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August 25, 2006

Sarasota Book Lovers

For the bibliophiles in the Sarasota area, here are some of the tips and tricks I use to get ahold of good reading materials.

1. Sarasota County Libraries
We like to go to Selby downtown for a "fun" excursion. The aquarium in the children's section is captivating. I hate the angled staircases up to the nonfiction section, however--they had weirdly angled staircases at the old Selby, too. I always felt like I was going to be sick when walking down them.
Fruitville is very child-friendly and has friendly librarians to boot. It probably has the best AV section and as it is just off of I75, is very convenient.
Gulf Gate library is small and homey, and the best for running quick errands. This is the library where I pay my fines because they are friendly and don't make me feel pariah for having overdue books.
While there are other locations, these are the three we frequent. Each of them have used bookstores run by the Friends of the Library.
Along with physical trips to the library, I do a lot of book reservations (and renewals) online. When a book isn't in the Sarasota County library book catalog, I put in a request and then visit AlleyCat.

2. AlleyCat
As it's slogan says, "A Couple of Clicks, Millions of Picks." This is a great resource, as it draws from public and academic libraries in this region of Florida. Hubby has used it for books he's needed to read for grad school, but weren't worth purchasing for his professional library. I've also found it useful for requesting older children's books that are recommended in homeschool resources and for books that are from Christian publishers. They are delivered for pickup to whichever local library I request--all at no charge! I usually do school planning with Homeschool Tracker, SCLIBS and AlleyCat all open, and request books as I plan.

3. Goodwill Bookstore
If you are local and haven't visited this bookstore, it's a must. The children's section has a good stock of homeschool texts and supplements, at least last time I stopped in. The prices aren't dirt cheap, but are very decent.

4. The Main Bookshop
A Sarasota icon, the Main Bookshop has been a key date destination since Hubby and I were first together. One Thanksgiving our post-dinner recreation was going in and buying Christmas presents for the entire family in one fell swoop. We spent our last anniversary browsing the Main, as the weather was too cranky to allow a walk along the beach.

5. A. Parker's Bookstore
Also a wonderful place to browse downtown, Parker's caters to rare and specialty books. I still regret I didn't buy a book of the stories behind nursery rhymes from Parker's.

6. The Living Word
One of the managers is Reformed Baptist and takes the extra effort to stock quality books, along with the kitsch stuff. They also have a decent section of homeschool materials from a range of publishers. Good service.


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I'm not familiar with A. Parker's, but do like Main. Only thing is, it's a danger to the credit card!

Posted by: FLGrandma at August 26, 2006 08:10 PM

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