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These five independent bookstores fight the good fight.
The Vault of Midnight bookstore is a great place to escape in a book or graphic novel. Photo by Bryan Esler

Some ironic news hit in March when Amazon announced it was ending its endeavor to open brick-and-mortar bookstores — the very establishments it hoped would wipe out bookstores’ endangered-species status.

The good news? There still are excellent independently owned bookstores here in Grand Rapids.

Schuler Books

One of the largest independent bookstores in the country, Schuler Books, 2660 28th St. SE, has been a staple in the Grand Rapids book community since 1982. The wide selection of books hits every genre and, strangely, Schuler Books has a massive TikTok following. Check it out!

Books & Mortar

A relatively new anchor to the Cherry Street shopping district, Books & Mortar recently expanded into a new storefront, 966 Cherry St. SE. The shop is “consciously curated,” and a progressive selection can help expand curious minds.

Argos Book Shop

Since 1975, Argos Book Shop, 1405 Robinson Road SE, has been a go-to stop for Grand Rapidians looking for books, from comic books to awesome antique and vintage editions. Nearby, Redux Books offers similar selections, making an awesome one-two Eastown punch.

Baker Book House

Baker Book House is a staple book shop for the thriving religious publishing industry that calls West Michigan home. The store, 2768 East Paris Ave. SE, carries a variety of books ranging from popular fiction to Bibles and academic readings.

Vault of Midnight

Comic books and graphic numbers reemerged as an incredibly popular literary channel in recent years (thanks, Marvel movies!) and Vault of Midnight, 95A Monroe Center St. NW, is a gem of a store for all comic book needs.

A forgotten joy

A few weeks ago, my brother, nephew and I went to a movie at Studio Park. The pandemic helped eviscerate the movie theater industry, but it was incredible to sit in those big, cozy seats, drink a beer and watch a movie on a giant screen with massive sounds. Sure, streaming anything and everything is great, but an in-person experience reminds us of what we’re missing.

This story can be found in the May/June 2022 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here

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