LANSING, Mich. — When you walk inside The Robin Theatre, it's warm mellow lighting and air filled with the smell of used books makes you want to read. That's because the theater has a live-in bookstore called The Robin Books.
"We opened The Robin Books in September 2021," owner Dylan Rogers said. "We are a general used bookstore. We do stock some new books."
During the pandemic in 2020, the theater had to close its doors temporarily. Trying to figure out what to do with his theatre, he decided to open a new chapter.
After a conversation with a mentor, the idea of owning a bookstore was born.
"I went through the process of acquiring books and building bookshelves," Rogers said. "It really felt like a missing piece of this space we've built, and it feels really right. And it complements what we do with the theater to both in terms of conjuring the atmosphere that I want to create here, but also sound-wise books are great sound absorbers, and it kind of mellows out the room a little bit too."
If the shelves could talk at The Robin Books, they would tell you they are filled with a little bit of everything.
"From vintage rare first editions, to classics poetry, mythology, folklore, local authors, miscellaneous fiction, nonfiction history, the occult, astrology, true crime," Rogers said.
And the best part is it has a rotating selection, so you'll be able to find a new read and a new adventure each time.
The Robin Books is a part of a little ecosystem of tiny indie bookstores that live up and down Washington Avenue. He says his experience since opening has been amazing.
"It's been wonderful to open a brick and mortar bookstore. People are reading right now. Books are having a moment, I think bookstores are having a moment, especially little indie ones like ours," Rogers said. "It's been really great to see how the community has responded to having a couple of quirky little bookstores in the neighborhood."
The Robin Theatre is open for performances on stage about once a week. But on Fridays, you can catch it thriving as a bookstore from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
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