MicklerSmith Florida Book Traders at BeachHunter.net
MicklerSmith: A place of discovery
MicklerSmith Florida Book Traders is probably the perfect place for Florida Beaches--Finding Your Paradise on the Lower Gulf Coast. Both are about discovery.
The bookstore devoted to Florida subjects and Florida authors is nestled in a corner of Old Northeast, one of St. Petersburg's oldest and most charming neighborhoods. It's on one of those old brick streets in a commercial building that was constructed during the Roaring Twenties. That was a special time for St. Petersburg, a time when the city acquired its Mediterranean architectural look.
The shop has a charm all its own. The coffee is always on and there are sweet delicacies and folks who are willing to talk about Florida literature at the slightest provocation. The proprietor is T. Allan Smith, an editor, writer and filmmaker, who opened the store because he wanted to continue a tradition that started more than four decades ago.
The visitor will discover volumes by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Zora Neale Hurston, John D. MacDonald, Carl Hiaasen and many, many more. To the uninitiated, those are some of the top writers ever to spin tales about the Sunshine State. Of course, the store also has contemporary works. There are gorgeous coffee table books with photographs of the natural and manmade beauty of the state, nature and weather books, volumes on the Everglades and the Keys, and, naturally, guidebooks of all kinds, not the least of which is Florida Beaches--Finding Your Paradise on the Lower Gulf Coast.
Smith speaks of the enterprise as more of a mission than a retail endeavor. "We are honored to carry on the work of Tom and Georgine Mickler," says Smith.
The Micklers founded Mickler's Floridiana in 1963, and over time became the premier purveyors of Florida literature. People who loved Florida would visit their old Florida home, Florida Breezes, to discover forgotten treasures they stored in various rooms of the rambling house. And for more than 15 years a retail store operated in nearby Oviedo.
Today the mission remains the same, says Smith, to provide the very best in Florida literature. But he apparently doesn't stop at mere books. Indeed, the store has begun stocking indigenous Florida music--Folk music composed and sung by talented musicians throughout the state.
Pete Gallagher and Bobby Hicks, hosts of The Florida Folk Show on WMNF 88.5 FM, have been getting the word out to their devoted listeners, many of whom are musicians themselves. They've let it be known that they'll find a welcome home at MicklerSmith.
And the collection continues to grow. Tucked among the array of living performers are such renowned singer-songwriters as the late Gamble Rogers and the late Will McLean.
Florida painters also find space to exhibit at MicklerSmith. David Leonard, painter of olde Florida, is exhibiting his Collision of Worlds: The Desoto Expedition in Tampa Bay 1539, a show that depicts moments from history when the Spanish first came to the Florida peninsula and landed on the beach.
Indeed, for the dedicated beach hunter, MicklerSmith provides plenty of treasures to discover, and, perhaps, take along on the next outing to the beach, to curl up in a beach chair while the waves lap underfoot.
MicklerSmith Florida BookTraders is located at 718 Second Streeet N, St. Petersburg, 33701. It's in Old Northeast on Second Street North at Seventh Avenue North.