Yesterday, in an attempt to re-boot the vacation we’re inadvertently having, Hanna and I took a small road-trip to South Haven, Michigan, to visit a bookshop Hanna found via the Internets.
Black River Books was well-worth the thirty-minute drive down I-196. Our outbound trip was punctuated by a stop at Uncommon Grounds, where we refueled with two French Giana lattes.
We paused at the cafe’s community bulletin board to wistfully gaze at the “for rent” advertisement featuring a three-bedroom house on offer for less than what we pay per month for our one-bedroom in Allston.
South Haven was quiet, still digging out from the beginning of the week.
Sidewalks clearly weren’t a top priority.
Hanna and I were the only two customers at the bookstore, which made for leisurely browsing. The shop was clearly set up as a sit-and-read business, complete with coffee urns and comfy chairs.
Like all used bookshops worth their salt, Black River Books had stacks of overflow (neatly labeled!) on the floor and steps-stools for easy book access.
They also had two shop dogs, who snuffled us out upon entry and then curled up in their appointed locations by the shop counter, waiting for snack time.
I have to say that only in West Michigan are you likely to find a religion section subdivided by Christian theologian (and “Jesus” shelves alongside [Philip] Yancey and Matthew Fox).
Though to their credit they also had extensive LGBT and Sexuality sections, as well as separately-shelved erotica, clearly labelled and tucked away above the paperback mysteries.
In the Sexuality section, I was delighted to find a 1972, hardcover and full-color edition of Alex Comfort’s The Joy of Sex for which a review post will simply have to be forthcoming. Its loving sketchy drawings of the heterosexual couple enjoying intimacies of various configurations are as delightful as Dr. Comfort’s opinions about things such as bisexuality are antiquated.
In any event, if you ever find yourself stuck in West Michigan for ten days longer than you anticipated in the middle of a snow storm, Black River Books is definitely a place we would recommend for a field trip!