A new independent bookstore is entering the turbulent Ann Arbor book market.

Bookbound, owned and operated by Megan and Peter Blackshear, will have its grand opening Saturday after completing renovations to its Plymouth Road location in The Courtyard Shops across from North Campus.

The store will be the fourth independent bookstore in Ann Arbor, joining Nicola’s Books on the west side of the city as well as Literati and Aunt Agatha’s downtown.

The book market has been tough in the city, which in the past few years has seen the closure of Borders, Michigan Book & Supply, David’s Books, Crossroads Christian Bookstore and the Shaman Drum Bookshop.

Megan Blackshear said she’s confident their store will succeed because of its offerings and placement.

Bookbound hopes to build off of Peter Blackshear’s 20 years working with Borders’ corporate stores and retail locations. The store will take advantage of his connections with resellers and will sell bargain books alongside a large number of children’s books to connect with the growing market in that genre.

Megan Blackshear said she and her husband originally thought about opening their store downtown, but their “shoe-string budget” conflicted with high downtown rents.

She added that Bookbound wouldn’t need to sell the same amount of inventory as Borders did to stay open, noting that the store is only 2,000 square feet whereas the downtown Borders was 42,000 square feet.

Hilary Gustafson, who owns and operates the similarly sized Literati with her husband Michael, said the past five months have been great for the store, as they have developed a base of customers that includes both foot traffic and regulars.

“We will be here for a while,” Gustafson said. “We can’t speak to the long term, as it only has been five months, but we will be here for at least the next year if this continues the way it does.”

Gustafson, who advised the Blackshears on the book market in Ann Arbor before they signed a lease, said she is confident in Bookbound’s ability to stay open in the city.

“The book market is really hard, but I think Bookbound did it right by going on the north side which really doesn’t have (a bookstore),” she said. “They are fitting a niche by selling bargain books as well as doing the independent bookstore thing.”

She advised Bookbound to carry magazines as the absence of Borders has left the city without a store carrying a wide selection.

Meagan Blackshear said there is space in their location to expand their inventory and she hopes to do so in the coming months.

“Despite what you hear, there are quite a lot of people who actually still read real books and want to support indie bookstores.”

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