Posted by: Kath Usitalo | June 1, 2011

Read All About It: Michigan News Agency

A booklover's candy store (okay, I sweetened up the colors)

It’s a candy store for book lovers.

The Michigan News Agency’s shelves are packed with 16,000 paperbacks, 6,500 magazines, and stacks of newspapers to satisfy readers who like to flip pages and clip recipes and scribble on crossword puzzles in ink.

There are enough of those folks in Kalamazoo to keep the newsstand’s neon sign lit and shop own Dean Hauck placing her weekly order for new publications, including customers’ special requests.

Dean Hauck, in the maize and blue of her alma mater, is assisted by staffer Joshua Potter

“Pops started it in 1947,” says Dean of the Michigan Avenue landmark established by her stepfather, Vincent Malmstrom.  She worked in the store as a kid—a dream job for an avid reader who had her pick of the bookshelves.

After a career as an English teacher Dean took over the newsstand from her Pops and has worked to strengthen community ties and maintain relationships with the third generation of customers.

To get young ones interested in reading she advises letting them choose their material. “Anytime a kid can pick out a book for themselves they’ll stick with it.”

And a tip for everyone: “Don’t read the back cover (of the book); it’ll tell you too much. Read the first 10 pages and if it captivates you, run with it.”

Dean has made Michigan News Agency a scene for author talks, artist visits, and something she calls the Creative Endeavor, providing shelf space for works by local writers that might not otherwise have the exposure. “We work with the community to display the creative endeavors of the community.”

The fact that she’s still in business, an independent newsstand selling precious print publications while big bookstores have failed, is testament to her ability to nurture a community in the shop and online at Facebook.

A shelf reserved for the works of Michigan authors

“That local support is what makes this store a store,” says Dean.

Michigan News Agency opens at 6 a.m. daily; located at 308 W. Michigan Ave., 269.343.5958

Dean still sells candy, too, just as her Pops did when he opened the newsstand over 60 years ago.

Visitor Info Clicks: Kalamazoo

Pure Michigan

Related Posts: A Sweet Story, February 14, 2011

Enter the Kalamazoo Creative Zone, March 14, 2011

Small Town Son, Big Time Fun, March 15, 2011

O’Duffy’s: The Perfect Neighborhood Pub, March 17, 2011

Kalamazoo House B & B, March 22, 2011

Kalamazoo Art Fair: A Swingin’ 60, May 31, 2011

Hand lettered signs lend a folksy feel to the newsstand


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