In a time of Kindles, apps and Internet obsession, Gigi Best-Richardson and her husband Harry Richardson, brought it back to the beginning by opening Best Books & Rich Treasures.
Sitting in the Ybor City book store, readers can actually feel the paper in their hands as they go from chapter to chapter.
"We're one of the few antiquarian book stores around and we specialize in African diaspora but we sell everything: used, rare and new," Best-Richardson said. "We have books as cheap as a dollar and first edition collectibles that could be as high as $500."
Best-Richardson and her husband opened their first book store in 1997 in Virginia Beach. Since then, she has worked for the military in a variety of capacities and officially retired and moved to Tampa in 2008.
The husband-wife duo previously ran a couple of other book stores on Interbay and MacDill avenues but moved to the Ybor City storefront, located at 1501 E Ninth Ave., in June.
"Everyone in Ybor City has been very friendly," Best-Richardson said. "We are located across from Hillsborough Community College and the president of the college welcomed us. They've been accepting to new businesses and people seem to be excited that there's a book store here because it's been 10 years or longer since there was one in Ybor City."
Inside the store, readers can relax with a cup of coffee or tea on couches. Outside, there's a chess board where anyone can stop and play.
"We always say that you can't put a Kindle on your shelf, or pass it down to your descendants. That's the beauty of books, especially rare books," Best-Richardson said.
Best Books & Rich Treasures will hold a celebration today from 4:30-6:30 p.m. with a live saxophonist and an entire wall of modern fiction hardbacks for $6 and paper backs for $3.
In the future, the couple plans to host book clubs, chess events and an open mic poetry prose night.
For more information visit bestbooksrichtreasures.com.
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