"When I get a little money I buy books;
and if any is left I buy food and clothes."
Chamblin Bookmine is a large Independent bookstore with two retail locations in Jacksonville, Florida. We sell both used and new books, along with rare and collectable books. Our goal is to provide a large and interesting variety of titles for instore browsers. We buy and trade in books everyday at both of our locations.
Our website inventory is void of most of the somewhat common paperback genres of general fiction, mysteries, romance, sci-fi, classics, biography, true crime etc. Our large selection allows in-store customers to find all or most of their desired titles.
The beginning book inventory of 1976 consisted of a few boxes of smoke damaged books retrieved from a house owned by Cy Crawford (b. 1899). From the '50s, Cy had been selling books from various houses he owned, having locations on Edgewood Ave, Shirley Ave, Riverside Avenue, and in a house behind Roosevelt Mall.
1976 -The Bookmine opened in July of 1976 in a 1,300 sq. ft. rental space ($150/month) at 4148 Herschel St. Ron Chamblin worked alone for about five years, having only occasional parttime help. The name was changed to "Cham's Bookmine" in 1977, then to "Chamblin Bookmine" about 1978. In order to stock more books in the relatively small space, Ron designed and built eleven rotating shelves, thereby stocking books three shelves deep to the ceiling, to be retrieved via a switch by moving the shelves to eye level.
1987 - The store moved several blocks north to 4304 Herschel St., increasing the space to about 3,500 sq. ft. The store had three employees at this location.
1991 - The store moved to the current location at 4551 Roosevelt Blvd, purchasing the 15,000 sq. ft. building.
2004 - Ron purchased an abandoned 6,000 sq. ft. Kindercare buiding across the block, and eventually built a new "connector" building between the two, taking the retail space to 23,000 sq. ft.
2006 - In January 2006, Ron purchased a 12,000 sq. ft. unoccupied two -story building in the city core at 215 N. Laura St. After renovating the 1904 building and adding a cafe, the store opened in April 2008. Ron then closed the main store on Sunday to entice customers to explore and become accustomerd to visiting the often shunned downtown core. Downtown Jacksonville in the years since then, has grown into a fun community full of events and support for local artists, making the Uptown location an even more interesting place to browse and grab some coffee.
2008 - To provide for book organizing and storage, a 16,000 sq. ft. warehouse was purchased on Forest St.
2014 - An 8,500 sq. ft. warehouse was rented, bringing the total operating sq. footage to almost 60,000 sq. ft.
2020 - For the first time in over 40 years, we temporarily closed our doors to the public during the height of the pandemic. Offering local delivery, curbside book pick-up and pushing items on our website helped us stay afloat during these trying times.
2022 - Post-pandemic Chamblin's is thriving and looking forward to our 100 year anniversary in 2076.