The Island Book Nook has been nestled inside Palm Ridge Plaza on Sanibel for many years. But if you have strolled passed the window recently, there have been some visible alterations made inside the modest used bookstore.
"After three years, we decided to spruce up the place," said Book Nook owner Melanie Wiford, who purchased the store in September 2008.
Glass shelves now adorn the front window display and four bookcases with adjustable shelving have been added to compliment the wider, taller books. By realigning the L-shaped front counter more display space was created for the new lines of merchandise Dover Thrift Additions and Suzy Toronto's Wacky Women.
The Island Book Nook, which is located at 2330 Palm Ridge Road or inside Palm Ridge Plaza, stocks more than 10,000 used paperback books selling for 60 percent of the publishers price. You will find topics like romance, war, science fiction and horror, among many others.
"(Wacky Women) is a great gift line," said Wiford, who snatched up the merchandise since neighbor John Allan Designs will be moving off island. "We hated to see it leave the island, so we agreed to pick it up and carry the books, greeting cards, bookmarks, wallet cards and bag tags."
The Island Book Nook stocks more than 10,000 used paperbacks selling for 60 percent of the publisher's price. Within the rows of thousands of books neatly lining the shelves, you are likely to find every topic imaginable romance, children, war, science fiction, horror, large print editions and foreign language.
"We carry a great selection of many different authors in a lot of different genres," noted Wiford, whose main inventory is comprised of traded books through the store's exchange program.
As a paperback exchange bookstore, The Island Book Nook will issue store credit for your gently used paperback books towards other books or audio books in the store. The credit can then be used at that time or saved for a later purchase within two years.
"The way it works is purchases using store credit is half cash payment and half of your store credit," explained Wiford. "I consider it to be a very successful program. It's our way of recycling."
To make more room in the 1,000-square-foot shop for books by local authors and of local interest, Wiford recently cut hardback books from her inventory. There is more of a demand for paperback books, especially islanders who enjoy a good book on the beach. The only drawback of that move, Wiford said, is books are often released only in hardback.
"It may limit most recent releases in the future," she added. "But we were overstocked and they just weren't moving."
The Book Nook is more than books, though. You can find those useful laminated island identification guides and maps for both Sanibel and Captiva, along with guides to birds, the night sky, butterflies and snakes. Also the Book Nook has a great selection of bookmarks, postcards, hard and soft book covers and a line of greeting cards designed by local artist Myra Roberts; and always a supply of Sanibel Captiva phone books, which are free of charge.
The Island Book Nook is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from January to April 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. It is always closed on Sundays. Visit the web site at www.theislandbooknook.com for more information on the used book exchange program.
Browse the Nook at 2330 Palm Ridge Road for that special book.