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Guide to Independent Bookstores in Broward and Palm Beach

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Brandeis Book Store
9070 Kimberly Blvd., Boca Raton. Call 561-852-2650.

The first used-book sale to benefit Brandeis University took place in 1958. It was an innovative approach to raising money, which has been carried through to today in many communities throughout the United States. Brandeis Book Store is organized and operated by dedicated volunteers. All books are donated, and the proceeds replenish the Brandeis University library shelves. The local Brandeis Book Store sells all kinds of books: bestsellers, nonfiction, fiction, biography, art, cookbooks, and more. The store has been open in its current Broward location for 20 years. There were other local locations, but this is the only one that remains. "Our customers can find a well-organized store," says Susan Gould, store manager and volunteer. "Right now, every book is 50 percent off. Paperbacks are normally $2, so that makes them only $1 now." Brandeis also carries collectible books and first editions. All proceeds from the store go directly to Brandeis University.
Undergrounds Coffeehaus
3020 N. Federal Highway, Ste. 5A, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-630-1900, follow on Facebook, or visit Undergroundscoffeehaus.com.

"We're the funky place," says Aileen Liptak, owner of Undergrounds Coffeehaus. Not quite a Starbucks, not quite a Dunkin Donuts, Undergrounds Coffeehaus is a place where people can hang out in comfy chairs, chat in quaint little nooks, or sit down to work or play video games. "It's the perfect place for a first date, to get to know somebody," says Liptak. It still remains a good old-fashioned used-book store, carrying all kinds of gently used books, as well as vendor items like crafts, skincare, handmade clothing, jewelry, etc. Books are mostly $5 and under, and the shop sells all sorts of snacks to go along with the books and conversation carried on throughout the balcony-situated store (even though it's called Undergrounds). "It's like a kid's clubhouse for adults," says Liptak. Undergrounds Coffeehaus isn't a restaurant either, but it is the king of snacks. It sells over 40 flavors of tater tots (such as basic salt and pepper to jerk, curry, and pizza flavored), and they're baked, not fried, which makes them not only tasty but a bit healthier. The shop also offers vegan ice cream, grilled cheese, personal pizzas, egg sandwiches, and pastries, among other fun snacks. It has all sorts of yummy dessert beverages such as the Peanut Butter Cup (peanut butter, espresso, and milk) and the Banana Split (espresso, milk, chocolate, strawberry, and whipped cream with sprinkles on top), along with over 30 different loose-leaf teas, and specialty sodas such as hazelnut colas and Italian and French sodas (ginger ale and Sprite with syrup and cream).

Undergrounds Coffeehaus also has a rentable space, a side room used for baby showers, birthday parties, work meetings, presentations, computer workshops, etc. A few ongoing classes and workshops take place there, such as an acting star who leads a film class every Monday, swing dance instruction the fourth Friday of every month followed by a social, ballet every Sunday, writing classes, musical performances, a comedy group with a show once a month, art shows, and more. The next big upcoming event is Prom on June 18. Undergrounds Coffeehaus will also be celebrating 10 years of business this November. "It's your living room away from home," says Liptak.
Old Florida Book Shop
3426 Griffin Road, Fort Lauderdale. Call 754-400-9150, follow on Facebook, or visit oldfloridabookshop.com


Old Florida Book Shop opened in 1976 in Akron, Ohio, then relocated to Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Virginia, finally finding its home in Fort Lauderdale five years ago. The shop is for intelligent and sophisticated book lovers, typically collectors with a specific niche in mind. "We have one customer, for example, who collects only 17th-century Blaise Pascal," says owner William Chrisant, "and another who collects anything remotely related to Voltaire. We also have a small crowd of generalists, and some just come in to play the piano." Old Florida Book Shop sells good, clean books in collectible condition. The collection includes history, art, architecture, photography, antiques, and fashion with fine antiquarian books and many fine leather bindings, as well as sets from the 18th & 19th centuries. Prices vary from $20 and up, but there is an occasional $5 or $10 book. "In addition to memberships in regional antiquarian booksellers' associations and societies, we are members of the American Antiquarian Booksellers' Association & the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers as well," says Chrisant. Some lovely features of the shop are the 16-foot-high shelves equipped with rolling ladders, a baby grand piano, antique book and display cases as well as book accessories, antique prints, and maps. Their antiquarian stock, which is mostly sold on-line, goes back (in rare cases) to the 15th Century. This store has class and character, and you're sure to lose yourself in the most wonderful way among its monumental collection.
Bluewater Books & Charts
3233 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-763-6533, or visit bluewaterweb.com.

