Spotlight on Bookstores: *Urban Think!* in Orlando, Florida
I recently discovered Sandy and her blog, You’ve GOTTA Read This! She’s been blogging for about six months, is having a lot of fun with it, has joined several reading challenges and been given an impressive number of awards from fellow bloggers. Sandy quit the corporate life 4 1/2 years ago to stay home with her children, now 9 and 11. Her passion for cooking and wine almost matches her passion for reading. Sandy and her kids seek out lighthouses when they travel, and she is now inspired to “collect” independent bookstores as well. When I read the post about *Urban Think!* on You’ve GOTTA Read This! I asked Sandy if we could re-run it as a Spotlight post. She readily agreed, and I’ve added only a few images and links to her original post. This looks like a fun and funky place to visit the next time my family is in Orlando; I love the added bonuses of their pricing structure ($1 above Amazon), and that it’s within walking distance of her kids’ school.
This past Monday Musings got me thinking about where I shop for my books. Because it’s handy, and because I get almost daily coupons via e-mail, I shop at Borders. Yes, it is overstuffed with junk other than books, but I can always find what I want once I dig my way through the candy, fuzzy pencils, calendars and posters. Sometimes I will make an impulsive book purchase at Target now and again as well. But what about the independent bookstore? I was excited about the idea. I know they usually carry a more eclectic selection of things to read, which is right up my alley. They generally provide better customer service. But I’ve never seen one in all my wanderings around Orlando. So I went on a mission yesterday, and here is what I found:
The name of the store is Urban Think! It is a delightful little place, situated in downtown Orlando, in the hip and happening neighborhood of Thornton Park. (You want to hear the crazy thing? I can walk there from my kids’ school!) As you can see below, they have comfy little places to curl up, they have wireless access of course, some nice unplugged music in the background, and under the same roof, a bar called “Infusion Tea” where you can not only get some great hot or cold herbal tea (free with book purchase), you can also have a glass of vino. OK, so why would I want to leave this place?
From browsing their website here, I see they have frequent events, signings, etc. You can shop online as well as in person. They guarantee their online prices are $1 over Amazon, which is fair. If you spend enough each year on buying online, you consider signing up as an Online Urban Thinker for $79, and all your shipping is free. This will also grant you 25% off your in-store purchases. Hmmm…that would be like opening Pandora’s box for me!
I vowed that if I purchased anything, it would be something that contributed to my reading challenges. I walked away with Jack Kerouac’s On the Road for my classics reading challenge, and Elie Wiesel’s Night for my WWII reading challenge.So I got out of my comfort zone yesterday, and I’m glad I did it. I intend to do a little more exploring around town, and see what else I can find!