Nestled beside a natural remedies shop in a stucco shopping center a mere two miles from campus, The Book Pedaler is a cozy bookstore offering a more intimate and homey atmosphere than any place on campus. While specializing in rare and antique books at a surprisingly affordable rate, they recently sold a signed copy of Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends, the store carries plenty of book types.
The front room of the store is a cornucopia of different genres: general fiction books from famous authors like Stephen King, young adult and children’s books, art and how-to craft books, drama and poetry, myths and classics, and feminist literature. This is not even to dive into the back room of the store, which is filled with non-fiction material on topics such as religion and history.
“We just want people to come and sit, read and browse, chat,” events and social media manager Danielle Bonderer said. “We try to cater to everyone who loves to read.”
The store is also firmly rooted in the community and forms partnerships with other local businesses and organizations. Local artists’ work hangs on the walls, readings from local authors like Nic Schuck are held, and the store hosts a steady stream of free and open events. These have recently included a book reading from Olive Baptist Church’s chef complete with his food and Bon Beans Coffee beverages. Another event was a writers’ bunch with bottomless mimosas and tips about independent publishing from local authors Julie Still-Rolin and Trish Taylor.
“The main aim of our store is to become a positive part of the community,” store owner David Green said.
The Book Pedaler has been up and running for three years, and David sees the store as tapping into a nostalgia for an earlier time, when bookstores fueled counterculture. He also sees the store as being a part of a growing culture of independent businesses in the north Pensacola area.
“Everything’s Amazon, everybody stays at home and orders, so we’re going to create a place to go outside of your house, mingle with the community, and relax. You don’t have to buy a book and get out. You can stay, you can talk books if you want,” says David.
For students tired of spending time in the library, the store provides a place with a natural and organic environment away from the pressure of studying. Plus, pricing for books is perfect for students as it starts at around only four dollars. Things will soon get even more perfect for students, as the store is working on getting complimentary tea and table space. They’re even exploring something like an open mic night that would be apt for campus creative writers.
The Book Pedaler is located at 2475 E 9 Mile Road and open from Monday through Friday, 10 to 6, and on Saturdays from 10 to 4. Their next event will be May 19th, a Sunday, from 4 to 6. It is an art show from local artists where you can browse and purchase their work. You can follow them on Instagram and Facebook for news on upcoming events.