After thirty years of business, Book Gallery West has earned its place as a Gainesville landmark. What started off as a textbook store, soon branched to create a bookstore in the west side of town. Now on its 30th anniversary, Book Gallery West is all that remains of that textbook store. Owner of nine years, Jan Fronk, has been in charge of the shop since she called its owner on a whim and asked to buy it. A few months, a surprise phone call back and some paperwork later, Fronk was in charge of her favorite store and a staple of the Gainesville community.
“This is kind of an icon of the community,” she said. “The students don’t feel that so much but the residents go, ‘OK pizza: Sathels, OK books: Book Gallery West.’ There are just a few things that are just Gainesville.”
What sets it apart?
Book Gallery West features a wide array of used and new books (mainly from the New York Times Best Seller list) as well as a large collection of gifts and greeting cards, which can be gift wrapped for free at the shop. If the store doesn’t have the book you’re looking for, Book Gallery West will order it and it will arrive within 2-3 business days without extra shipping costs to the customer.
“We order probably more than anyone in town,” Fronk said.
Can you trade in your used books?
Sure can. Used books can be traded in for store credit, but the store is selective about the used books it decides to sell. Instead, if the store decides not to take your books, you can still donate them to one of the many prisons that come to pick up books from the store for their libraries or to local charities or clubs, such as the Gainesville Woman’s Club. The club uses Book Gallery West’s donations to place books in elementary schools where there is a need or in Laundromats.
Books on the shelf: 26,000
Types of books offered:
- Used books
- New York Times Best Seller list new books
- Take orders from customers
- Used books sold for 50% off
- 25% off hardcover New York Times Best Seller list books
- 10% off paperback New York Times Best Seller list books
- All other new books are full price
- Gifts generally under $25
“Our customers are treasures in my mind and in my heart,” Fronk said. “People come in and it’s not really just like a store to them, just like it’s not just really a store to me. It’s much more of an experience.”