Since 1973, Curious Book Shop has been one of the most iconic spots in downtown East Lansing. Ray Walsh, owner of the 18-foot-wide shop, started collecting and selling books out of his garage in 1969 to help pay for his education at Michigan State University. His side hobby and passion for books led him to start this used bookstore business.
“We have always wanted to find books people are looking for because this business is all about quality as opposed to quantity,” Walsh said. “We sell a lot of books, but they are good books, some rare, some unusual.”
MSU graduate and Curious Book Shop employee Abigail Rhoades said she went for this casual bookseller job in August. She said the store looks for value in donated books.
“A lot of the books we sell are donations from people who contact us if they inherited a lot of different types of books,” Rhoades said. “The more valuable first edition books we have were originally bought by Ray himself or bought from book venders.”
Customers can seek out any type of book genre in this shop. Out of all of the genres, the best-sellers include antique, scientific fiction, local history, philosophy and new age. The shop promotes its books by hosting shows in April and October every year.
“The next show in April is the 72nd Michigan antiquarian book and paper show,” Walsh said. “At these shows, we sell a wide variety of books and paper items, ranging from first edition to posters, illustrated books, autographs, sheet music and literature.”
This shop has achieved great amounts of success and recognition over the years. Walsh said the staff is grateful for the contributions from the East Lansing community.
“We like to give back to the community and show our appreciation for the loyal customers,” said Walsh, “the students, the visitors from out of town, and the regular locals keep us in business and help us survive.”
All readers and book enthusiasts can head to the shop located at 307 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing, any day of the week. The shop also sells books online with 800 books currently listed on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/CuriousBookShop). Go check them out! (http://www.curiousbooks.com/)