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John K. King Used & Rare Books

901 West Lafayette Blvd

Downtown Detroit

will be


November 26 to December 17

12noon to 4pm

Sorry, no Art Annex or Rare Book Room access on Sundays



John K. King
Used & Rare Books

will be


Thursday, November 23rd

Thanksgiving Day.

We’ll resume our regular hours on Friday:

9:30am to 5:30pm

Monday through Saturday.


Here’s an interesting take on being a Rare Book Dealer:


Rare Book Dealer Secrets


We’re mentioned in this weekend’s

Wall Street Journal

in the article

101 Impressive Things to Do Before You Die (At Age 101)”

Wall Street Journal Article (10/29/2017)


Another mention of John King Books, this one in
“The 10 Coolest Attractions in Detroit That Not Enough People Visit”

See link below:

10 Coolest Attractions in Detroit


John King Books has just been named one of the “28 Coolest Independent Bookstores in the US”… follow the link below:

28 Coolest Independent Bookstores in the US


An exclusive (ok, not really an exclusive) interview with John King in the Rare Book Room is now on YouTube:

John King Interview September 2017


Another article (blog) starring

John King

Click here for John King Article



We just learned of the death of Steve Magina, owner of Magina Books in Lincoln Park, MI.  Steve was in the used book business most of his life after taking over for his father, the original founder of Magina Books.  Steve was a very honest, hardworking and diligent bookseller, running his store and doing bookfairs.  We never heard a bad word spoken by anyone regarding him or his book store.  He will be missed in the book world.  JKK (08/09/2017)


 escapetorontonow.com lists

John King Books

 in the “What To See” section of their Detroit Travel Guide!



Photos from the Detroit Book Festival on July 16, 2017

2017 Detroit Book Festival Photos



HOUR DETROIT magazine lists us as the Best Used Bookstore in their 2017 Best of Detroit issue


HOUR DETROIT Best of 2017: Shopping



A recent photo shoot here at the store

Recent Photo Shoot


Now, we’ve been named the Best Bookstore in Michigan by PureWow.com!

PureWow.com's Best Bookstore in Michigan


We made CULTURE TRIP’s list “50 Unique Independent Bookstores You Need to Visit in Every US State”


We're one of the most unique bookstores in the country!


John King Books Makes Another List of the World’s Best Bookstores

Another article listing John King Books as on the World's Best Bookstores



John King Books is listed on Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP travel site:

John King Books on "GOOP" Travel Site 


Recent Article Mentioning John King Books

The New York Times LOVES Detroit (and John King Books, too!)

Here's the NYT Story



Another Great Article on John King Books, this one from TBD

TBD Article on John King Books, May 2017


The Globe and Mail published an article on Detroit’s new “Q-Line” and mentioned John King

Globe and Mail on the Q-Line



Huffington Post's 50 Top Indie Bookstores... We're #1!!!


RealSimple.com and Yelp have put together a list of the Best Bookstore in each of the 50 states, and we’re the Best in Michigan.  Here’s the link:

Best Bookstore in Each of the 50 States:  MICHIGAN (John King Books)

And, go ahead and browse through the
list to see if any of your other favorites
around the country have been crowned
(but, please be patient: lots of ads to
scroll through).


Here’s a recent short documentary about our store,

produced by some students at Wayne State University

WSU Student Documentary About John King Books


Famous Political Writer Jack Lessenberry talks about our own John King and Detroit’s Comeback

Jack Lessenberry on Detroit and John King Books


John King Books appeared on a very exclusive list of bookstores featured on the TV show

“The List”

Bookstores Making a Comeback -- The List


We sell


to our store.

Either stop in to our store


call (313) 961-0622 during business hours


do a “Quick Search” for “Gift Certificate” on our web site.


The latest news on The Big Book Store at 5911 Cass Avenue (on Wayne State University campus):  The store closing is delayed a month (until the end of January, probably) due to conditions in the real estate sales contract that give the buyers more time for their due diligence.  So, you have a few more days for last minute forever purchases.  The Big Book Store is open Wednesday-Saturday, 9:30am to 5:30pm.


