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Gene’s Books opens second shop, complete with book piles

By Staff | Oct 1, 2019

TIFFANY REPECKI Gene's Books on Sanibel recently opened its second location on Periwinkle Way - the former west-end location of She Sells Sea Shells.

Gene’s Books now has a little more space as it spreads out and settles into its second location.

About two months ago, the Sanibel-based bookstore opened its new site on Periwinkle Way the former west-end location of She Sells Sea Shells. Assistant Managers Brianna O’Connell and Donna Williams explained that they occupy two main buildings and three cottages between the locations.

“We needed it,” Williams said of the second site. “It (inventory) just kept building.”

Initially opened as a mystery bookstore, the original location also situated on Periwinkle now houses mysteries, world literature and fiction, and non-American authors. The women explained that the five separate structures are basically being used to divide up and organize the available genres.

Visitors to the new shop will find every other subject no longer housed at the original site, like military fiction, history, science fiction, horror, children and young adults, and American literature and fiction.

TIFFANY REPECKI Assistant Managers Brianna O'Connell and Donna Williams

O’Connell noted that there is a Florida and islands section, travel and non-fiction.

“We also have a religion section and poems and drama,” she said. “But we don’t have every genre.”

They explained that the original location has been around for about six years. Prior to opening the Sanibel shop, the owner owned and operated a bookstore in Pennsylvania for about 20 years.

“He’s been an independent bookseller for many many years,” Williams said.

Between the two locations, Gene’s Books carries about 35,000 titles.

TIFFANY REPECKI The new bookstore features a second floor with a window's peak, filled with books.

“We have a broad selection,” O’Connell said.

She noted that Gene’s Books is not a used bookstore. The shop sells new surplus or overstocked inventory at discounted prices. For example, titles only a handful of months’ old are normally priced at 50 percent off, and hardcovers are 15 percent off. The bookstore also carries some first editions.

A sample of the shop’s Florida authors includes Randy Wayne White, Carl Hiaasen, Tom Dorsey, Stuart Woods and Ron Base. Visitors can also find Stephen King, John Grishham, Louise Penny and more.

“All of the popular authors,” Williams said.

In the near future, the bookstore will carry CDs and a selection of DVDs. The music will fall into the categories of classic older tunes and foreign, while the movies also will be older titles and foreign.

TIFFANY REPECKI Children and young adult titles are among the genres housed at the new site.

While the space is new and things have been shuffled around, one thing remains.

“We’ll always have the piles of books – they’re just more accessible,” O’Connell said of the new shop, explaining that books piled up throughout the original site is part of the charm of Gene’s Books.

The public is encouraged to stop by and check out the new location.

“It’s beautiful, it’s unique. The time and effort that was put into it,” she said of the new bookstore, adding that there is a butterfly garden. “And the wide selection (of books) that we have.”

Gene’s Books accepts customer requests and special orders.

TIFFANY REPECKI Florida books are on display at the front of the shop.

For more information, visit https://genes-books.business.site or call 239-472-1446.

Gene’s Books is at 2422 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

The original bookstore is at 2365 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.