Royal Oak's Self Esteem Shop has something for everyone (as long as everyone has anxiety) 

Under a highlighter-yellow awning on Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak is the Self-Esteem Shop. It's been there for almost 20 years, so you've probably driven by it hundreds of times, wondering all the while what this little store contains. Inside is a collection of therapeutic texts and self-help books, along with resources for parents, counselors, and teachers looking to help children deal with emotionally traumatic issues like when Daddy goes to jail or when puberty strikes.

Stacked under fluorescent lights, piles of books are a little messy. It's not the coziest shop, but it does the trick, we suppose. Independently owned, it's surely suffered over the last few years, as people, if they buy books at all, mostly buy them online. In fact, when we were in, we snapped a cell phone picture of some items and were immediately asked to knock it off. We get it though, after all, we're in the print business too.

We chatted with owner Harry Gruenberg about business, but his outlook wasn't too sunny. He noted that the store has something for everyone, asking, "Everyone has anxiety, right?"

Walking out, we didn't exactly feel warm and fuzzy, but maybe it was just the overhead lighting and the drop ceiling. Alysa Offman

The Self Esteem Shop | 32839 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak; 248-549-9900;

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