Bluewater Books & Charts is home to nautical books and charts and has the area's largest selection of nautical navigation supplies, including cruising guides, electronic charts, and paper charts. Their electronic and paper charts cover all of the world's oceans and cruising ground. They've been around about 30 years, having changed locations a few times, but recently moving nearer to a lot of other yachting businesses with Vivien Godfrey as the CEO of the company. "Customers can expect to find anything they need pertaining to navigation and charts, along with electronic navigation systems," says Dayle Louwrens, marketing director of Bluewater Books & Charts. The store is not your average retail store, as it is located in a giant warehouse right behind Lester's Diner. "The inventory is quite large," says Louwrens. The store also has a shipping department for online orders, and it keeps some charts at a separate location. "We also have a superyacht division: Bluewater Bridge Services," says Louwrens. "We offer a complimentary onboard navigation inventory for flag state compliance, chart corrections, new build outfitting, and medical kits."
Thousand Pound Egg 
908 NE 20th Ave, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-335-7060, follow on Facebook, or visit thousandpoundegg.com.

Thousand Pound Egg started out as a culinary bookstore over four and a half years ago. But since 2011, it has expanded its merchandise to not only books on cooking, food theory, and entertainment but also other used and new books about design and architecture, vintage collectibles, or various items for sale such as serving ware, local artists' ceramics, jewelry, clothing, a new swim line, pantry items such as jams and honey, oils, vinegars, cookies, salts, spices, chocolates, and hot sauce. It's a great place to buy gifts, but you may just want to buy yourself a present. The store has kept the original terrazzo flooring and is predominantly done in white. The right of the store features lifestyle, ready-to-wear items, and there's a beautiful, round, white vintage pedestal table in the middle that has a seasonally changing display, such as the "summer celebration" complete with outdoor goods like spice rubs, hot sauce, serving platters, and grilling wraps made out of hardwood. "Some people walk in and ask, 'What kind of store is this?'" says Karen Gavrilov, owner of Thousand Pound Egg. "'Stuff I like,' is what I usually answer." The store is definitely unique with its one- or maybe two-of-a-kind items that Gavrilov seeks out from all over the world. "They're always the best things I've found, and it can be anything from a pitcher or serving bowl that's been locally made to something rare from South Africa or Europe. You'll never know what you'll find." Thousand Pound Egg features book signings and author talks. It recently hosted Hedy Goldsmith with her dessert book, Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors. Gavrilov is excited about a new wine shop opening next door and hopes to collaborate with it on future endeavors.
Bob's News and Books
1515 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-524-4731, follow on Facebook, or visit obsnewsandbooks.com.

Bob's News and Books is nearly 50 years old, having been in business since 1975. "We've expanded our offerings as our customers made requests," says manager Seth Cohen. "We like to think that we have something for everyone, and if we don't have it, we will try hard to get it." That's always been the philosophy of Bob's News and Books, now with its third generation of family in the store. They sell a wide range of subjects from Bibles to bondage. Bob's News and Books prides itself on having a well-stocked and organized store, with over 1,600 square feet from floor to ceiling filled with magazines, books, and other interesting stuff from all over the world. "If you can't find it at Bob's, then you probably won't find it anywhere else," says Cohen. They also boast a collection of tobacco and accessories, as well as a full adult section including magazines, books, DVDs, and toys for adults 18 and over. There's a complete collection of newspapers and magazines, including domestic and foreign titles (also available in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and more). Bob's News and Books also proudly supplies magazines to major cruise lines, yachts, private jets, and more, and provides and ships books to correctional institutions. Not from around here? No problem, as Bob's will get its goods to you via UPS and USPS. This place is truly a one-stop-shop for all your news needs.
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