Michigan natives Hilary Lowe and Michael Gustafson are back from Brooklyn. After Ann Arbor-based Borders Books closed its doors, following Shaman Drum’s closure, the book-loving couple started to think about what it would take to open a bookstore downtown.
“I grew up going to Borders. It was a huge part of people’s lives for many years, and to see that pillar of the community disappear was really heartbreaking for many people here,” Lowe says. Inspired by a shared love of the area, Lowe’s work as a sales rep at Simon and Shuster, and insight from Brooklyn Indie Greenlight Bookstore, the couple opened Literati in downtown Ann Arbor.
The new independent bookstore located in a 2600 sq.-ft. space opened March 31, 2013. Fiction and children’s books occupy the upper floor, with non-fiction titles downstairs. The co-owners hired former Borders employees and even used bookcases from the original Borders flagship store.
Lowe and Gustafson wanted to offer books they believe in along with special programs, like Story time held Saturdays at 10 am. “We hope to provide a space to meet and talk about books, and provide that browsing experience the community once had,” says Lowe.
Literati is located at 124 East Washington Street, Ann Arbor. Learn more about store programs and events by calling 734-585-5567, or visiting www.literatibookstore.wordpress.com. —KG