Wayne State University bookstore is a treasure trove of books and supplies, but it also has a hidden treasure hidden in plain sight: a hidden underground book room.
The store is tucked away in the basement of the university bookstore, where you can pick up books from a wide selection of publishers including HarperCollins, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Simon and Schuster’s imprint and Penguin.
“I’m a big fan of the idea of a hidden bookstore, but I also think that a book store is a good way to connect with your local community,” Wayne State’s David Tischler told Engadgets.
Tischlers assistant, Lisa Tischman, helped create the store with her husband, Paul, and a group of friends in 2014.
“We thought it would be a great idea to share that knowledge with other people,” Tischling said.
“The idea was to have this little hidden store for the public to come in and buy books, and have the books they want delivered to them.”
To build the store, Tischlin and her husband took on the daunting task of finding a suitable location, deciding to build the building out of reclaimed materials.
“Our first thought was to build a shed out of wood and concrete.
We thought it was pretty awesome,” Tschler said.
The building, built of bricks, concrete, and wood, measures just over 100 square feet and is open to the public.
“There’s this great, dark, wood-covered space that’s about two-thirds full, and we just wanted to put that there,” Tichler said, “so it could be used for reading.
We were just hoping for a little bit of space for books, to just have a little place for people to come to and have a bookstore.”
The space is home to two small book shelves, a large space with a few books on shelves, and shelves for other books and titles.
A wall behind the store showcases a small photo of Tisch-Schimmer and her son, Owen.
“He’s always looking at the books that are on there,” she said.
Wayne State was initially hesitant about the idea, but Tischliner was impressed with the community response.
“They loved it,” she told Engage.
“Everyone was really excited to have a store.”
After a little time, the store was opened, and the staff realized that the space was a perfect fit for the books.
“It’s a beautiful, beautiful space,” Titchler said of the bookstore.
“This is an amazing bookstore.
We are so lucky to have Wayne State, a place like this, for our books to be shared with the world.”
It was at this point that Tischlinger realized that Wayne State didn’t have the resources to buy the books she needed.
“After I showed the plan to the university, they said, ‘Why don’t you just do it yourself?'”
Tisch told Engagget.
“So, I said, I’ll build it myself.
And that was my first experience with this kind of project.
We built it out of old plywood, reclaimed materials, and it’s been really amazing.”
“It was really cool to see the community’s response to the idea,” Tirschler added.
“People came in and bought books.
They got books delivered to their door.”
The Wayne State store has since expanded, with a second basement section added to the store.
“What we’ve done is a lot of it has been on the back burner for a while,” Tiskerman said.
With the support of the Wayne State library and the community, Tiskman and her family have started a Kickstarter campaign for the project to help fund the renovation of the store and create an additional section for more books.
As of July 10, the campaign has surpassed its goal of $15,000.
With more than 30 days to go, the Kickstarter campaign has been successful in raising $2,873 of its $30,000 goal.
The money raised will be used to renovate the basement, and to install a new roof, a new window, a larger shelving unit, a storage unit, and another floor for the remaining books.
Tiskler said she hopes to have the store open by the end of August.
The Wayne St. bookstore is not just a way for people in the Wayne community to purchase books, but also to connect.
“To be able to find a book that someone in your community might not know about or not be able find is a really cool thing, so I think it’s really a great thing,” Tishler said to Engadges.
“And to have an area for that kind of community connection, so people know that this is not a place where you just go to grab a book and it goes away.”