100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Post of the Week: Visit an Un-Digital Book Store

Is it just me, or does it seem like physical book stores are getting lost in the digital shuffle lately?

As I was driving home the other day I thought about what a bummer it would be to lose some of my favorite book stores: Schuler Books and Pooh’s Corner in Grand Rapids, MI and the award-winning McLean & Eakin in my hometown.

I’m writing a piece about the Kindle right now and one thing that’s readily apparent is that the book buying experience on digital devices ain’t good. It’s not that it’s difficult to actually purchase a book, but rather how books curated.

In e-book stores popular rises to the top. In physical book stores, people pick gems out of the pack. We need more of the latter.

Picture book author/illustrator Matthew Cordell recently wrote a post in praise of the picture book and the physical book store. He even took it a step further, asking folks to stop by their local independent and make a purchase.

I’m in, Matt. Click here (or the image above) to read and show your support.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Yes times a million! I miss living in GR so much for Schuler’s and while I only made it to Pooh’s once, it was amazing, and I would love to go back next time I’m in town.

    I didn’t know you were a fellow Northern Michigander! Here’s my hometown bookstore that earned probably 90% of my allowance when I was a kid: http://www.leelanaubooks.com/. Still buy lots of books there. Also spent lots of hours in Horizon Books in Traverse, particularly as a teenager, but I love to roam all 3 floors to this day.

    • Thanks for shouting out Leelanau Books! We had a Horizon in my hometown too – I probably visited that one just as much as McLean & Eakin.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this post, Travis. I hope this mission and others that have recently been, or will soon be, bubbling up will pick up steam and make a solid difference. Glory be to pic book!

    • Agreed. Thanks for writing on this topic and motivating folks. I have some pro picture book and pro indie bookstore things in the works that I hope to share in a couple weeks. I intend to keep beating the drum.