Arts & Culture

Most Community-Centered Bookstores in Tampa Bay

June 7, 2013 6:00 PM

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

The English writer and cleric Charles Caleb Colton once wrote, “Next to acquiring good friends, the best acquisition is that of good books.” In Tampa Bay, you can have both, by visiting these charming community-centered book shops. Whether you prefer your books with a side of freshly brewed coffee or fresh conversation, these bookstores offer unique and enjoyable experiences for lovers of the written word.

Inkwood Books
216 S. Armenia Ave.
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 253-2638
www.inkwoodbooks.com

It’s hard to find any small business more involved in its local community than Inkwood Books. Inkwood Books has an event calendar that is packed with action nearly every day. Book groups are regular events, with some meeting weekly and some meeting bi-weekly. If you don’t see a book or genre you’re interested in, no problem — you can start your own book group using the “Recommendations for Book Groups” list, or suggest another title. In addition, Inkwood Books brings in local and nationally known authors and poets for book signings, book talks, lunches and more. There are even events for children, such as “Take your child to a bookstore day” with price breaks on children’s literature.

Mojo Books & Music

2540 E. Fowler Ave.
Tampa, FL 33612
(813) 971-9717
www.mojotampa.com

Mojo is more than just books, it also sells CDs, DVDs, and vinyl records. You can bring in your used books, audiobooks or albums and trade them in for either cash or store credit before perusing the shelves for a new or used title. When you’ve got your hands on a new book, kick back and relax at one of the cafe tables with one of Mojo’s award-winning coffees or loose teas. If you’re in the mood for an extra special treat, try the slow-drip Yama cold brew for the smoothest iced coffee you’ve ever tasted. Return again and again to “read-cycle” previously read titles and discover something new!

Book Swap of Carrollwood
13144 N. Dale Mabry Ave.
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 963-6979
www.bookswapfl.comBook Swap of Carrollwood specializes almost exclusively in fiction books and carries only a limited selection of non-fiction and literature titles. If you are interested in swapping out your old books for new titles, your best options will be philosophy books, books on school reading lists and titles released within the last three months. However, the store’s needs change from day to day, so you can always bring in books in good condition to see what you can trade. The Book Swap staff also makes an effort to connect you with new authors you may enjoy based on what you already read, and will even help you track down a hard-to-find title.

Related: Best Venues For Spoken Word And Poetry Readings In Tampa

Haslam’s Book Store
2025 Central Ave.
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
(727) 822-8616

www.haslams.com

Haslam’s is one of Pinellas County’s favorite book stores, and for good reason. This store is well in touch with its readers, and invites from one to three favorite authors to meet and greet fans every month. Authors such as Tim Dorsey, Wendy Wax and Archie Boston have been at Haslam’s to do autographings and book release parties with fans. In addition, Haslam’s keeps things interesting with its selection of Glass Case books, which includes first editions, limited editions, signed copies and other rare books. All Glass Case books are for sale, but prepared to spend a pretty penny: some of these rare findings cost as much as $4,000!

Wilson’s Book World
2394 9th St. S. (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St.)
St. Petersburg, FL 33704
(727) 896-3700
www.wilsonsbookworld.com

Wilson’s Book World is a family owned and operated antiquarian book shop. Since 1971, Wilson’s has been a member of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and maintains a consistent inventory of over 250,000 titles. Because Wilson’s deals exclusively in used books, it gets its entire stock from the community, taking in hundreds of paperbacks through the store’s trade-in program each day. In addition to books, Wilson’s also carries both new and used comics from all of the major comic publishers, including Marvel, DC Comics, Dark Horse and others.

Related: 5 Must Read Books By Tampa Bay Authors

Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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