Do I have good news for book lovers in the Central Florida area, especially Seminole County. We have all felt the loss of Legible Leftovers, which had been the place to go for used books for many years. This blog has probably received more hits from readers searching for information on that store than any other subject. I promised those who found their way here that would I get the word out if another super used book store came along in this area. Well, it certainly has. I visited Best Used Books (880 S. Hwy. 17/92, Longwood, FL) today. It is about a mile or less from the last location of Legible Leftovers. It is in area of the Albertsons on 17/92 a little south of SR 434, near Dan’s Restaurant and Cheap Guys Computers on the west side of 17/92. This is not a dinky little bookstore, although there’s nothing wrong with that. It is expansive with soft and hardcover of any genre you are looking for. There are books and comic books for the kiddies and movies and audio books. Think of Barnes & Nobles. Just about everything you find there, you’ll find here, but with your 50% off credit you’ll manage to take home more. Owners Roxie and John Wall are the kind of people you want to run into while nosing around for your favorite read. They have been in business for twelve years. Best Used Books was first in Maitland for three or four years, then Fern Park at the K-Mart Plaza for years, part of that time running a branch store on I-Drive simultaneously. They have been at the present location for about seven months. Can’t believe I’m only now hearing about it. (Thanks, Abbe.) Roxie said they will honor credits from prior stores, so if you’ve lost them, here they are. I understand their daughter Crystal Buchanan is popular with the reading crowd and helps out there, too. Sorry I didn’t get to meet her. The phone number is 407-339-8200. Hours are:
- Mon. – Sat. 10:00 – 7:00 and
- Sun. – 12:00 – 6:00.
So those of you searching for Best Used Books new location or a replacement for Legible Leftovers, I think you will be pleased. I know I am. Now to start on that pile of books I brought home . . .
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I get several hits a day from people looking for news of Legible Leftovers since I wrote of our disappointment after my husband and I found the former used bookstore in Longwood, FL closed. If you have stumbled upon my blog in a search for news of its closing, I hope the column below from Chris Dawson, consumer reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, will answer most of your questions.
On July 3, I reported the sudden, unexplained closing of the beloved “resale” (used) bookstore in Longwood. One number for owner Linda Mandelbaum was disconnected; the other just rang and rang. A sad final chapter for the venerable literary outpost. Or so it seemed. A reader tip led me to Borders Books where Mandelbaum now works. I left a message, and a few days later received a call from her in Oregon where she was visiting family.
“I spent any number of days crying over this decision,” Mandelbaum said. “The writing has been on the wall since last fall when I learned the rent was going up. It got to the point where I took a part-time job so I was not dipping into my retirement account to keep the store open.”
Mandelbaum sold the bulk of her stock, about 15,000 books, to a Virginia bookstore for $60,000. She put the remaining 5,000 volumes in storage and kept cards with the names of customers holding trade credits from Legible Leftovers. She wanted to send everyone checks for the credits but simply did not have the cash. Customers are advised not to ditch their “Confederate” credits.
“I would like to put Legible Leftovers at least online,” Mandelbaum said. “Maybe a year down the line, I can open a small shop. And if anybody asks, I took the cats home to live with me.”
I hope the information above will answer some of your questions. We are open to news of other used bookstores in the area. Consider this your personal bulletin board for any information you have for fellow book lovers.
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Quite by accident we ran into Linda, from Legible Leftovers today. She is working at a major bookseller, the job she had taken to keep Legible Leftovers afloat, along with tapping her retirement account. I know many of you are distressed over Legible Leftover’s closing and just wanted to bring you up to date. It’s very difficult to keep a used bookstore afloat today and we should be thankful we had this very special one as long as we did.
Oh, the cats are at Linda’s home and well cared for.
Any solutions out there? I would love to have a place where book lovers could bring and take books on the honor system as is done at some offices around town. All that is lacking is a space. Perhaps there is a coffee shop, or lunch or tea room that would draw in customers with just such an innovative use of their extra space. How about it? Any takers out there?
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Something special is disappearing before our eyes—used book stores. Jerry and I rely on Legible Leftovers, a wonderful little bookstore with bibliocats, and mysterious rooms of books. This afternoon we run over for our fix. The door is locked, books shelves are partially empty. It has the look of abandonment. We feel abandoned. How will we feed our habit now? It’s not just the prices; it’s the books you don’t see at Barnes & Nobles. That wonderful book review you read six years ago, but never got the book until you saw it here, the new writer you found along with a stash of her other books, classics you wish you had read, the little book of Haiku found in a tiny poetry room—all in the past.
We hop in the car and drive to a strip center where we once see a bookstore sign. It is a bookstore, but for school books. We go on to the adjacent town. We knew of three bookstores there at one time and think one might be still open. It is, with a parking spot right in front. Our luck seems to be changing. There is even the requisite cat, and a dog for good measure, old books in every space. But search as we do, not one book fits our tastes. Frankly my nose burns from the past-due-for-a-change litter box. It is not a pleasant place to browse.
We can order online, and do, but it’s not the same as wandering through the aisles till something strikes your fancy and reading a little to be sure. At Legible Leftovers one particular kitty would often help in my search, stopping at the shelf where I’d find the perfect book. My friend says a small, new store will open soon in another adjacent town. Dare we hope?
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