627 St. Johns Avenue, Palatka, Florida
Store Hours:
Monday - Saturday • 10 - 5 • Phone: (386) 227-7752
Open late for special events!

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 store@readthinkbooks.com

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

Feb 25, 2014

Local Author Book Signing

Local authors will be signing their books between 11 am and 6 pm on Saturday, March 1st, the first day of Azalea Festival. Please come by to buy a signed copy of your favorite book!

Author Line-up

11 am – 1 pm  


Skye Taylor

Skye Taylor
Skye will be signing her 2012 book, Whatever It Takes, a book of political intrigue, and is promoting her upcoming book Falling for Zoe, the first in her contemporary romance series The Camerons of Tides Way.

Skye spent two years in the South Pacific working with the Peace Corps, earned a sky diving license, and is currently working on the second book in the Camerons series.


Praise for her first book:
 "Whatever It Takes by Skye Taylor is an absolutely fabulous debut! Check it out if you love political intrigue."
Tracey Garvis Graves, author of Times best-seller, On The Island.
About Falling for Zoe:
When Zoe Callahan meets her new neighbor she discovers love hasn’t given up on her, even if the man who got her pregnant did. Now she just needs to figure out why Jake is so determined not to let the heady attraction that sizzles between them turn into something more than friendship. 

Karen Hudgins

Karen will be signing her books When Hearts Speak, set in the Magnolia Midlands of Georgia, and Best Man.

Karen lives in Jacksonville and writes contemporary romance fiction. Her degree degree in Behavioral Science helps her create vibrant and memorable fictional characters involved with matters of the heart. She loves to spend time with readers and booklovers. 


From the cover of When Hearts Speak:
Sarah Grace Mayhew, a Southern widow, avoids new love. When enigmatic Wyatt Harper lifts her from a fountain, he gets under her wet skin. Yet how can she love the man whose phantom enemy also targets her? And why should Wyatt cherish a woman tied to his family’s worst nightmare? Only their hearts can say…

1 pm – 3 pm  

Bob H. Lee

Bob H. Lee

Bob will be signing his popular book, Backcountry Lawman: True Stories from a Florida Game Warden.


From the book jacket:

In the underbelly of Florida, hardened poachers operate in the dark, out of sight and away from residents who sleep soundly through the night. But poachers are not the only midnight hunters. In the state’s public wilderness tracts, cattle ranches, and water courses, wildlife thieves are stealthily and silently tracked.

Praise for Backcountry Lawman:
"As thrilling as any Indiana Jones epic."
Florida Times-Union
"If you want to know how old-time game wardens did it, read this book."
 Chris Christian, Contributing Editor, Outdoor Life Magazine
"Has something for everybody, including white-knuckle boast chases in the dark, surveillance on bird poachers, deer decoy operations, and even an entertaining, yet important, pollution case."
International Game Warden

Jack Owen

Jack will be signing his books Jekyll Island Enigma, Up and Down the Ditch, and Midshipman Porter in Harm’s Way. Jack has written for a variety of venues from the "National Fisherman" to the "National Enquirer." His books include tales of the rich, famous and infamous, of Palm Beach.


From Goodreads:

Greed and Nazi plans of conquest found an able match in a Russian industrialist emigre in the weeks before Pearl Harbor propelled the United States into World War II.

Linda Schilling Mitchell

Linda will be signing her new book Dear Mrs. Schneider... Please Excuse Walter.


Linda Schilling Mitchell
From the description:

"...takes you on a journey using a variety of notes written during the great depression years of 1937-1940 as stepping stones.

It was during those years in Newport, Kentucky, that third grade teacher Miss Schneider began collecting the written excuses the mothers of her students sent in as to why their children were absent from school. These humble, heartfelt and sometimes humorous notes have been cloistered in a scrapbook for more than seventy years."  

Book trailer:


3 pm – 5 pm 


G.A. Teske

Links to the Past, by G.A. Teske
Jerry will be signing his books in the The Soul Sword Chronicles series


Praise for the first book in the series, The Gnome in the Tapestry:

"...a wonderful story of courage, friendship & adventure. Jerry Teske brings to life a vivid portrait of three young friends in their quest to find the last elf king. Creatures of fantasy, both good and evil, spring to life in this fast paced novel that is sure to thrill."
Hilary Hemingway, author of Dreamland and Dreamchild.

C. L. Roman

C.L. Roman
Cheri will be signing her book Descent.

Cheri is a writer, editor, teacher, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, in whatever order works best in the moment. Most days you can find this Sisters in Crime member working on her blog, "The Brass Rag," or working on the next novel in her fantasy series, Rephaim. Cheri lives with her husband and two Chihuahuas in Florida.

From the cover:
When Captain Fomor leads six angelic warriors to Earth in an attempt to escape the war in Heaven, not only do they unwittingly set into motion the age of legends, but they must face an inescapable evil that threatens to destroy them, the humans they fall in love with, and the Earth itself. 

4 pm – 6 pm

Larry Brasington

Larry will be signing his new book Nell’s Tavern.

About Nell's Tavern:

To hungry aliens, an frontier planet with no military presence looks like an invitation to lunch. 

Constable Mike Boone never expected his quiet morning ride investigating rumors of dead livestock to take a turn into a war. Confronted by plasma rifle-toting aliens, he finds himself out gunned and outnumbered.
In a desperate bid to save the planet, Boone reluctantly enlists the aid of an old enemy banished for his part in a bloody stellar conflict. 

Complicated by the aliens' strange allies and an even stranger artifact, and with battles raging in space and on the planet, the action rushes to a furious climax.


Jan 18, 2014

Azalea Festival Writing Contest – Deadline February 8th

Read (Think) Books, along with Florida Azalea Festival, announces the Second Annual Azalea Festival Writing Contest. This year, we are highlighting the work of local students, 3rd through 12th grade.


Fiction story focused on the people, history and beauty of Florida.


  • High School (9th – 12th): Limit 800 words
  • Middle School (6th – 8th): Limit 500 words
  • Elementary School (3rd – 5th): Limit 300 words 


February 8, 2014 


Submit your contest entry at Read (Think) Books, 627 St. Johns Avenue, Palatka, Florida 32177.  To be eligible for submission, make sure each entry:
  • has as title
  • is printed in 12 point type
  • is double-spaced
  • is single-sided
  • has a cover page with the author’s name and phone number.


Prizes will be awarded for the winning High School, Middle School and Elementary School entries. Winners will be notified before the festival and announced during the festival at Read (Think) Books. Each winner will have the opportunity to present their work alongside local published authors throughout the festival. 

The Ravine

All winning entries are eligible to be published in The Ravine, our Azalea Writing Contest collection. Winning authors need to submit their story electronically (.docx, .pdf, .doc, .odt, .txt, or in the body of the email) by March 2nd to: store@readthinkbooks.com, or in person on a USB drive.

The Ravine can be ordered for $10.00 during the festival, and will be available for sale later in the bookstore.

More Information

For more information, contact Read (Think) Books by email, phone  – (386) 227-7752  – or follow updates on our Facebook page: facebook.com/readthinkbooks.


All entries must be the original creation of the submitting author. All rights must be owned by the author and shall remain the property of the author. The author gives permission to the Azalea Festival and Read (Think) Books to publish and display the entry in The Ravine and on the web.
Contest entries will not be returned.