Historic Detroit

Every building in Detroit has a story — we're here to share it

John K. King Books Building - Photos

These days King says he's content with having over a million books in stock, two stores (the main store on West Lafayette in Downtown Detroit, and a smaller one in the trendy suburb of Ferndale), about a dozen employees, and two dogs who come to work every day.

The building's exterior in November 2023

John King Books is the kind of bookstore any bibliophile would love to have in their hometown.

The store has an industrial warehouse feel and is made up of four above-ground floors.

A view at Downtown through one of the many alleys

There is also a collection of rarer and notable items which are kept in an adjacent building, however these are available for viewing by appointment only

No smoking in plant sign still visible

Indications that this building was once a glove factory are scattered throughout the building. A large painting of a glove on the structure's facade remains intact.

Every square inch of the space is utilized to display books

The bookstore has everything – from fiction, mystical, romance, classics, theatrical and everything in between! Each floor then has a manager that is responsible for the maintenance of the categories kept there.