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MacIntosh Books makes a minor move on Periwinkle

By Staff | Dec 23, 2009

Since 1960, when William MacIntosh opened the first book store on Sanibel, island readers have grown accustomed to visiting the retailer which was originally located on Periwinkle Way, just up the street from Bailey Road.

Then in the early 1980s, MacIntosh Books moved up Periwinkle Way, diagonally across from the intersection at Palm Ridge Road. And their loyal customer base followed, too.

So it shouldn’t be major news that the nearly 50-year-old business has moved once again… especially when you consider their new location: right next door to their former site.

MacIntosh Books, which can now be found at 2407 Periwinkle Way (within The Islander Center), made the move a couple of weeks ago after the owners of the building their store had been housed in put the property up for sale.

“When I found out that this space was available, right next door to our old location, I thought it would be perfect,” said owner Susie Holly. “This new space gives us great visibility, there’s a porch that we can use for author signings and special events. I couldn’t have picked a better spot.”

Although the new location has less square footage than their former site, Holly explained that there is now more “effective” space in which to store and display her inventory of books, greeting cards, stationary and gifts for readers of all ages.

“It is smaller here, but it’s more space efficient,” said Holly. “The old store was long and narrow… there were a lot of nooks and crannies. This location just lays out better.”

On the morning of Dec. 6, Holly, store manager Samantha Serrao and a small group of “wonderful” volunteers began the process of moving their entire inventory from the former building to the new one. They borrowed eight shopping carts, on loan from Bailey’s General Store, to complete the arduous task, which Holly called “very successful.”

“We were ready to open first thing on Monday morning,” she added. “Moving gave us a chance to purge things that weren’t working. And we started off with clean shelves, fresh paint and no dust. It worked out very well.”

MacIntosh Books, open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will be looking to expand their hours of operation during season, mostly due to their close proximity to The Greenhouse Grill next door.

“We’d like to be open when diners are wandering around before or after dinner,” said Holly.

They are also planning a grand opening event during February.

“I like our new spot,” said Serrao. “It’s very open, very bright and welcoming. It’s got character, too.”

Holly also mentioned that 2010 will mark the 50th anniversary of MacIntosh Books.

“We’re one of the oldest businesses on the island, and definitely the oldest book store. We’re kind of an institution here,” she said. “People still come in and tell me they remember Bill MacIntosh. He was a gruff, old Scotsman… but he sure knew his books!”