Libri de Avibus: Books About Birds [John King’s Bookstore, Detroit]

If you love multiple-story bookstores housing close to one million used and rare books, John King’s Bookstore just might be a little piece of heaven on earth for you. John King’s — existing inside of a four-story tall factory building just off of I-75– is stuffed to the gills with every kind of old book, magazine, textbook, or written serial imaginable. This store is Michigan’s largest independent bookseller, and Detroit is lucky to have it nestled right in its heart.

John King’s was not born in Detroit; the first incarnation opened its doors in Dearborn in 1971. In 1983, John King purchased an abandoned glove factory on Lafayette — right downtown — which is where it lives on today.

Those who have found a love for the crossing of science/nature and art (for example: naturalists, photographers, artists, writers…) will hopefully appreciate these selections for their aesthetic qualities which stand to complement their value as informational texts. Anyway — here are selected books about birds. Consider this just a peek at what the bookstore offers.


The Charm of Birds
by Edward Grey of Falladon (1927)

Another nice print in Chapter XI, “The Cuckoo and the Sparrow”:


The Human Side of Birds
by Royal Dixon, Illustrated by S.H. Wainwright (1885)


“Tis always morning somewhere; and above
The awakening continents, from shore to shore,
Somewhere the birds are singing, forevermore.”

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Tales of a Wayside Inn


The New Nature Library:
Bird Neighbors (1922) by Neltje Blanchman; Introduction by John Burroughs – Google Books

The birds link themselves to your memory of seasons and places, so that a song, a call, a gleam of color, set going a sequence of delightful reminiscences in your mind…

John Burroughs
August 17, 1897


The Home Life of Birds
by Frances Hobart Herrick (1901) – Google Books


On the Wings of a Bird
by H.R. Sass (1929) – Blog Post at SteveReads

“You cannot trace upon any map the frontiers of your enchanted kingdom. It is remote and yet near at hand; you were far from it five seconds ago – oh, ten thousand miles away – yet now, in the twinkling of an eye, you are in its very heart.”


Nature’s Invitation
: Notes of a Birdgazer, North and South by Bradford Torrey (1904) – Google Books

The Bookstore

Bird & nature books are on the second floor. The row of bird books are on the shelves pictured below (standing six shelves high).

Happy book-hunting, happy reading, happy birding.

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