Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The BookMark - Neptune Beach, FL

The Book Mark - Neptune Beach, FL
(Like The Indie Bob Spot on Facebook and follow The Indie Bob Spot on Twitter)

I'm aware that some readers enjoy the pleasure of going to the beach and indulging in a book while there (in between naps, of course).  For those who enjoy this experience along with visiting bookstores, have I got the place for you.  The BookMark in Neptune Beach is located in an area of small, independent businesses and private residences, all of which are very tourist friendly and unique.  But best of all, you can buy your book and walk one block to access the beach.  And it's a short block.  You've just found your ideal beach bookstore and you will love it.

The BookMark has been around for about 25 years so it has weathered the challenges, endured some ups and downs, and now stands ready to move forward as more people embrace the importance of shop and buy local.  Tere H., one of the booksellers, told me the success here is due partly to an extremely loyal local customer base.  The other portion of the customer base are the tourists and it really helps that one of the best beach hotels is only a couple of blocks away.  The store's location is very user-friendly for pedestrians or bicyclists and car traffic is minimal.  If you drive your car, parking is free and you'll be able to park very close to the store.

I'm most impressed with the diligence that Rona B., the owner, and her husband take in stocking their store.  They are very particular about the books they offer making sure the selections are well-curated.  There are also a good variety of sidelines, most with a literary theme.  Greeting cards sell quite well and the store also offers a nice line of Crane stationery.  Author and book events are common and held in the store but they do have options off-site nearby for large events.

I had a great time talking to Tere and Logan F., two of the booksellers.  Like so many I meet on my journey, they were absolutely wonderful.  I didn't get to meet Rona on this trip but I already know some things about her without meeting her.  It's obvious she's smart and she knows what she's doing. She's totally engaged in the support of independent businesses and bookstores.  She's been involved with NPR as an advocate and has also been a consultant for other independent bookstore owners.  If I were going to open a bookstore, I'd have this woman on speed dial.  She and the store have many ties to the community, all of which help strengthen the store.  And she knows how to hire knowledgeable and friendly people like Tere and Logan.

So here's your recipe for a carefree day.  Grab the beach chair, cooler, and sun screen.  Head to the BookMark in Neptune Beach.  Buy a book for yourself, your family, and friends.  Enjoy.  You're welcome.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Cuba Staits, Randy Wayne White.  Just found out about this author on my visit to this bookstore.  There seemed to be scattered "off-shoot" mysteries from the main mystery so I found it a bit confusing at times.  If you like a setting in Florida and Cuba with an added touch of baseball on the side, you'll like this one.  I have a feeling there are others by this author that I'll enjoy more.

84 Charing Cross Road, Helene Hanff.  Outstanding.  The book is an exchange of letters between a woman in NYC and a bookseller in London and these are the actual letters exchanged between the real people.  The book is very short and can be conquered in an hour or two and the brevity makes it refreshing to read after a 600-page epic.  Highly recommended.  You were right, Paul G.

CURRENTLY READING:  Missoula, Jon Krakauer.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Cuban Straits, Randy Wayne White.

Another exterior view.  

Picture the ocean behind me.  I love the setting for this bookstore.  

A nice front window display.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

View looking to the right from the front entrance.  

Looking to the left from the front entrance and some of the sidelines available.  

Since I often sit on, step on, and otherwise abuse my reading glasses, I'm always glad to see them at an independent bookstore.  

A portion of the children's section.  

Need a bargain?  Find this book rack!

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

An always active schedule of events.  

A great staff picks display.  

Yeah, I could comfortably browse through a book here.  

Some of the sidelines available, including Crane stationery.  

A few of the books of local and regional interest.  

With Logan in the center and Tere on the right.  Thanks for a great visit.  

No comments:

Post a Comment