In the heart of Flint, Michigan is a lovely little shop filled with these crazy, old fashioned things that people used to use for entertainment and education. They’re called books, and it was so nice to walk to into an establishment that features these relics of the pre-digital age as if they still matter. Totem Books is a classic book shop/coffee shop where patrons can come, get a hot drink or pastry, sit in some comfy seats and peruse the wonders of the written word.
Walking in, you can feel the eclectic style of artsy intelligentsia. The layout, the furniture, the decorations, and the smells all said, come in, sit down, relax, and explore the many wonders of the world contained within the pages of these books.
I was going around Flint with my friend EJ, who lives there and was very happy to show me some of his city's treasures. We ordered tea and I went to peruse. The prices were great, and I ended up buying numerous books, mostly for the girls. I would be seeing my family again in a few days, and I know that they go through books fast, so it would be good to have some new ones for them. I got both kid books for Lila and chapter books for the older girls, trying my best to pick stuff that was appropriate to their age.
I found only one title for myself – a biography of Nikola Tesla. I still haven’t gotten around to reading it, but then again, I’m only just now getting around to writing all these articles from the last leg of my North America tour, almost a month later. (The family coming back definitely took a bite out of my hours-a-day-for-writing.)
When our tea was ready we sat down to enjoy it while looking at some books. The staff was extremely friendly, and we had good conversation about books, Flint, and music. I looked through their CD collection as well, hoping to find something to add to my mix of old CD’s that I carry with me in the car. My car doesn’t have an audio input line, so I can’t play digital music, and after 12,000 miles on the road, I’ve listened to every CD I have at least twice. Nothing jumped out at me though.
We didn’t stay long. We were touring around Flint, and our next stop was the Sit Down Strike Memorial. I wrote briefly about this in my article on Flintopia (EJ’s project) so I won’t go into it again. My time in Flint was coming to a close. The next day I had to get over to Chicago to pick up my family at the airport.
I am very glad I spent so much time at Flint. I really enjoyed getting to know the community a bit, and I think they’ve got a lot of cool things going on, and I expect great things to come out of the movement that's stirring there.