Representation through reading
Throughout the month of May, we are highlighting Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned businesses in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Join us each week for new business to support.
From the outside looking in, you wouldn't think the angular shaped building on Michigan Ave., and 25th Street could take you worlds away. But when you step inside 27th Letter Books, you're whisked to worlds untraveled.
27th Letter Books is an independent bookstore owned by Andrew Pineda, who identifies as Filipino-American, and his wife Erin. This dynamic duo isn't alone in their quest to bring inclusivity to their bookstore. Jazmine Cooper (General Manger) and Jake Spease (Art Manager) are also co-owners of the store, helping to "create a welcoming and inclusive environment."
27th Letter Books has a little bit of something for everyone: from books about Yoruba religion to books written by Detroiters about Detroit. Their children's section includes everything from the classics to book addressing everyday issue such as body image and gender identity in a palatable manner for kids. They also carry books translated into Spanish and other languages.
"Our curation is top priority," Andrew Pineda said. "When you think about non-independent stores or online retailers, they're not being as discerning about what they're taking in. So we like to have a diverse array of books in every sense of the word."
And they mean just that. Some of the books carried in 27th Letter Books include a memoir from a blind writer, a book about someone's experience with muteness and much more.
"These kinds of stories have traditionally and historically been pushed [to the side]," Pineda said.
27th Letter Books opened its doors in 2021 which could not have been an easy task due to the COVID-19 pandemic but the team received much needed cash and technical assistance from both Motor City Match and Hatch Detroit.
"Motor City Match and Hatch Detroit were foundational to helping our store not only startup but to be able to continue business and push through some of those earlier months," he said.
27th Letter Books is located at 3546 Michigan Ave. Visit their website to find store hours, check out their events and even find the next story time session for your little ones.