Tag: Honor Books

Member Post


Recently, a member shared photographs of a unique bookstore that he often passed. So I thought this would be a good time to post a picture that I’ve had on my computer for years now.  This innovation is parked on a main street, and it always gets me thinking: Why not?  For minimal expense plus a bit […]

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Honor Books


HonorBooksExteriorAllen, MI, is the kind of town for which the expression “wide place in the road” was coined. Its “downtown” retail strip is just two shuttered brick buildings with tall Italianate windows that stare vacantly at the barely-slowing traffic of US 12.

Between the buildings is a gap filled by a remarkable oddity: Honor Books. As you can see, it’s a lean-to of discarded two-by-fours, plywood sheets, and barn skylights. There is no door, only a yawning gap. The sign up top has not aged gracefully but still entreats, “Serve Yourself.” The sign out on the sidewalk cheerfully declares, “Yes, We’re Open” as if the not-to-code construction left any doubt. (I have driven by at all hours of day and night and never seen that sign withdrawn.)

Inside, the “customer” finds a few mismatched bookcases displaying perhaps as many as a couple hundred books. There is some evidence the books have been sorted by topic. The uncontrolled environment has allowed mildew to play havoc.