Adventures in Reading

Move Over, Amazon—Sarasota's Got Several Great Brick-and-Mortar Bookstores

These local shops help book lovers get their fix.

By Kay Kipling and Allison Forsyth May 30, 2018 Published in the June 2018 issue of Sarasota Magazine

(The stores listed below may have altered their hours and offerings because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We recommend calling ahead before visiting.)

A. Parker's Books and Book Bazaar

1488 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 366-2898,

This bookstore on Main Street combines two great stores in one. One specializes in rare, antique and scholarly books, while the other stocks a huge range of affordable used books. A wonderful place to while away an hour or two.

Gary Hurst, owner of A. Parker's Books and Book Bazaar.


12 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, (941) 365-7900,

Find this charming bookstore on the corner of Main Street and Palm Avenue in downtown Sarasota. Shop the store's extensive book collection in-person or online, where you can also purchase ebooks, audio books and used copies. Join one of the bookstore's many book clubs or plan to attend its poetry readings over Zoom. Has one of the friendliest and most knowledgeable staffs in town.

Brant's Used Books.

Brant's Used Books

429 N. Lime Ave., Sarasota, (941) 365-3658,

Visit one of Florida's oldest and largest independently owned used bookstores. Brant's sells new and used copies in-store or online. Curbside pickup and shipping is available upon request. Donations to keep the store operating are also being accepted.

Elysian Fields

1273 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 361-3006,

If you are into spirituality and conscious living, Elysian Fields is the perfect shop. Enjoy books about astrology, yoga, meditation and more. Or, purchase candles, home decor and jewelry from the gift shop. The store also offers spiritual classes online or in-person.

Goodwill Manasota Bookstores

Two Goodwill bookstores offer a variety of gently used books from all different genres. The stores located at 5831 Derek Ave., Sarasota, and 7200 55th Ave. E., Bradenton, both carry large selections of books.

The Reserve.

The Reserve

1322 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 253-6003,

This series of cottages on the North Trail include a restaurant, a coffee shop, a wine bar and a bookstore. Browse the shop's shelves before or after a delicious brunch. New and used books are both for sale. Request a book to be ordered for you, too.

Shelf Indulgence.

Shelf Indulgence

2805 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 260-5326,

Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while browsing this small but lovingly stocked bookstore's aisles. Used and new books are available for purchase in-store or online. The shop also has an eBay store.

Other Options:

Barnes & Noble

4010 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 923-9907; 200 N. Cattlemen Road, Sarasota, (941) 554-0317;

Find books, ebooks, tablets, journals and magazines at Sarasota's two Barnes & Noble locations. Both include in-house coffee shops and extensive online shopping for classics and new arrivals.


4225 14th St. W., Bradenton, (941) 748-3911; 4230 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice, (941) 496-8422;

Books-a-Million offers any genre book you are looking for, plus magazines, graphic novels and children's books. Purchase in-store or online.

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