Local bookstores brave small businesses, Amazon and e-books

Published: Friday, June 28, 2013 at 04:59 PM.

When you own a small business it has to be a labor of love — especially if your competitor is Amazon and major chain stores such as Barnes & Noble.

From Pensacola to Destin, independently owned bookstores are rare. However, in Walton County, you can find not one, but two that make buying books a special treat.

Sundog Books is one of Seaside's oldest businesses. After a chance meeting with the community's founder Robert Davis, store owners Bob and Linda White opened the book store in 1986.

"We were thrilled," said Linda. "We had always wanted to have a bookstore."

The husband and wife team are avid readers, as is their staff of about 10. Bob alone reads three books, on average, a week. Inside the store, shelves are packed with books. Some stacks are even spread out on the floor. Curated staff picks aren't just a book or two, but feature several choices. And those guilty pleasure beach reads are part of the mix too.

"We just wanted to have an eclectic selection of classics, new fiction, children's books and something to read at the beach," Linda said.

The staff pays close attention to best sellers and book reviews to keep inventory relevant.

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