“David’s Books,” owner Ed Koster says while
answering the phone. Koster takes an order over the phone as he
watches patrons enter his East William Street store. Sitting in
front of the bright yellow sign that once stood outside the stores
previous location on East Liberty Street, Koster reflects on the
changes his store has seen since opening in the early 1970s.

From its original location at the corner of South Ashley and
First streets, David’s Books moved to the corner of South
State and East Liberty streets in 1978, where it became a local
mainstay until it was forced out last June when Potbelly’s
moved in.

Noting that much has changed in Ann Arbor since the store first
opened, Koster says, “There is a lot less retail. There are
more restaurants and coffee shops, and retail stores are fading

Koster enjoys his new location, though he cannot display his
signature sign outside. This location affords him the opportunity
to place library carts full of books outside, which he then sells
for discounted prices. He has also expanded his business to the

One of Koster’s claims to fame is the now-famous mural on
East Liberty. In 1984, an artist approached Koster to paint the
mural. “I just told him to pick people related to
books,” said Koster. “He choose his favorite

Sravya Chirumamilla and Joel Hoard

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