Tampa is a city brimming with brilliant ideas. Businesses old and new continue to leave their indelible insignia on the city through passion and ingenuity. While we love seeing so many new concepts appear in South Tampa, the heart of downtown, Wesley Chapel and beyond, we’re also endeared to the businesses that truly sparked the small business boom.
In this series we’ll take a closer look at the spots that represent our city with vigor and flavor. Enjoy discovering Tampa’s local treasures:
Old Tampa Book Company
Neil Gaiman once wrote, “a town isn’t a town without a bookstore.” We couldn’t agree with this sentiment expressed in his groundbreaking novel American Gods. A bookstore provides customers with the proverbial keys to the kingdom — both spiritually and intellectually. The Old Tampa Book Company has enlivened the minds of readers in Tampa Bay since 1995.
Owners David and Ellen Brown moved to Tampa in the mid-90s. With them came a personal collection of roughly 3,000 sports car books. Admitted book addicts, the Browns quickly began to acquire more and more used and rare books at book fairs and yard sales. Today, their bookstore holds nearly 40,000 rare, collectible, used and out-of-print books covering all genres.
The bookstore makes limited purchases on books, as well. If you’re looking to downsize, moving or dealing with an estate and have some books you’d like to add to their collection you can email them with the details at [email protected] or call 813.209.2151.
Old Tampa Book Company brings a bit of imagination to Tampa Street on a regular basis. The words of everyone from James Baldwin to Dr. Seuss appear on their chalkboard sign outside and storefront window. If you’re in the market for a specific book you can always browse their entire inventory online before visiting.
Adventurous readers looking to broaden their horizons can purchase a $5 blind book bag. The store is so crowded with books that those with a ravenous appetite for stories can feast on their $1 racks outside.
Old Tampa Book Company, 507 North Tampa Street.
*Article by Andrew Harlan ([email protected]), writer/editor of That’s So Tampa