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The quest for good reads around town: The Carroll News gives you the best locally owned bookstores in the Cleveland area

February 19th, 2014

In the era of Kindles and iPads, students need not forget about where those digital reads were first sold – bookstores. Fortunately, there are quite a few that are well within reach of John Carroll University’s campus.

 

One of these stores is on Larchmere Boulevard in Shaker Heights, which is about a 10 minute drive from campus. Loganberry Books, although it appears to be small from the street, has thousands and thousands of books. Store owner Harriet Logan said the store has been open since 1994.

 

The store sells both used and new books, but about 95 percent are used.

 

Loganberry has open mic nights, and their Annex Gallery features a new artist every month. This month is Alanda Sales.

 

Another event is Author Alley – a book signing in the summer during the Larchmere Festival.

 

There is a section in the very back of the store called the “Sanctuary,” which according to Logan, is an assortment of books that either go together, or books that would not fit anywhere else in the store. They also have non-book items in the Sanctuary, such as typewriters on display.

 

The store also has a cat named Otis, who might find curled up on a desk in the “Sanctuary.”

 

Scene Magazine voted Loganberry Books the Best Used Bookstore in 2002. It won similar awards from Northern Ohio Live in 2006 and from Free Times. Loganberry has also been featured on National Public Radio.

 

Loganberry has a blog and other links that are available to users, all of which can be accessed through loganberrybooks.com.

 

Loganberry’s  hours are Monday-Wednesday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday noon-4 p.m.

 

Shaker Heights is about five minutes from another local bookstore on Coventry Road. Mac’s Backs Books in Coventry has three floors of books, one of which, is purely dedicated to science fiction. The store opened in 1978.

 

Upon entering, there is a Keurig that customers can use to make their own coffee in for just one dollar. They also have an entrance to Tommy’s, the vegetarian-friendly restaurant next door.

 

The basement contains genres such as politics, religion, humor, psychology, education, history, business, language and non-fiction. The street-level floor has staff picks and store favorites as well as other genres.

 

Mac’s next event is Saturday, Feb. 22. Artist Lawrence Baker and author Louis B. Burroughs, Jr. will be at Mac’s to celebrate the publication of “Middle Passage: The Artistic Life of Lawrence Baker.” There will be a reception from 6-7 p.m. followed by a book talk and discussion.

 

Mac’s is open until 9 p.m. on weekdays, 10 p.m. on weekends and 8 p.m. on Sundays. Visit macsbacks.com for more information.

 

Another bookstore that is within a 10-minute drive from campus is Appletree Books on Cedar Road. Owner Jane Kessler opened the store in 1975 in the midst of big bookstores like Borders and Barnes & Noble opening.

 

Annie Holden, an Appletree employee, said that it says something that a small bookstore like Appletree is still around, while Borders is gone.

 

“It’s been very well-supported. It’s a great neighborhood store,” said Holden. “That’s a definite plus for us.”

 

The store features staff suggestions and an upstairs section of classics, and all of the books in Appletree are new.

 

There is also a table of Pearce-Bates books and art prints from the ‘60s and ‘70s whose sales will go towards the Cedar-Fairmount Special Improvement District.

 

Appletree is also right next to the Cedar/Fairmount Starbucks. The bookstore is open until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 5 p.m. on Sundays.