A new Midland bookstore starts first chapter downtown

A new Midland bookstore is starting its first chapter in the downtown business district. Bookmarks, which opened on April 1, is an independently owned brick and mortar bookstore that sells new and used titles. 

Tricia Crivac has lived in Midland for the last 30 years, operating a bookkeeping business since 2007. The avid reader’s "dream job' though, was always to be surrounded by books, and to open up a bookstore. 
Bookmarks owner Tricia Crivac serves a customer on a recent afternoon.
“I started looking into it seriously a few years ago when I stopped at a bookstore up north,” Crivac says. “We were talking with the staff about the uptick in independent bookstore sales. I started doing research on book sales and what it would take to open a bookstore. My husband was onboard as well so we started talking looking at spaces available online.”

After looking at open retail spots on Main Street a few years ago, nothing panned out. “We set the idea aside, but then one day last fall, I was downtown getting my iPad fixed at Mr. Moustache’s, and I saw the sign up in this space (on Townsend Street),” Crivac says.
Bookmarks is located at 126 Townsend Street in downtown Midland.
The couple took the leap, and officially opened the shop’s doors just over two weeks ago. As of now, the ‘old English bookshop’ has limited hours, and is open three days a week. “I am using this time to understand the business a little more and to work out some of the kinks,” Crivac says. “We will have a grand opening on April 29 and then we will be open from Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.”

The goal is to provide a place where people can share their love of books, find new books to enjoy, and get lost in stories. The shop sells new and used books, handmade cards, bookmarks, socks, puzzles and other novelty items. 

Crivac's husband, Jeremiah, built a Narnia landscape for children to enjoy.
Crivac says she tried to decorate the 850-square-foot space in a way she imagines a bookshop in a Dickens novel would look and feel like, “The space is meant to be cozy, and I hope people will feel at home here. We also have a sitting room that is available for people to read to themselves or their children. The space is also available for book clubs.

We also have a fun children’s area. Children can walk through our wardrobe into a Narnian landscape, complete with a lamppost and winter trees.” Some of the unique decor, like antique phones, adding machines, and bookends, which comes from consignment, is also available for sale.
The Sitting Room provides a place for guests to relax and read.
Despite only being open for a little over two weeks, Crivac says the community support has been wonderful already. “It’s been really fun getting to know some of the customers, and I look forward to being part of the downtown community,” she says. “We also have great neighbors, Crepes Et Amis and O’Macaron, which both sell coffee and treats. People are welcome to bring their coffee in while they browse, or come in and browse while they wait for Mr. Moustache to repair their phone.”

Bookmarks is located at 126 Townsend Street. Current hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. In May, hours will extend to Tuesday through Saturday. 

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Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at sarahspohn.news@gmail.com.