Some Serious Book Scouting on the Atlantic Coast of Florida

Bear with me, now…because we crammed a lot of living into the past twenty four hours.  We visited four book shops and two thrift shops in search of books today…but most books shops don’t open until 10 am, so  let me begin with how we occupied ourselves before these shops were even open.   As I type this, I am sitting on the balcony of our room looking out at the Atlantic Ocean from the shore of Jekyll Island (barrier island off the coast of Georgia), listening to the sound of the waves rushing in.  We can see the lights of several cruise ships anchored for the night a a little way out to sea.

Here is a night time view of our hotel from the beach…

And here is a flash photo of a jelly fish who washed up on the beach tonight…

Early today we woke up to a perfectly gorgeous morning in St. Augustine, Florida, and set right out for the great old Fort Castillo De San Marcos.  I vividly remember visiting this Fort when I was seven years old (1959), and I was just as impressed this time around.  Words can’t describe how awesome this place is, which has withstood sieges by pirates, the British, Native Americans and all the forces of nature.  Fourteen foot thick walls — this is where I would choose to be in a hurricane!  Here are just a few images to give you an idea of the place:

The HMS Bounty (tall ship) had entered the St. Augustine harbor during the night.   This is the THIRD time we have run into the HMS Bounty, which many people see only once in a lifetime, so now I know we get around!  We ran into her once in Boston, once in Cleveland, and now in St. Augustine!  Here she is in all her glory…

Aye, she was used in the film "Mutiny on the Bounty"

HMS Bounty, St. Augustine Harbor

Okay, the first book store finally opened.  Anastasia Books in St. Augustine, Florida is located at 81C King Street, right across from beautiful Flagler College.

Anastasia Books, St. Augustine, FL

Krista was manning the desk at Anastasia Books. Her second day on the job, we put her through the paces. She aced it! Good job, Krista.

Owned by Sandra Parks, Anastasia Books is clean, well-organized, with excellent books, tending toward quality newer used books, reasonably priced.

We tried to spend time in John Bouvier Maps & Prints on 11D Aviles Street (the oldest street in America).  I actually popped in, and it looked great…but we had so much trouble trying to find a place to park the car, we decided to move on.  I’m sure this place is worth a visit for any collector of old maps and manuscripts…just plan to park a ways away and walk a maze of streets.

Aviles Street...the oldest street in the United States

Next we stopped at two different thrift shops, where locals had directed us in search of old books.  I did find one decorated binding in the Goodwill on Rte. 1, but paid dearly for it.  Oh my…they are asking higher prices than book stores!

Our next stop was Wolf’s Head Books at 67-B San Marco Avenue, St. Augustine.  Sadly, this book shop is getting ready to close.  They were having a terrific sale, which was good for us, but I shed tears every time I see an antiquarian book shop shut it’s doors — and this is a great shop.  Barbara Nailler, Proprietor of the store, is retiring.  She will still be offering some books on line.

Barbara Nailler, Owner of Wolf's Head Books, St. Augustine, Florida

She’s smiling…thinking about the freedom of retirement…but I’m shedding tears, thinking about the loss of another great book store.  We found some real gems here, and at greatly reduced prices.  If you are in the area and looking for some fine books, I recommend a visit here…but do it soon!

Wolf's Head Books

Barbara sent us up the road following Rte. A1A coastal highway to Tappin Book Mine in Atlantic Beach, Florida.  Here is another wonderful book shop that is closing down, and offering great books at reduced prices.  Doug Tappin was extremely knowledgeable and a pleasure to talk with.  We assembled a pile of excellent books here.

Doug Tappin of Tappin Book Mine, Atlantic Beach, Florida


Tappin Book Mine, Atlantic Beach, Florida

Again, if you want to grab some quality books at bargain prices, Tappin Book Mine will only be in business as an open store for a short time.  Doug plans to continue to sell books on-line.

In case I haven’t convinced you that this has been an exhausting day, here’s a photo Ron just snapped of me while I was working on this blog…

11:30pm and I'm tapping at the keyboard, reference materials gripped in my teeth!

This calls for some blogging intervention…LIGHTS OUT.  See you tomorrow.





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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Flagler College…what a gem! My jaw dropped when I saw it’s beautiful dining hall. Mahogany everywhere!

    Never been to Jekyll Island. Think I need to put it on the ‘bucket list.’

    Love the photo of you at the computer…glass of wine close at hand 🙂

    Enjoy your remaining time away from the looney bin:)


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