John K. King Books is pleased to announce that we are included in Bob Eckstein’s cleverly bound book “FOOTNOTES* From the World’s Greatest Bookstores”, published by Clarkson Potter Publishers in 2016 (and available through your local INDEPENDENT book store).  You’ll find our bookstore featured in the book with some anecdotes about our store.  The foreword is by the great Garrison Keillor, who has twice mentioned our book store on his former show, A Prairie Home Companion (the last time in a song about the great places of Detroit).

Also, John K. King Books is mentioned in the recently published book, “THINGS I DO IN DETROIT, A Guidebook to the Coolest Places” by Dave Krieger.  Krieger “hired” the legendary local goblin, Nain Rouge (who has haunted Detroit since the days of Cadillac), to show him the sites of Detroit.  There are some wonderful photos of our store taken during Nain Rouge’s visit.

Finally, we were listed as one of the Best Bookstores in the Midwest by The Culture Trip.   Here’s the link:

Culture Trip Best Bookstores in the Midwest


We appreciate all the publicity and the great comments from our customers on social media.  If you haven’t visited us yet, why not?  We (and our 750,000+ books) are waiting for you!


Check out Lost Landscapes of Detroit on YouTube.

At the 4:06 mark, you’ll see our two buildings: The Otis Elevator building, and The Advance Glove building (before they moved it)

Lost Landscapes of Detroit


The "Search" button on the left is for items in our Rare Book Collection, only.  To search for other books, please email us or stop in the store during business hours. 


Visit our Michigan Store

Visit our Michigan Book Store

New & Exciting

Wonderful Collection of Bob-Lo Island memorabilia: 10 original photographs c 1890s-1920s with one from the 1950s (?), 5 souvenirs 1912-1940s (?) and two books. [Bois Blanc Island]

Photos: all b&w, 8 x 10 cabinet card, six are 4.25 x 6 to 4.25 x 7, two are 3.5 x 6, one is 11 x 14, only one has a photographer listed (Spencer & Wycoff, Detroit). Overall there is soiling to the photos, a few light scratches, small abrasion one margin, cabinet card mount lacks corners, five are glued to cardboard with photo margins cropped else good with clear, sharp images. Images are: cabinet card "Bois Blanc Island. The Cottage South View," Amusement Building, Souvenir Building (two different views), Carousel, Playground (two different scenes: swing sets and playing a game with blindfolds), Bob-Lo Woodward Ave. dock, crowds waiting for tickets/boat (Windsor?). aerial photo of the Columbia full of passengers. Souvenirs: 1912 postcard, postally used, of the Souvenir Building with soiling and creasing, 1937 printed advertisement for "All Sports Club Moonlight Excursion to Bob-Lo Island Park" light creasing/wear, ceramic beer stein with image of a Bob-Lo boat (5" h) with hairline cracks and chipping, wood composition ship’s wheel (6 x 3.5) with chipping/chipping paint and center section inset of a Bob-Lo boat and area below inset is missing a small piece. Books: Creed, J.A. BOB-LO, A TINY CANADIAN ISLAND, 1987, pict wraps, light wear else good. Rauhauser, Bill and Martin Magid. BOB-LO REVISITED, hardcover with dust jacket, book shelfworn on bottom else very good. Signed by both. The photograph of special interest is the cabinet card of "The Cottage." The image shown is definitely not a cottage, but a large, sprawling two-story Victorian house with a Mansard roof on its tower with various outbuildings. It is quite likely that this house built by Arthur McKee Rankin, son of Col. Arthur Rankin, the first private owner of the island. Rankin, an actor, bought this property from his father in 1869 and built an elaborate estate on five acres incorporating one of the three original blockhouses. He stocked the property with deer, wild turkey and elk, added large stables. He lavishly entertained his NY friends (he was a well known NY stage actor) every summer. His income declined, due in part to a divorce and the property was sold to a mortgage company in 1877. This fantastic collection includes early history of Bob-Lo (once called Bois Blanc Island) before it became an amusement park and then its early years. Scarce, even more so because original early photos of Bob-Lo are only seen in modern reprints. A total of 17 items. Sold as a lot only.

Price: $495.00

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