June 18, 2014 by Autumn
Nestled in the quaint surroundings of San Marco, stands a magical place.
The San Marco Bookstore.
As a first time visitor to this bookstore I did not know what to expect when walking up to or inside as I approached. I was more than pleasantly surprised. There are large windows in the front of the shop showcasing the creative imagination of the inventor of the display. Upon walking in you are immediately greeted by the warm, delicious scent of old books. This bookstore does not look large from the outside, but it is a different story when you walk in. The first items to catch your eye are the shelves holding the beautifully printed stationary and greeting cards by Papyrus. Their bold colors displaying pictures of far off places, pretty ladies, and issues of thanks invite you to stand there and find what treasures hide inside.
Once you steal yourself away from the Papyrus selections you are left with the real reason to be in this place. The books. An immediate left into the store will lead you to the beginning of the classics section. These books are stunning in the stories waiting inside the pages but also with the untold, secret stories of where they have been. The classics are every books lovers dream and they hold the promise of a new adventure even if you have traveled there before. The entire left wall of the store is lined with the likes some of my personal favorites, such as: Shakespeare, Austen, Hemingway, and Bronte.
If you can pry yourself away from the extensive classics section, other topics of interest include: mystery, food, historical, and children’s. A quick look at the food section had me engaged immediately simply because it was broken down into sub groups. This kind of specific grouping is my and many other extremely organized people’s dream. I really found the sub genre groupings to be an added bonus to an already wondrous store. The children’s section of the store held many titles from lives past as well as favorites of the present.
After you’ve made your way through the books, which can take a while, there are tables, spindles, and shelves that hold all kinds of glorious trinkets. Some of these gifts can be a present to someone else or a token of appreciation to yourself. I personally enjoyed the canvas bags (small and large) that had the covers of famous books printed on their fronts. I found the Little Women one to be delightful in every way.
At some point I did have to leave this store, but I will be back and singing its praises for some time. I was very surprised at its hominess and beauty and was entranced by the presence of the building and all of the beautiful books welcoming you in. The San Marco Bookstore is a true treasure within the city of Jacksonville.