CARROLLWOOD – Book Swap of Carrollwood is a used-book store that has been providing affordable reading pleasure to its customers for 30 years. Located in the Village Center, at 13144 N. Dale Mabry Highway, the shop is open seven days a week and carries some new books, including best-sellers and literature classics, as well as some hard cover books, most of its business is in used books. The majority of the books carried are paperbacks.
“Not everyone collects books once they have read them, and people can recycle their books here,” says Cynthia Floyd, who has owned Book Swap since 2007. “Our books are not free, like the library, but our prices are reduced quite a bit. We don’t carry a lot of hard cover books, since our customers seem to prefer paperbacks. We carry all genres, from health to self-help, art and history to the classics, but most of our books are fiction. Also, we carry quite a few audiobooks on compact disc.”
Book Swap sells used books at a 40 to 75 percent discount off of the cover price, but customers who bring in their unwanted books can save even more.
“If we can use the books a customer brings in, we give them store credit of up to $2 for each paperback, up to $4 for each hard cover and up to $5 for each audiobook,” Floyd said. “Customers can then use the store credit toward half the price of used books and 30 percent of the price of new books.”
Book Swap gets new books in once a week, but used books show up almost every day, which keep the shelves in the shop’s many rooms well-stocked with new titles. Because so many used books pass through the shop, keeping a computer log of what is currently on the shelves would be too time-consuming. However, employee Kristi Via says that Book Swap’s inventory is so well-organized that it takes moments to determine if a particular title is in stock. If it isn’t on the shelves, the staff is more than happy to special order it for a customer.
Special orders, or tracking down hard-to-find books, are part of the personal customer service that Floyd says helps to set Book Swap apart from other book stores.
The store has one sizeable room just for children’s books, with selections for young readers of all ages. For those in junior high and high school, the store carries a large selection of new and used classics as well, including most of the ones that are frequently assigned in class. Additionally, college students can rent their textbooks through Book Swap for much less than the cost of purchasing the books.
“We do a lot with the summer reading programs as well,” Floyd adds. “We get the lists from the schools so that we can be sure to carry all of those books.”
For more information, call (813) 963-6979.