Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sweetwood Books - Fleming Island, FL

Sweetwood Books - Fleming Island, FL
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Readers, not only will this entry be about a perfectly delightful and charming independent bookstore, but it will also be a rant and a call-to-arms.  Independent bookstores are a part of the fabric of our culture.  It is imperative that they remain so in order for our grandchildren's children to enjoy the same experiences we do when visiting these wonderful places.  Sweetwood Books is just a baby, barely two years old.  You don't give birth to a baby and then kick it down the road.  It's the same with independent bookstores.  Baby bookstores need to be nurtured and nourished, they need attention and love just like a baby.  You need to support it even after the novelty has worn off.  Sweetwood Books is every bit as cute as a new-born baby, but Fleming Island and surrounding communities need to give it some love.  Some of you have been here (return with a friend) and some of you have never heard of it (not anymore!).  (Proceed to rant!).  People of northeast Florida and Fleming Island, do you know how many communities would love to have an independent bookstore?  Believe me, these places don't grow on trees and you have a great one that you need to patronize.  Heck, even if you're not a reader they have a variety of very nice non-book items and gifts.  Find something for the children in your life in their beautiful children's section.  Better yet, take one of the little ones to the store for a weekly story time.  If you're the parent of a high schooler, send them here to pick up one of their required readings.  They have them here.  Start a book club and bring them here to meet.  One of the nice things about Sweetwood Books is that they have a core group of regulars.  Ok regulars, you know how great this place is so SPREAD THE FRICKIN' WORD (end of rant).

Yes, this place is barely two years old but is going through growing pains like many new indies.  Heather L., the owner has put in a lot of work to make this an attractive and inviting bookstore (so go see it!).  The store is a one-level, small to medium sized bookstore that offers new books and a good variety of sidelines.  The books are very neatly organized and I think the selections offered are well-curated.  And if you can't find it, Heather will order it.  I think that women and children will especially enjoy the non-book items and gifts that are available here.  Heather is already making connections with the community in a number of ways, something that I see at many of the indies I visit.

Here's what else I like here.  The owner, Heather L., is just as charming and warm as her store.  You will thoroughly enjoy visiting with her, as I did, and if you're looking for a book recommendation she can help you.

So, Fleming Island, what will you do?  My hope is that you embrace this bookstore and make it a local treasure.  Spread the word people, and check this place out if you haven't been here.  Once you visit, you'll enjoy what you find and will want to return to this beautiful bookstore.  Kudos to Heather on her work and a great start!  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts.  Fiction that is loosely based on the author's life that included a prison break in Australia and going to Bombay and living in the slums.  It will give you a pretty good depiction of India.  Many people will name this as one of their favorite books. I struggled.  I thought it was overly descriptive and too many pages of philosophical discussions.  But YOU might enjoy this as many others do.

CURRENTLY READING:  Cuba Straits, Randy Wayne White.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls.

One of the front window displays.  

Even I can follow these directions! 

Looking through the store from the front entrance.  Apologies for the lighting.  

Looking to the right from the front entrance.  

Timely display for the Easter season.  

Looking to the left from the front entrance.  Yes, they have adult coloring books.  No, I don't get it.  

Some of the store recommendations.  I was obviously so excited to see this display that I couldn't keep still.  

A few of the greeting cards available.  

Display of recent best-sellers.  

I think women will really enjoy some of the non-book items here.  

If you have a Star Wars fan at your house, bring them here.  

Great places to sit and try out a book.  Or bring your bookclub in and talk about your next book.  

I love the name of the children's department.  

View looking from the back of the store toward the front entrance.  

Anyone who has a toddler will want to check out this display.  

Have Heather brew you a free coffee since you'll be browsing books for awhile.  

Find a great deal on your Tokyomilk items here.  

Beautiful mural in the children's section.  Ask Heather about the children in the mural!  

With Heather L., the fine owner of Sweetwood Books.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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