Monday, September 15, 2014

Saturn Booksellers - Gaylord, MI

Saturn Booksellers - Gaylord, MI

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When you go on a journey of independent bookstores, there are certain areas you can go to and expect to visit a few stores in one day or half a day.  For example, places like NYC, Chicago, LA, the Pacific Northwest, are just a few areas where you can go and visit a few bookstores in a day.  But you don't expect to go to the far northern reaches of Michigan and all its gorgeous wilderness and find TWO fantastic independent bookstores within approximately 40 minutes of each other.  And both are featured indies in My Bookstore, by Ron Rice.  Incredible!  And according to Jill M., the owner at Saturn Books, there are many more in this part of the country.  You heard about McLean & Eakin in Petoskey, now you're going to hear about Saturn Books in Gaylord.

As I mentioned, both of these indies are featured in My Bookstore and they both proudly display the book.  The first thing you see when you enter Saturn Books is the Coffee Cabin.  A great cafĂ© and very creative use of space.  It's literally a cabin built right in the middle of this bookstore.  Originally, it was the children's section which would've been very cool but the children's section outgrew the cabin quickly and now has a great space in the back of the store.  The cabin is surrounded by a great inventory.  Lots of sidelines here, including some touristy type things.  No used books in this indie but lots of new ones and a great display of staff picks.  The customer base here is both locals and tourists.  When the locals leave for the winter they can continue to patronize their favorite bookstore by ordering online and receiving their order for one low shipping price no matter how much they order.  There is a 2nd floor here but it is used only for author events in the store.  During the summer months there are numerous author events each week.  During the winter months, not so much.  Northern Michigan + winter months = a recipe for cancelled events.

I was very happy on this visit to meet and visit with Jill M., the owner.  Like so many of my visits on this journey, she was terrific to talk to me about her store, the business, and a lot of books for me to consider for my unread pile.  It was also great to talk to Maggie, one of the staffers, who not only can give you some great book recommendations but can also whip up a mean skinny vanilla latte in the Coffee Cabin.  But I can tell you that you won't go wrong meeting any of the super people here at Saturn Books.

So don't go to the hinterlands of Michigan to visit only one bookstore when there are two so close together.  And as for Saturn Books, it's OUT OF THIS WORLD!  Get it?  SATURN Books?  Out of this world!  Move along IndieBob, move along (I totally saw some of you roll your eyes).  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Book Of Unknown Americans, Cristina HenrĂ­quez.  Outstanding.  5 Stars.  Highly recommended.  You will have a whole new understanding and empathy of the challenges of Latino immigrants.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Martian, Andy Weir.  I have "high" hopes.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Kindness Of Stangers, Katrina Kittle.

Great outdoor sign.

Sit outside and try out a book.  Except in the winter.  

The log cabin inside the store.  The Coffee Cabin.  

Great sale on some of the sideline.  

Sit in this comfy chair and at least pretend to be reading!

Lots of great books to choose from.  

More of the sidelines organized outside of the Coffee Cabin. 

I love this chair in the children's section.  

Play some chess in the store while sipping your latte.  

More books organized outside of the Coffee Cabin.  

Jill M., the fine owner at Saturn Books.  

Crane Stationery is one of the good sellers at many indies.  

Jill M., on the left and Maggie on the right.  You guys are the best!  Thanks for a wonderful visit!  

Part of the great children's area.  

Another great seller at this indie.  Works with hot or cold beverages.  

A great section of staff picks at the front of the store.  

A great customer incentive.  If I lived in Gaylord I'd be all over that Saturn Saver Card.  


  1. We who live here in Gaylord are so fortunate to have Saturn. So glad you got to experience this wonderful place and staff.

  2. There are MANY communities so much larger that have nothing like this, so you are indeed fortunate in Gaylord to have this wonderful bookstore. Visit this place often, take Jill and the staff some cookies, and buy a book! Thanks for reading! Bob