Owner: Sue Boucher (April 1)
Winter Hours: closed Wed and Sun, daily 11am-5pm
The Cottage Book Shop has seen a few transformations since Mollie Weeks, wife of George Weeks, a history writer and political columnist, opened its doors nearly 30 years ago.
It began as a used bookstore in a cottage behind the Glen Arbor Bed and Breakfast and Mollie’s friends donated books to help her get it up and running. She later relocated between Ken Scott photography and Ruth Conklin gallery on M-109 and a decade later sold it to Barbarba Siepker, who relocated the shop to the historic Arbor Light Building on Lake Street where Glen Arbor Artists Gallery is located today.
In 1998, Barbara found a summer log cabin to house the bookshop. It was a mile away and had been built in the early 1920s by D.D. Day’s nephew Larry Day. It was moved intact including the bark on the cedar logs, and the flowers in the flower boxes, to its current location across the street. The cabin has been restored and winterized with original rooms and enclosed porches providing a cozy natural locations for its book selections and regional, children, fiction, architectural, history and indie commerce bestsellers. The loft serves as office and storage.
Inside the log walls visitors will find an array of local interest Michigan selections as well as local posters and art.
This spring Siepker handed ownership of the 1,200 square foot space over to the very capable hands of Sue Boucher who owned a successful bookstore in a Chicago suburb for 18 years. Her staff includes an experienced group of mostly retired teachers and a school librarian. During the busy summer months they will add a local high school or college student and a teacher.
During the summer when the population of Glen Arbor swells and customers come from around the world, the bookshop adds events to the roster including storytelling three times a week for children and families and a large local author event in August. Sue said she would like to partner with the local library to bring authors to the area.
Despite the seasonality of their location, The Cottage Book Shop stays busy year round.
They have both an adult and a children’s Book of the Month Club. For the adult a paperback selection is sent monthly. For the children’s it is individualized for each child in the program and books arrive wrapped. If you can’t make it up to Glen Arbor you can order your books from them year round from wherever you are and they will ship them to you. They also keep their customers up-to-date on Facebook and with an email newsletter.
Although Sue hasn’t been here long she said there is already much to love about being a northern Michigan bookseller. “ I love the area and the people. In the summer our customers come from around the world and everyone is on vacation in a beautiful location.”
Cottage Books Staff Picks for 2013
Art of the Sleeping Bear Dunes (pairs the work of the region’s most versatile artists with the words of its most acclaimed essayists, Jerry Dennis and Kathleen Stocking).
Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
A Good American by Alex George
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown