There are a lot of comic book shops between Ann Arbor’s Vault of Midnight and Dearborn’s Green Brain Comics, and after moving to Wayne County I taste-tested most of them Goldilocks style. Some retailers have awesome title selections, but no event offerings. Others have both of those features, but bizarrely do not offer pull lists. Then, some offer all three, but staff unfriendly clerks. I breathed a huge sigh of relief after giving Pieces & Pages a try.
The staff is totally approachable and conscientious of customer service. Any issue I request is ordered, my pull list is easily amenable, and our counter chit-chats are delightful. The look of the store itself is minimalistic and stream-lined, featuring highly browsable shelves. Large windows flood the store with natural light and it’s made even cheerier by the orange and blue color scheme. Plus, they offer tons of events! Tabletop games, local author visits, contests, a monthly Kid’s Day, Magic the Gathering tournaments, and more! There is much to love in this fun little store.
Store owner Jill Pennington recently sat down to answer some of my questions:
What made you decide to open Pieces and Pages in its current location?
I opened Pieces & Pages in this location because I’m familiar with the area, having grown up in Livonia. I also felt the plaza we’re in was exactly the type of space you’d expect a used book store and comic shop. The atmosphere felt right.
On a similar note, what drew you to open a store devoted to the print medium?
Everyone has those little dreams you hope you’ll one day get the opportunity to accomplish and opening a book store was one of mine. Mixing in comics was an easy choice because they are just another way to enjoy a story while staring at amazing art.
It’s about half and half. The customers who come in looking for books are pleasantly surprised to find comics in the store and the customers who come in looking for comics frequently browse the book shelves.
What events do you host on a regular basis?
Tuesdays are open board game day, and the first Tuesday of each month is our Board Game Group (Michiganders Exploring Games) meeting; which is free for anyone to join. On Friday’s we host Friday Night Magic for Magic the Gathering games, and Saturday’s we have a Classic Game play or any game play. We would like to start a book club and/or a writer’s group along with a kid’s reading hour.
Do you have any major events coming up in the near future?
What has your experience been in starting a small business?
Overall my experience has been pretty good, but at times stressful. Some things have been harder to do and others much easier than I thought. There have been ups and down, which, I believe, is to be expected when you’re creating something from nothing. Trying to learn from the mistakes is the key. I’ve discovered that I almost always have more tasks to complete than time to finish them and have to make the effort to prioritize.
What are your thoughts on Amazon?
What were your favorite books when you were a kid?
I liked books such as: Scary Stories to tell in the Dark and Choose your Own Adventure. I also loved to read books by Ronald Dahl and Louis Sachar.
If you could be any comic book character, who would you choose?
Batman, hands down. He might not have superpowers but he has ethics that line up for me. Besides, who wouldn’t want a Batmobile?
What is your favorite tabletop game?
I’m happily addicted to Carcassonne.
If you find yourself in Metro-Detroit and in need of a cozy, friendly neighborhood bookstore, definitely give Pieces & Pages a visit.