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Haslam's Book Store

Editor's pick

Categories: Bookstore

Features: Icon

More in this neighborhood: Grand Central District

This St. Petersburg institution has been going strong since 1933, when John and Mary Haslam, both avid readers, opened it to provide other readers with used magazines and books at bargain prices. After World War II they were joined by the second generation, Charles and Elizabeth.

In an age of chain stores selling only new books and using the rest of the space for music or lattes, Haslam's used travel books take up an entire wall; language tapes extend to Arabic, Hebrew, Greek and Serbo-Croatian; and customers can buy a tattered copy of Jack Kerouac's On the Road along with a new John Grisham. 

The business has moved four times to accommodate the growing number of volumes and customers, and today covers 30,000 square feet with over 300,000 books.

It's also reputed to be haunted, according to a Times story from 2002. Several books by Kerouac, the beat generation author who died in 1969, apparently found the shelves unacceptable and would suddenly fly off of them, the Times reported. Kerouac often visited Haslam's.


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Haslam's Book Store - Grand Central District