Detroit Jewish News 04-19-2013 ediiton Bookstock
Photo by Jerry Zolynsky

If you really like books, then next week might be your favorite time of the year. It’s the week of Bookstock, the largest used book and media sale in Michigan.

I wondered about the history of Bookstock. So, naturally, I looked into the William Davidson Digital Archives to see what was in the historic pages of the JN. There were 395 entries for Bookstock. Most were announcements for this annual event, but there were a number of feature stories that provided me with some interesting facts.

Detroit Jewish News 04-19-2013 ediiton BookstockThe very first entry, however, when searching for Bookstock was actually a bat mitzvah announcement for Rachel Eryn Goodman (Rachel Ashira) from the March 19, 2004, issue of the JN. Besides being a double-honor student at Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit, her other activities included collecting and sorting books for Bookstock. Mazel tov, Rachel!

I also learned that Bookstock’s ancestor was the local version of the nationwide Brandeis Book Sale, which ended in 2001 after a 40-year run in Detroit. The Brandeis Women’s Committee organized the first such sale in Boston in 1958.

Bookstock began in 2003, and it has been a highly successful fundraiser. More than 200,000 books are donated for sale each year, and Bookstock has raised about $1.7 million for literacy and other education nonprofits in Metro Detroit. Bookstock also gives out the Bookstock Extraordinary Student/School/Teacher Awards — the B.E.S.T. Awards — for creative children’s writing projects.

Currently, Bookstock is a program of the Jewish Community Relations Council/American Jewish Committee. Indeed, it should be noted that Bookstock and the Brandeis Book Sale before it have always been brought to you by Detroit’s Jewish community. I am also proud to say that the Detroit Jewish News is a longtime sponsor.

For details about Bookstock, which runs from Sunday, April 22, to Sunday, April 29, at Laurel Park Place in Livonia, go to for hours and special days of shopping.

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