We are a new independent bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor. We moved here in the hopes of adding and enhancing the vibrant downtown culture and arts scene. We aim to be a place where book lovers can go, talk, and interact with each other. We also host author readings, book clubs, poetry nights, open mic nights, and anything else we can think of. But most of all: We want to be a great and welcoming bookstore.
Our staff hails from the greater Ann Arbor area, and many have extensive bookselling experience. Out of over 300+ applicants, we carefully selected the most passionate and experienced booksellers, people who have worked previously for both Borders and Shaman Drum and who are engaged and involved within the literary community here.
We believe that, contrary to popular belief, we are not hurtling towards some digital, machine-operated future where an Amazon algorithm can decide your reading list. We believe in the whimsy that an independent bookstore provides. We believe that people still enjoy reading real books where real people work in a real bookstore.
Almost everything in our store is repurposed or designed locally. Our bookshelves were purchased from the original Borders Store No. 1. Our tables were purchased at local thrift stores and consignment shops. Our bookmarks were designed by Alisa Bobzien, a local graphic designer in Ann Arbor. Our logo T-shirts and totes were printed by VGKids, an Ypsi-based printing company, and they were all made in the USA. Our sign was designed by a former senior design editor at National Geographic, Oliver Uberti, who now lives in Ann Arbor, constructed by Grafaktri, also based in Ann Arbor. Our windows, signs, and bags were designed, hand-painted, and/or constructed by Samantha Schroeder, a local artist in Ann Arbor. We are committed to working with and supporting the local community.
We are so excited to be in Ann Arbor. We are thrilled to be your downtown independent general bookstore.
Meet the Owners
We love books. Hello. We are Mike Gustafson and Hilary Gustafson, proud booksellers and owners of Literati Bookstore. As Michigan natives, we both have fond memories of childhoods filled with books. Curling up late at night. Long, sunny afternoons, beachside along one of the Great Lakes, reading until the sun went down.
When we heard about Borders closing shop nationally, our immediate reaction was, “What about downtown Ann Arbor?” We grew up here. We have family here. We couldn’t stomach one of the most literate, creative cities in the nation (the world?) without a downtown general bookstore to share ideas, discuss books, and meet authors. While Ann Arbor does have some truly great niche bookstores downtown, we feel that not having a general bookstore that sells new books in the walkable downtown area is a great disservice to the community.
So, we decided to move from Brooklyn back to Ann Arbor to start a bookstore. To show that independent bookstores thrive in communities that value the written word. To show that bookstores could thrive in vibrant downtowns like Ann Arbor. To support local authors, artists, readers, writers, kids, adults, and anyone else who loves books as much as we do.
And we’ll be the first to admit, we’re pretty scared. But at the same time, we’re excited. We’re excited to share our favorite books. To learn about our customers’ favorite books. We’re excited to grow with Ann Arbor, and create a quirky, fun, warm and welcoming general bookstore, with book clubs, author events, panels, discussions, singles dating nights…. You name it, we want to do it.
But mostly, we just want to bring a general bookstore back to downtown Ann Arbor.