Events Key to Local Bookstores Success
JAN 2, 2015. PUNTA GORDA. By Marilyn Thorndycraft. [Excerpt]
With the continual growth of technology and the ease with which literature can be downloaded to phones, tablets and computers, there seems to be a growing opinion that traditional book reading is going out of style. But that couldn't be more incorrect. Just look at Punta Gorda's locally owned bookstore - Sandman Books.
Scott Hill and his wife, Heidi Lange, moved to the area in 2007. A couple of years later, when they decided to expand their online book business by opening a store, they found the perfect place at Turtle Crossing Plaza (on Burnt Store Road in Punta Gorda). Lange said they wanted a location that lacked easy access to libraries and other bookstores. WIth more than 100,000 used books, both new and used, the store offers books for every reader's taste.
"Even people with Kindles often prefer a book in hand for pool and beach reading," Lange said. She added, "We see a lot of tourists who are seeing Florida authors." It should come as no surprise then that the couple initated a Local Author Book Club, which meets once a month and enables club members to interact with neighborhood authors.
Also once a month, they hold an Author Open House, inviting a large number of authors to spend a day at the bookstore to meet readers and people interested in becoming writers.
After opening the bookstore, Hill literally built a bridge made of books - it contains more than 4,000 of them. He is responsible for desinging and biulding the myriad of shelves in the shop, too.
Lange's sister, Harmony, a professional harpist who recently moved to Punta Gorda, often can be found among the books, playing her harp and providing a serene ambiance at the store.