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St. Pete bookstore must expand again

Sarah McCubby, the owner of the “One In The Ink” independent bookstore in St. Petersburg is once again looking for a new suitable site to accommodate her business, which has grown rapidly in the last few months.

“It started with one shelf devoted to banned books, almost as kind of a joke,” she said. “Now an increasingly high percentage of all books in print are subject to being on some prohibited list of another. And our inventory reflects that.”

“We’re now basically the largest banned book store in the Tampa Bay Area. And we’re expanding,” she said. “We just moved from our original location in a 1920s bungalow into this abandoned Winn Dixie two months ago and we’ve already outgrown it.”

She said she never set out to own and manage a big business with virtually unlimited growth potential.

“I just like books and drinking coffee and cats and wearing sweaters. I thought owning a bookstore would be fun,” she said. “Now I find myself scouting warehouse locations and negotiating leases.”

“I’ve got my eye on the Walmart that’s closing in Pinellas Park,” she added. “That, or Tropicana Field.”

She said in spite of the ban on books, the government has actually been very supportive of her and her and her store.

“Everybody said Governor DeSantis was good for business in Florida and that’s certainly been true in my case,” she said. “I don’t think that was the intent but it’s worked out pretty well.”

“Of course, we’ve had to re-zone as an adult business due to the nature of what we sell, which is books,” she said. “But that’s fine. It’s opened us up to a whole new clientele.”

Keith Cline of Largo agrees. “Let’s just say I didn’t come in here looking for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ but it’s pretty good.”

“Could use more sex scenes, though.”

Clark Brooks

About Clark Brooks

Senior Supreme Executive Premium Content Editor for Tampa News Force. Comedian, writer and ordained minister. Twitter: @ClarkBrooks | Instagram:@ClarkBrooks54