Whenever I’m in the Florida panhandle, a stop is going to be made at Seaside’s Sundog Books if at all possible. I love everything about this place. The entire right half of the store is given over to fiction and the books are loosely arranged by categories that you aren’t going to see in chain stores, like “international fiction”, “contemporary fiction”, “historical fiction”, etc.
And as I recently found out, they’ve given up trying to arrange the books alphabetically by either author or title. The books just find a home on the shelves in the general neighborhood of where they might find themselves in a more rigorous classification system. The store demands browsing! On my visit, I could not find Karen Russell’s Swamplandia! in any of the places that I thought to look. It occurred to me that they might have sold out, this being Florida. I finally asked and was directed to the lone remaining copy in “Southern fiction.” Of course!
The staff recommendations section is especially strong, and it was a little spooky to discover that “Bob” and I have read almost all of the same books over the last year and a half. It turns out that Bob is the owner. Unfortunately, he was not in. I’ll have to make another trip to congratulate him on his excellent recommendations and running a first rate bookstore.