There’s nothing quite like walking into a bookstore and soaking in the stories waiting on the shelves. Today, Sept. 6 is National Read a Book Day.

National Read a Book Day, offers book lovers an opportunity to support the literary community, celebrate authors and writers and sustain local shops nearby. 

To celebrate this day in Gainesville, head to these local bookstores to find the next book club read. 

Book Gallery West 

New and used books are nestled on the shelves of Book Gallery West, located at 4121 NW 16th Blvd. This bookstore is a 15-minute drive from the heart of UF campus, located in the Millhopper Shopping Center. Book Gallery West has been open since 1983 and houses over 20,000 items in its inventory. The shop also sells gifts and collectibles.

Third House Books 

This bookstore has curated a collection of independently published books and highlights the voices of marginalized authors and stories. With around 300 books in store, its inventory is designed for customers to browse without feeling overwhelmed, according to its website. The bookstore was founded by Kiren Valjee and established with the intention of creating a safe space to read and learn. When many of Valjee’s favorite local bookstores closed down, he wanted to make a space where people could connect. Third House Books also offers online ordering, where customers can order specific titles at-request and have them mailed to their homes. Third House Books is located at 400 NW 10th Ave. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its storefront is currently closed until further notice.

Benjamin Garner, a 20-year-old UF English junior, said he found Third House Books interesting. 

“They got a lot of unique books that you wouldn't really find in a lot of generic bookstores,” he said. “They cover a lot of different local artists, and I actually bought a few poetry books.”

Eden Books 

While only an online bookstore, Eden Books offers an exclusively romance book selection and strives to create a supportive and inclusive community from Gainesville. Robyn Crawford, founder and CEO, said she created the company when romance author Kristi Weber’s book, “The Wild,” was banned across the major selling platforms. With the help of Crawford's contacts at UF’s College of Business, she connected with the Collaboratory for Women at the UF Innovation Hub to start Eden Books. After a kickstarter campaign in 2018, Eden Books launched in March 2019. 

“People are certainly turning to romance because at the end of the book, they know they're going to get a happily-ever-after and they're going to have that uplifting, satisfying end,” Crawford said. “And with no end in sight, in our reality currently, we need that hope.”

Mega Gaming and Comics 

For Marvel, D.C. and gaming lovers, Mega Gaming and Comics specializes in comic books and all things gaming. . While not a typical bookstore, this mega comic store has hundreds of graphic novels, different kinds of comic books, trading cards and more. . Located at 4000 W Newberry Road, Mega Gaming and Comics offers customers a large selection of reading material and collectibles, perfect for both the comic book and graphic novel fanatics and those wanting to expand their reading horizons.