About Us

We came to Eugene in 1975 as an idealistic young couple following a dream. We wanted to plant a seed and grow an extraordinary bookstore. We didn’t realize how much nurturance it would require and how many unpredictable storms lay ahead.

Naively, we plowed into the future. We began by building one bookshelf, buying one book we wanted to own, attending to one customer at a time, and cultivating our shop row by row. The bookstore has grown and evolved beyond our wildest dreams – fertilized by the extraordinary times we’ve lived in, the extraordinary books we’ve handled, and the extraordinary friends we’ve made along the way – the writers, poets, artists, readers, collectors, customers and characters who frequent our bookstore, and who have enriched our lives.

Today, we have a vast and changing array of hand chosen books in many fields. Although we are devoted generalists, we have built extensive collections in a few specific areas including art, architecture, photography, literature, cookbooks, children’s books, nature, history, antiquarian and collectible books.  

This website, like the bookstore in that first season of business, is newly planted and growing. We have started with a selection of contemporary new books that have been of great topical interest to our customers. We will continue to add new and antiquarian books to our online collection daily, and will eventually add sale books, calendars, and journals. Our website is a work in progress and the books you see here represent only a tiny fraction of our extensive collection. We hope you will visit our online shop regularly to keep up with our ever-evolving inventory. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us by telephone or email, and we will be happy to conduct an advanced analog search for the books you are looking for on our burgeoning store shelves.  

We hope, too, you will one day have an opportunity to visit our bookstore in person. 

One of the 50 Best Indie Bookstores in America

We were named #17 in a list of the “50 Best Indie Bookstores in America” by the Huffington Post (2017). From the related article: J. Michaels is “a cozy and colorful fixture of one of America’s most colorful small cities. The owner is usually behind the counter, obscured by his curated selection of new releases. His arrangements never fail to compel even this most casual of bookworms to purchase. On your way out, take a peek at first editions and antique copies of many of America’s greatest writers. My wife and I once drove a Penguin Books–branded Mini Cooper across America, visiting indie bookshops all along the way. There is none quite like J. Michaels.”


Our currently reduced store hours are Monday – Saturday 10:00am to 5:00pm

We buy books Monday - Friday 10:00am to 4:00pm or by appointment