Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Hello Again Books - Cocoa, FL

Hello Again Books, Cocoa, FL

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If ever there was an example of the power of BINC (The Book Industry Charitable Foundation), this store is it.  When co-owner MerryBeth saw me enter the store with my BINC shirt on, she launched into an enthusiastic 15 minute monologue singing the praises of this fantastic organization.  And she had every reason to do so considering BINC was one of the reasons for their bookstore survival.  Hello Again Books opened in March 2020 and within a month or two, Covid was knocking on the door forcing a shutdown.  Thanks to BINC, bookshop.org (an online book sale site for independent bookstores), and many devoted customers, Hello Again Books survived their challenges and forged ahead into a promising future.  If you're an indie owner or bookseller, know that BINC is a GREAT safety net available to you or the store when you experience serious life circumstances.  Best of all, they're staffed by compassionate people who want to help.

Hello Again Books is a proudly LGBTQ, women-owned bookstore located in the very busy Cocoa Village, a popular retail area and excellent location.  As you open the door you'll hear the chiming of the Harry Potter theme, a very nice touch.  When I asked Karen, a bookseller, how they do when it isn't tourist season, she laughed and said its ALWAYS tourist season.  The store offers mostly used books with some new and a nice variety of women and literary-themed sidelines.  They take care to sanitize all used books that come in and are very particular about what they take.  Additionally, they enter all of these books into their inventory so they know exactly what's on the shelves.  But this store is about much more than the books.  Co-owners MerryBeth and Amy strongly advocate for the disenfranchised among us, especially young people who need to find a place, or a book, that supports their lifestyle or ethnicity.  There are great places in the store to relax, read a book, watch a movie, or play a video game.  I would define it as a Third Place, and the owners make it a point to communicate that ALL are welcome here.  Well done MerryBeth, Amy, and Karen.

If you're a tourist to Cocoa, FL this is a MUST visit.  Afterall, don't you need a beach read?  A fabulous, welcoming and knowledgeable staff is always the perfect experience at any independent bookstore and that's EXACTLY what you'll get at Hello Again Books.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Mycroft Holmes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Anna Waterhouse.  Serious readers of Sherlock Holmes probably won't enjoy this but casual Sherlock Holmes fans might like it.  Mycroft Holmes is Sherlock's older brother.  The story is very Sherlock Holmes-ian to me and involves astute powers of observation by Mycroft and his very tall sidekick, Cyrus Douglas (Kareem, maybe?).  They venture to Douglas's home island of Trinidad and find children who've been killed and try to find the reason for an illegal slave trade. 

CURRENTLY READING:  A Column of Fire, Ken Follett. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Two Hello Again Books bookstore coffee mugs.  Not purchased but gifted:  Leave The World Behind, Rumaan Alam.  The New Republic, Lionel Shriver.  Thanks MerryBeth. 

Shouldn't every community have a Bookfest?

Beautiful storefront. 

If your dog is thirsty, they offer complimentary water. 

ALL are welcome, similar to almost every independent bookstore. 

Wow!  Great bargains outside the store. 

View looking into the store from the front entrance. 

View looking to the right from the front entrance. 

Consider giving them a follow. 

View looking to the left from the front entrance. 

If you travel and enjoy bookstores, consider getting this book that lists many of the indies across the country. 

The book discussion table display. 

Beautiful display of sidelines.  They do a super job here of keeping all their prices reasonable. 

I enjoyed the store's creative decor. 

The store has many table displays throughout. 

I love that they have many places to just sit and sample a book. 

I've seen the book-themed candles in many stores and there's a reason for that.  They sell well. 

Partial view of the non-fiction section. 

I had to keep reminding myself that the store is mostly used books but it sure didn't feel like it.  Everything neatly organized and very clean. 

You'll find sidelines displayed throughout the store. 

Consider buying one of these book tote bags to carry everything you'll buy. 

A super little corner of the store with a large screen TV.  A comfy place to watch a movie or do some gaming. 

Anything that advertises rare finds deserves attention. 

Looking into the children's room through the very cool book archway. 

Partial view of the children's room. 

I love the floor decor.  Just like your kids' bedroom, right?

A nice platform for a speaker or a reader. 

In the children's room. 

If you go to the back of the store, find this section for some good buys. 

From the children's room, looking through the bookarch to the front of the store. 

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

With Karen on the left and MerryBeth in the middle, two of the fine people you'll meet at Hello Again Books.  Thanks for a great visit. 

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