After Sarah from LaRueBoweRs Photography made a splash with her first book store profile of Bearly Read Books, I am so thrilled to have her back for a second time around! This time she headed to Florida and checked out a great store called Second Edition. Read about her experience and check out the amazing gallery below!
In my life, I find it rare for people to agree on even the most simple of things. Ask five friends for a great pizza place and you’ll get six different answers. Where do you find a great cup of coffee? Again, answers varying across the board. So I knew something must be up when I asked friends to recommend a local bookshop in Broward County, Florida (where I’m vacationing) and every one said Second Edition in Davie. Now, I’ll admit, prior to my trip to Florida I stalked the Internet for some ideas on where to go and I was at a loss. Sites would give me litters of comic book stores, but nothing like I was looking for. So when my mother, my sister, and several friends all mentioned Second Edition, I just had to go.
For this series, I have decided I don’t want to call ahead and make it known that I’m coming. I feel like doing so would have a negative effect on this blog. I like to walk in (without my camera) and see the place first hand. I like to think that if someone is reading this blog they, themselves, can have the same exact experience I’m presenting when they walk through the doors.
When I asked friends for recommendations on book shops, I never specified what I was looking for. I never said that I wasn’t seeking a big box store or even that I was seeking a store for photos. As I walked through the front door of Second Edition I was pleasantly surprised to see that there appears to be a universal idea behind what a proper bookstore should be – and Second Edition was absolutely it.
On the exterior, the shop fights with the modern look of a typical Florida strip mall but once you open the door to the shop you are transported to a whole new, or rather old, world. The air in the shop is crisp and cool – a perfect escape from the Florida heat – and in it lingers scents from candles burning around the shop. There is no heavy or musty odor, something I’ll later learn is due to the Ozone Air Purification system that was installed not only to remove any odors, but also to protect the books. Four beautiful leather chairs greet you in front of the shop surrounded by a mound of popular books. A fireplace sits near the counter with a beautiful display of special editions and the owner’s personal favorites on the mantel, including Pinocchio by Collodi and Four Plays of Henrik Isben. The beautiful, dark wood shelves are lined with books on every topic imaginable as well as trinkets and knick-knacks that I soon find out are all antiques from the owner and her family.
This brings me to the owner. Behind the counter is Danielle Joy-Whatley, owner of the Second Edition Book Shop. She has bright eyes and a big smile that she shares with everyone who walks through the door. As I wander through the shop I hear Danielle greeting her customers by name and helping them recount what book they are on in a certain series. These conversations sound less like a shopkeeper and her customers and more like friends catching up on the latest in book news. And the friendliness isn’t reserved for just the “usuals”; as I ask Danielle about the shop I can’t help but feel like she is someone I’d like to have as a friend. She is enthusiastic about her store and every little detail about it, from the fire truck that sits on a shelf under her sign (it belonged to her husband when he was a boy), to the beautiful paintings that hang above her fireplace (they were “borrowed” from her mom and they get switched out in the winter with snow filled replacements). When I ask her about her favorite book, her eyes light up like a child who’s just been given a choice between an ice cream cone or a candy bar. (Though she admits it’s a tough decision, she points to a 1964 book club copy of Gone with the Wind that she has on display in the store).
While Danielle is cheerful and personable and has an amazing knack for making people feel right at home (she will probably admit to none of these), she is not the star of Second Edition Book Shop. That honor goes to The Great Catsby, the shop’s mascot and, as I’m told, a bit of a local celebrity. I was not able to meet Catsby during my visit (he just had an eye exam) but his greatness doesn’t require an in person meeting to be felt. In fact, Catsby has his own online following. His fans littered the shop’s Facebook page enough that the owners created a special Instagram account just for Catsby. The account boasts nearly 500 clearly devoted followers who love to dote on the adorable feline and his daily on goings.
There is a reason that Second Edition won the title of “Best Book Store” by WPLG Channel 10 and it’s this: the little things. Second Edition Book Shop is a beautifully designed and excruciatingly well thought out store. Every aspect of the store has been carefully fashioned to provide a comfortable atmosphere that just makes you feel at home (admittedly, as I’m writing this I’m yearning to stretch out in one of the cozy reading corners with a book while letting my little one hang out in the adorable children’s corner).
A special thank you to Danielle Joy-Whatley for her hospitality during my visit to Second Edition. I will definitely see you when I’m back in December to see the beautiful holiday transformation!
Second Edition Book Shop
6831 Stirling Road • Davie, FL 33024 • 954-961-5063