With the emergence of BookTok has come the indie bookstore renaissance: the independent bookstores once hurting during the pandemic are beginning to bounce back after reopening their doors, and Literati is leading the pack.

The green brick and mortar building that everyone in Ann Arbor has grown to adore has, unsurprisingly, won best bookstore for the seventh year in a row. I used this opportunity as an excuse to visit my favorite corner downtown, coffee in hand, ready to spend my afternoon among the colorful stacks of carefully curated books.

From the moment I walked into Literati, the checkerboard flooring, high ceilings, and friendly smiles from the desk were calling my name.

The experience of visiting Literati is interactive, giving customers the opportunity to write their own stories on the public typewriter in the basement. The walls are covered in love letters, poems, quotes, confessions and the occasional dad joke.

I sat down, and without thinking, started to type away, bursts of serotonin rushing through my veins as I tippity tapped on the vintage keys of the typewriter. What was most enjoyable was the fact that I was sitting in the same spot that hundreds had before me, with the soft, dark academia-esque lighting creating the perfect ambiance for working through my writer’s block. It was truly a healing experience.

This three-story building has been my safe haven, an escape from the hectic football weekends, daunting midterms and April snows. I know I can rely on Literati to fuel my undying need to buy enough books to decimate a small forest that will, inevitably, continue to crowd the to-be-read pile in my room.

Next time you need a good book, have the insatiable desire to vent via typewriter or just want to wander around, I encourage you to poke your head in.

Managing Editor Kate Weiland can be reached at kmwblue@umich.edu.