by K.M. Zahrt
The next stop on this Michigan independent bookstore tour is McLean & Eakin Booksellers in Petoskey. There are several reasons why this bookstore is a treasure. Here are a few:
1. Wide selection of Hemingway books
Hemingway often spent the summers of his formative years hunting, fishing, and camping in Petoskey and other parts of northern Michigan. Naturally, one should expect to find a wide variety of Hemingway-related books at any bookstore in the area. McLean & Eakin delivers.
2. Wide selection of books by Michiganders
This is a non-starter, isn’t it? For obvious reasons?
3. Wide selection of items from McSweeney’s
Although it is becoming more common, it is not everyday that you can browse a generous selection from McSweeney’s catalog in store and in person, but at McLean & Eakin, you can.
4. Staff of readers
It is obvious at McLean & Eakin that their staff members aren’t only knowledgeable, but they’re also avid readers. This is an important distinction. Non-avid readers often suggest to you the last book that was simple enough and compelling enough to get them through to the end; avid readers know which books are worth your reading time–page-turner or not.
There are a handful of bookstores worth your while that are located in downtown Petoskey, but only one is located next to the best cafe in the entire region. Once you select your new book at McLean & Eakin, be sure to stop next door at Roast & Toast to enjoy delicious coffee and to begin your next reading experience.
They also have a great selection of whole beans, so take home a bag. When you get back to the daily grind, you can at least go home, brew a pot of coffee, settle in with your book, and pretend you’re back in Petoskey where you belong.