May 22, 2015

Blue Crab Festival, Memorial Day... and books!

Blue Crab Festival, which takes place every year on Memorial Day weekend, kicks off today.  We'll be open for the festival. Come see us for great books about U.S. history, fun book-themed gifts, cookbooks, as well as great new and used fiction and children's books.

We love the festival. Good food, live music, and lots of people watching–who wouldn't? It's one of Putnam County and downtown Palatka's big events each year. It lasts from Friday's live band kickoff 'til Monday afternoon.

On Monday, starting at 10 am, a parade and memorial ceremonies will pay tribute to those who died while serving in the United States armed services. 

Live Music, a Random Sample

  • Big Engine will be playing Saturday and Sunday nights, the 23rd and 24th, (but NOT Friday, according to the their facebook page). 
  • The Red River Band from St. Augustine is performing on Saturday, the 23rd and Monday, the 25th. 
  • STB is a Motown style band from Palm Coast. They'll be in town Sunday.
  • Blistur describes themselves as Alt Metal/Rock/Experimental on their FB page. They'll be experimenting at Blue Crab on Saturday.
To see the whole schedule, check out Blue Crab's FB page

May 20, 2015

SSYRA 2015

Check out our new page devoted to all things SSYRA (Sunshine State Reader Award program books)! It's a work in progress, but you can see the list of books now, and in the future we'll be adding book descriptions and reviews.


Sep 19, 2014

Rob Mattson Will Be Signing 'The Civil War Navy in Florida' next Thursday!

Rob in 2013 as a Union officer
We're glad to welcome local author and friend to the store Robert Mattson, who will be signing his book, The Civil War Navy in Florida, at Read (Think) Books on Thursday, September 25th.

Rob will  be dressed in character as a Union Navy seaman and is offering a sailor-style snack of saltine crackers, pepperoni and sliced cheese, reflecting the standard fare aboard a Navy ship of the time, ship's bisket, salt pork and cheese.

Rob as a Union Navy Seaman
Rob has been involved in living history interpretation of the Naval Civil War for the past nine years as a member of the USS Ft. Henry Living History Association. He is a contributing blogger to the Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial site and lives with his family in East Palatka.

And remember, after learning more about the Civil War navies, you can attend the events of The Occupation of Palatka 1864, happening at the Bronson-Mulholland House on Friday and Saturday. (You'll see Rob there.)

The Civil War Navy in Florida
From the book jacket:
Along the Florida coast throughout the American Civil War, the U.S. Navy was a major part of the Union war effort, engaging in blockade operations, and conducting numerous shore party raids to cut out blockade runners, destroy salt works, capture supplies and free slaves. In this book, I provide overviews and descriptions of U.S. Navy actions in Florida, the ships and men of the Navies in Florida, and some little-known activity of the Confederate Navy in Florida.

Sep 17, 2014

Our Store Bags

Our logo and information plus a nod to the bookstore cat.
I was getting ready to order our standard bags--deep purple and bright green--when I started thinking about how proud I am of them. Not only are they good-looking and sturdy, they are also recycled and recyclable. We buy them from a fabulous company we've been using since we opened, called Nashville Wraps. Let me share what they say about this product:
  • Made in the USA
  • Made in an environmentally certified facility
  • The plastic contains no heavy metals above 100ppm, following US regulations
  • Made from 25-100% recycled Encore® plastics collected in the US
  • 100% recyclable
So I decided to put our logo on them. Hope you like the new look!
New look for our bags!

May 14, 2014

The 2014 Ravine

The 2014 Ravine

For the second annual 2014 Azalea Ravine writing contest, we highlighted the work of local students. Their challenge was to write a story about the people, history and beauty of Florida, within the tiny space of 500 words. With the help of their dedicated teacher, Laurie Alsobrook, Melrose Elementary, one class came through with a group of stories focused on the events of Florida's history, including the 1926 hurricane, Florida cattlemen and cattle rustlers, homesteading, and fighting between settlers and Florida's Native American residents.

The prize winning entries, in order, were: Flashback, by Justin A.; The Great Storm, by Jade C.; and Confederates and Federals, by Austin U. The Cypress Forest, by Sarah G. and Bushwacked!, by Ethan G., received special mention.*

But all the stories were gripping and sympathetic, so we are publishing each of them in the Ravine 2014. Their emotional content reminds me that we adults often don't comprehend kids' depth of feeling. We imagine them in a happy bubble, protected from the knocks of life. We have forgotten who we were as children. 

The Ravine will be available in print at Read (Think) Books by the end of May and is published here on our site. (You can also use the tab under our logo at the top of each page.)

* For privacy, only first names and initials are used.

2015 Writing Contest

Read (Think) Books will offer the Azalea Ravine writing contest again in 2015. We will announce the writing contest format and subject in the fall on our website, Facebook page and by email. If you want to be on our email list, send your email address to

Laurie Alsobrook, teacher, and Beth Nelson, principal, Melrose Elementary School. In front, from left: Justin, Jade, Austin, and Sarah.