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Bookstores are hurting, and so are we. There are few pre-pandemic experiences I miss more than browsing newly released novels and enjoying a coffee with friends, both of which Literati Bookstore offered with unparalleled finesse. Since March of last year, we’ve been reading more, but are forced to scroll through digital shelves rather than scanning the real thing, adding books to an intangible cart rather than feeling the weight of ink and paper in our hands. 

There is much to miss about Literati, but there is still much to appreciate. Celebrating their 8th anniversary in March 2021, Literati has done more than shift to a seamless curbside pickup system. By April 2020, the bookstore organized “At Home with Literati,” an indefinite series of virtual author chats, discussions and Zoom book clubs which would replace their usual calendar of live readings, signings and book club meetings. Some of these events are free (though a donation is recommended) while others are ticketed. All bring us a bit closer to the Literati we know and love.

In a time when independent bookstores are fighting online giants tooth-and-nail, Literati has made ordering course materials almost as easy as 1-click Prime. Quick to respond to even my most obscure and out-of-print book requests (as a thesis on Soviet anti-religious propaganda would demand), the staff at Literati have been thanklessly supporting my GPA. 

The next time you buy books for class, hopefully we’ll all be back in front of Literati’s beautiful shelves. Online or in-store, Literati keeps us connected to good books and one another, and this deserves mountains of praise.

Daily Arts Writer Ross London can be reached at rhorg@umich.edu.