Photo of the interior of Mac's Backs, showing bookcases and lights hanging from the ceiling

Resolve to Read: Mac’s Backs

With frosty weather back in Cleveland for the foreseeable future, it’s easy to retreat indoors and snuggle up. We suggest a tweak to that plan—head to an independent bookstore in Cleveland, grab a book, and then make haste back to your couch to get lost in a fictional world (or your genre of choice). If you made a resolution to read more this year, but you’re not sure where to start, check out The Daily on Thursdays in January—we’ll take you on a tour of local bookstores that you can support.

Our first stop on the Cleveland bookstore tour is Mac’s Backs Books on Coventry Road. Located in Cleveland Heights, Mac’s Backs has three floors of new and used books and magazines—including a large selection of classics, mysteries, science fiction, contemporary fiction and non-fiction titles. 

The bookstore also hosts readings, book signings, author events, book clubs and writing workshops—and they provide a free community meeting space for groups and organizations. 

Fun fact

The exterior of Mac's Backs next to Tommy's Restaurant

Mac’s Backs shares a door with Tommy’s Restaurant, a popular restaurant with a large menu that specializes in vegetarian fare and milkshakes. Though the inside door isn’t open at the moment due to COVID protocols, you can easily stop next door to grab one of the restaurant’s signature meals.

Book clubs

Several book clubs meet regularly at Mac’s (virtually and in person) including Mac’s Backs Book Club, which focuses on literary fiction and occasional nonfiction and meets at 7 p.m. the third Wednesday of every month. January’s book is Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters—available at Mac’s Backs and through their website at the 20% off book club discount. Find out more about the book, and save the Zoom link for the book club discussion on Jan. 19!

Other book clubs associated with Mac’s Backs include Cleveland Rights Readers, which meets every other month on various Mondays to discuss fiction and nonfiction dealing with human rights; Femme Book Club, which is currently on hiatus; and Science Fiction Book Club, which meets at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month.

Interested in joining any of these clubs? Email and check out the events calendar for upcoming meetings. 

Recommended books

If you’re someone who gets overwhelmed by the hundreds of options in bookstores, don’t fret. Mac’s Backs keeps a running list of books they recommend, including: 

And, it just so happens that the book actress Reese Witherspoon chose for her book club for January—written by none other than Case Western Reserve University Distinguished University Professor Thrity Umrigar—is now on sale at Mac’s Backs! Pick up your copy of Honor today.

Ready to make a trip to Mac’s Backs? It’s located at 1820 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights, just a six-minute drive from Case Western Reserve. Due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in Cuyahoga County, they’ve recently changed their protocols to operate noon through 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday. There are capacity limits and they urge people to shop solo or do curbside pickup (you can shop online through their website). Follow them on Instagram for updates.