Book Shops in St. Petersburg

We said farewell to Gloria and Jerry this morning as we headed north to continue our book scouting adventure.

See you again soon!

Our heartfelt thanks to Ron’s parents for our delightful stay with them.  We had fun every minute, and really didn’t want to leave!

But leave we must, and so our book scouting adventure continues as we head north.  We carefully boxed up a lot of books and shipped them to New York from Port Charlotte, to be held by our post office until we get home.  This gives us more room in our vehicle for the books we turn up on the way home.

This is the beautiful suspension bridge we crossed on our way to St. Petersburg, Florida traveling on on Rte. 275 which loops out on the western edge of the Tampa/St. Pete area.

From a distance (approached from the south)

The bridge brought us into St. Petersburg and we found our way to Lighthouse Books, at 1735 First Avenue North.  Free parking (2 hour) in front of the store, and a parking lot behind the store.  And they were having a 25% off sale!

Lighthouse Books, St. Petersburg, FL

Owned by Michael and Cathie Slicker, Mike was at the helm when we entered the book shop.

Mike Slicker, Proprietor of Lighthouse Books

Lighthouse Books

Lighthouse Books is just the kind of book shop we love.  I can always tell when a book shop owner really has an appreciation for fine old books.  Lots of vintage editions, both fiction and non-fiction, many unusual and hard to find titles, quite a number of interesting signed books.   All jam packed into a fairly small shop, but well organized and arranged so that you can get at them all.   35,000 books, plus lots of ephemera.  We enjoyed our visit to this shop very much, and stayed a couple of hours, leaving with a pile of books and smiles on our faces.   Thanks Mike!

Just up the street is Haslam’s Book Store, Inc., billed as the largest used book store in Florida.  Located at 2025 Central Avenue, it’s a huge building containing some 400,000 books.  Plenty of free parking, and the parking lot was quite busy when we arrived.

Haslam's Book Store, St. Petersburg, FL

If you like paperbacks and hard cover books that are nearly new, this place will be your cup of tea.  If you are looking for vintage books, you will find a few, but it’s a discouraging hunt for a vintage book lover.  Staff was friendly and helpful, and gave us ideas on where to eat before we departed.

We had worked up quite a hunger so we drove on to find parking by the pier that stretches way out into Tampa Bay.  After parking the car in one of the pier lots, we walked way out to the multi-story building at the pier’s end which houses a bunch of shops and restaurants.

St. Pete Pier

There were many birds hanging out along the pier…pelicans, gulls, egrets.

We had lunch at Cha Cha Coconuts Restaurant at the top, which has outdoor eating and a superb view of the bay.

view from the top

There were some book shops we would have loved to visit in Tampa, but it was closing time for book shops by the time we got out of traffic and on up to that area.  So we pushed on to St. Augustine, crossing the state of Florida on Interstate #4, where we are staying tonight.  Tomorrow we will visit some book shops in this oldest city in America.  Can’t wait to see what we find!


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ve been to Haslam’s! And the pier. And on that bridge, too (I’m always a bit frightened by it for some reason). Your photos of that only-in-Florida blue sky makes me want to pack up and join you. As I look out of my window, all I see is gray, gray, gray. The only blue I can find is on my computer’s tool bar! How sad.

    So glad you’re enjoying yourselves. St. Augustine is such a very charming place. Have fun!


    • Corinne,
      We had a beautiful day in St. Augustine. Explored the fort (for free- National Park FREE week!). HMS Bounty tall ship was parked in the harbor…just sailed in last night. Scoured two antiquarian books stores that are going out of business with 50-60% OFF, one in St. Augustine, one in Atlantic Beach. Sad, talking with the owners, but we got some great books. Weather is perfect. I may be late!! We are spending the night at our old haunt — Jekyll Island.
      What the heck are we doing in NY???’

      • I ask myself that all the time…why am I in upstate NY? The skies have finally cleared here for a pleasant, although very cold, evening. But the blue is NY blue, not brilliant FL blue. I’m obsessed with that Florida sky!

        We miss you!

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