island bookstore mackinac island

A Hidden Treasure: the Island Bookstore on Mackinac Island

One of Mackinac Island’s hidden treasures, the Island Bookstore is a must-visit destination for bookaholics and bibliophiles.

island bookstore mackinac island

What are your top 7 desert island books? No, not the “how to make a hut” survival-type books. The fun books you might actually want to read over and over. For a long time.

Got ‘em? Good. Chances are that the Island Bookstore on Mackinac Island could hook you up.

The Island Bookstore is one of Mackinac Island’s hidden treasures. I say hidden because even though it’s well known to regulars, first-time visitors to the island may miss this scribes paradise because it’s tucked in just off the main drag, under the Lilac Tree Hotel. Open May through October, they have longer hours in peak season than in spring and fall, and books can also be purchased through their website.

Even if you’re just an occasional bookworm, don’t miss this little gem. They’ve got bestsellers, local favorites, books about Michigan, books from local authors, a nice children’s section, a full magazine rack, and much more. The staff is super friendly and though the space is small, you’ll have plenty of room to wander the aisles and thumb through whatever catches your eye.

My wife and I popped into the Island Bookstore on a recent rainy day trip to Mackinac Island. After a choppy fifteen-minute ride over on the Mackinac Island Ferry, we dropped our bags at the Murray Hotel and set off to enjoy the downtown area, sans tourists. (It was late September, so I knew Mackinac would be without its usual peak season crowds.)

We were hoping for sunshine, of course, but the reservations were made and we were island bound regardless of the weather. So when the chilly drizzle looked like it was about to turn into a full-on thunderstorm, we grabbed a hot coffee from Starbucks and ducked into the Island Bookstore.

And we proceeded to have a really nice time.

I paged through a few “all about Michigan” type books as my wife laughed out loud at something from the humor section. I struck up a conversation with another couple also seeking shelter from the rain, and before we knew it an hour had passed, the rain had moved on and it was time to grab dinner.

On our next trip to Mackinac Island, rainy or not, I’ll definitely be spending some time in the Island Bookstore.

And for the record, here are my own top 7 desert island books…

  • Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
  • Candide by Voltaire
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Syrup by Max Berry
  • Naked by David Sedaris
  • Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

The Island Bookstore on Mackinac Island is a fine place to spend anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or so. They’ve got a surprisingly awesome selection of books packed into a cozy space and super friendly staff who are not only more than willing to help you enjoy the store, but also happy to offer advice on what to do on Mackinac Island, including the best places to stay on Mackinac Island and the best Mackinac Island restaurants.

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