Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Book lovers' support keeps Hernando's Book Fair strong as a national chain fades

SPRING HILL

Ann Wilson admitted she sometimes buys books online, but really, the retired librarian likes the way they feel between her fingers. She's among a throng of loyal customers who frequent one of Hernando County's only book stores, the Book Fair in Spring Hill. And as the national book chain Borders prepares to close its remaining stores because of poor sales, the Book Fair's owner said faithful patrons like Wilson have kept the local shop flourishing, even in the face of Internet sellers and a haggard economy.

"I'm really doing quite well," said Ruth Wharton, who has owned the shop at 1219 Kass Circle for the last 27 years. "There are still people who like to go in and look around and feel the books."

The store's low prices have helped as well.

"I've been coming here for years," said April Rickert, 25, who teaches special education in Pasco County and was shopping Wednesday. "I don't shop at Borders or places like that. It's too expensive."

Because 98 percent of Wharton's reading material is used, she can charge far less than many competitors. When people bring in books to the store, Wharton gives them credit toward others she has for sale. Her method, says the 70-year-old, is "kind of like recycling."

There are no Borders stores or any other national outlets in Hernando County. People who once shopped at the big book chains, Wharton said, may now be coming to shops like hers because of the discounts.

Still, Wharton said, she is sad to see Borders close.

"There has always been a place for them," she said. "The economy, I think, is just killing everybody. I certainly hate to see them go."

Wharton is also concerned that fewer people seem to be reading these days.

Maria Male-Basile, who manages Inner Peace Bookstore and Wellness Center on W Jefferson Street in Brooksville, has seen the same decline, noting that business lately had been slow.

"It may be because people buy the books they can download," Male-Basile said, "but I like to have a book in my hand."

Book lovers' support keeps Hernando's Book Fair strong as a national chain fades 07/20/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 8:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. An annotated look at week 2 of the Bucs on 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    We're back for another episode of The Annotated Hard Knocks, trying to find behind-the-scenes insights and things you might have missed in Tuesday's second episode of "Hard Knocks," following the Bucs in …

    As the crowd recognized him and got loud, Jameis Winston jumped up and down in celebration. [GREG AUMAN | Times]
  2. Review: 'The Defenders' brings out the best in Marvel's unlikeliest heroes

    Blogs

    The ties that bind Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist run deep. But they're just starting to figure all that out in The Defenders.

    Mike Colter, Scott Glenn, Finn Jones, Krysten Ritter and Charlie Cox in The Defenders.
  3. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson can't keep 'The Hitman's Bodyguard' on-target

    Movies

    The Hitman's Bodyguard is an assault tank on semi-automatic pilot, spraying jokes and bullets with only the ammo consistently hitting its targets. The irresistible teaming of Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson might be even funnier if they missed once in a while.

    Samuel L. Jackson, left, and Ryan Reynolds star in "The Hitman's Bodyguard." (Lionsgate)
  4. Hillsborough leaders ask for patience as multiple schools still suffer from broken air conditioners

    K12

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins and his facilities chief appealed to parents Wednesday to be patient as the district works through chronic air conditioning problems — and to advocate for more state funding.

    Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins says air conditioning problems at multiple schools are a "major concern" for the district. [SKIP O'ROURKE  |  Times]
  5. Hillsborough will leave Confederate monument up if it can't get private money to move it

    Local Government

    TAMPA — If the money needed to move Tampa's Confederate monument can't be raised privately in 30 days, then the monument will stay where it is, Hillsborough County Commissioners decided Wednesday.

    The Hillsborough County Commission voted last month to move the Memoria in Aeterna Confederate monument from the old county courthouse to a private family cemetery. CHRIS URSO   |   Times