

I have my favorite bookstores: Prairie Lights in Iowa City, Birchbark Books in Minneapolis, Downtown Books in Apalachicola. Now I have one in my own state. Hooray!

What I am especially looking forward to is a special trip to Petoskey to spend some quality time in McLean and Eakin with the books and the people. In the meantime they have a website that will have you salivating. It is so complete and easy-to-use that it could keep anyone out of trouble for some time. It may cause us to buy more books and that is a good thing.

Some piece of information you absolutely need is on this website. For example, I learned that one of my favorite authors Ivan Doig had a new book out last year, and I totally missed it. He writes great stories about interesting family relationships, and the characters usually live in Montana, a place I love to go to in books. I love to be there in person, too, but it is far away.

A very special thanks to the staff. They treated me like a visiting dignitary rather than a person who……… Well, I’ll leave that to your imagination. I am so looking forward to my next visit.

Please let us know about your favorite bookstores. Tell us about the one that excites and calms you at the same time.


  1. Kim

    I just love your blog!!! I too like Book Beat in Oak Park. I haven’t been in awhile but we pretty much lived there when the kids were young because they always carried the best and were extremely helpful. Keep it up.

  2. Grant Burnham

    Oh, if only I had the legs to travel right now, I would join you in Petoskey! Alas, I must suffice for now with the generosity of the Lein traveling library. I have begun my first read – “Testament” a soldiers story of the Civil War. Grant

  3. Judith Vitali

    We are fortunate to have two wonderful bookstores still nearby (alas too many have closed over the past few years … feel their loss like the disappearance of dear friends). One is the Book Barn in Niantic, CT … lovingly used books. Where else can one find over a half million books, gardens, cats to cuddle, a petting zoo, free coffee and cookies, a large chess set, assorted buildings with names like the Haunted Bookshop and The Last Page? Can wander there for hours.

    RJ Julia in Madison , CT is the favorite for new books … the latest in books, wonderful staff recommendations, assorted gifts, and a small cafe … plus wonderful Meet the Author events.

  4. Winnie

    Paulette, I don’t know if I’m filling this out correctly. Was I supposed to put the name of your blog in that website box? I enjoyed reading your piece about the bookstore up north. I can “hear” your voice while reading it, which makes it extra fun and meaningful. Although I don’t go often enough, I like wandering through the crowded aisles of The Book Beat in Oak Park, MI on Greenfield near 10 Mile. It’s such a charming place, and the staff really knows books. They bring in lots of authors every year.

    Blessings for you on this venture!


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