7 Bookstores in Jacksonville, FL [That Readers Love]


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Key Points:

  • Chamblin Bookmine is the best place to find older, antique, and rare books. It’s also the best place to spend a day, with thousands of titles spread across the nooks and crannies of both Chamblin locations.
  • Small, independent bookstores are also dotted throughout the Bold City, including San Marco Books and More, Femme Fire Books, and The Literary Lounge.
  • It’s not a bookstore, but don’t miss out on the Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library book sales. You’ll be able to pick up lots of great books very cheaply. 

Jacksonville has a vibrant literary scene, including local authors telling tales and documenting the rich history of the First Coast – including one well-known author who was my neighbor! There are both local and chain bookstores to find everything from the latest best-seller to that rare book on your reading list.

One unique thing I always loved about living in Jacksonville was the numerous little downtown areas: downtown Avondale, downtown San Marco, the shops at Riverside, etc. You’ll find some independent bookstores here. You’ll also find bookstores on the main thoroughfares and in downtown Jacksonville.

Let’s look more closely at 7 bookstores in Jacksonville where you can get your reading fix.

Chamblin Bookmine

It’s easy to get lost in all the shelving you’ll find at the Chamblin Bookmine. But here, that’s a good thing.

First up is Chamblin Bookmine. This independent bookstore has two locations: one downtown (or “uptown”), and one on Roosevelt Boulevard, near Target. 

Both locations have a very impressive collection of new and used books, spanning a wide range of genres, from classic literature to contemporary fiction. They also both have a lot – and I mean a lot – of older, hard to find gems. It’s easy to get lost in both stores, with all the nooks and crannies slammed full of books.

My parents and both of my brothers love books and spent a lot of their time when visiting me in Jacksonville at each of these locations. I think my older brother and his wife spent almost a day just in the downtown location!

The downtown location has a little cafe in the front, with seating by the window. It’s a good place to check out the new addition to your library. The Roosevelt Boulevard location is larger; if you love books, you need to check out both of them.

San Marco Books and More

My son pacing back and forth, going nuts over the flamingos. If you’re the owner and reading this, thank you!

The owner of San Marco Books and More doesn’t know it, but her window display really saved my son during the height of the COVID pandemic (even though the store was closed). He was just a toddler and she had flamingos in the window, which he loved at the time. We of course took him so we could get some fresh air when everyone was on lockdown.

He also spent plenty of time staring at the classic The Little Train That Could. We finally bought it for him when she reopened. I think that was my first time actually in the store, but I had spent plenty of time looking in the window!

The bookstore is a San Marco landmark. It is small, with a really nice collection of books for all ages. There is also a nice assortment of stationary and other gifts inside.

The Literary Lounge

The Literary Lounge is in the Murray Hill neighborhood, which is one of my favorite places in Jacksonville. It’s a small, cozy independent bookstore packed with great reads. 

There is also a nice little sitting area, with a couch and some places by the window. There are drinks for sale and also a small assortment of gifts and other items.

While you’re in Murray Hill, be sure to drop by Community Loaves for coffee, pastries, or lunch.

Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library

Everyone loves a good library book sale, and the Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library hosts them regularly. The best part is that the books are cheap, so you can enjoy guilt-free shopping.

Here again, this was great for my son when he was a toddler. We picked up a bunch of different books, and we could let him pick out a lot of them. We read them for a while and passed them onto the next child.

If you live in the Jacksonville area, you can also volunteer with the group to help with their book sales.

Femme Fire Books

First off, what a cool little bookstore. Femme Fire Books is in the Riverside neighborhood, on the corner of Stockton and Park. It’s on that little strip of shops, just a driveway’s walk away from the street and right next to Cultivar.

It’s very small but packed with goodies, and people rave about both their selection of books and also their experience ordering online from them. They also host regular events, so be sure to check their schedule on their website.

Happy Medium Books Cafe

Happy Medium Books Cafe is also in the Riverside neighborhood, just a short walk from Femme Fire Books and near Cool Moose Cafe. It is very bright, open, and has a modern beachy feel. It’s a great place to discover new authors and new titles.

The best part about this bookstore is that it combines coffee and books. Here you’ll find local books and local coffee, along with a great collection of both new and used books from national authors.

The cafe also offers free WiFi and hosts book signings, book clubs, and even live music.

Barnes and Noble

I know it’s a chain, but what list would be complete without Barnes and Noble? The onslaught of bookstores closures, including the complete collapse of Borders, after online shopping took hold of the market taught all of us how important bookstores are, both large and small. There are two locations in Jacksonville, on San Jose Boulevard and Midtown Parkway in the St. Johns Town Center.

I personally love going to Barnes and Noble. Obviously, the selection of books is great, but like most people I enjoy the cafe and magazines too. My wife loves seeing the stationary and other little gift-y kinds of stuff. It’s expensive, but they always seem to have really unique items.

The Bottom Line

Jacksonville has a thriving literary scene, with independent bookstores and local authors offering up your next title. Both locations of the Chamblin Bookmine are not-to-be missed, with thousands and thousands of books, including rare, antique, and hard-to-find treasures.

Independent bookstores in the historic neighborhoods curate literary pieces that will help you discover your next favorite. Last but not least, Jacksonville is home to Barnes and Noble that also needs your support to keep bookstores alive and well.