The first day in the life of West Side Book Shop began, with great fanfare, on September 21, 1975. More than a hundred people came in for the gala opening, and unofficial Ann Arbor historian Wystan Stevens was there to take photographs of the event. The sales sheets from that first day read like an inventory of great books and authors--Dante, Baudelaire, Huxley, Dostevsky, Einstein, Conrad, Thurber, Hardy, Poe--and the prices now seem ridiculously low. The majority sold for $5 or less.
The genesis for opening the Book Shop came from Jay Platt, who along with his business partner at the time, Frank Misplon, rented the space from Joseph and Carolyn Arcure. It took a month to build the shelves and stock them for the front room only. John Copley, of Crowquill Graphics, painted the sign and windows.
With Jay's literary capital of $3000 worth of books, the financial capital from his business partner Frank Misplon, and a bank loan, what began as a dream became a reality.