During my recent vacation, I ventured outside of Macomb County to check out a so-called “steampunk” bookstore in Farmington. Named Off the Beaten Path, it certainly is that. Rather than a bustling commercial mall, it’s located in what appears was once a medical courtyard mall. I assume rent was cheaper there, or the space fit the owner’s ambitions better. Whatever the reason, it’s a charming independent bookstore, cozy and friendly, featuring science fiction and fantasy books, including steampunk, as well as children’s, young adult, mysteries and a few graphic novels. The stock isn’t huge, but neither is it chintzy, and there’s a selection of used books as well.
The store also carries some steampunk fashion accessories, such as hats, glasses, goggles, music (yes, there’s steampunk music) and tiny model airships. There’s also a café area, featuring soup and caffeinated beverages and some baked goods.
If you come by during the day, you might have the store and a salesperson to yourself, but in the evenings there are often events to draw in crowds, including a knitting group and games, and occasional performers. It's worth a visit.
Off the Beaten Path Bookstore & Café
23023 Orchard Lake Road, south of 10 Mile Road, Farmington