Inkwood Books, one of Tampa Bay’s last remaining independent bookstores, will soon be under new ownership.
The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports that Carla Jimenez and Leslie Reiner have sold the South Tampa bookstore to longtime customer Stefani Beddingfield. Financial terms were not disclosed for the sale, which takes effect April 1.
Beddingfield plans to keep the bookstore’s name and location in a South Armenia Avenue bungalow. Reiner will stay on as a part-time Inkwood employee, while Jimenez plans to retire, as she told WUSF’s Florida Matters in October.
“It’s been 21 years now, and for a variety of reasons, I’m ready to hand over the business to somebody perhaps younger, perhaps more creative and energetic, and perhaps ready for the new generation of how bookselling is going,” said Jimenez, who opened Inkwood with Reiner in 1991.
The fact that Inkwood will remain open no doubt comes as a relief to folks like Tampa author Enid Shomer.
"Very few communities are left with independent bookstores, and it's a very important institution in our culture," Shomer told WUSF last fall during a signing at Inkwood. "Independent bookstores care about books. They're not just about the bottom line."
For more on Florida's literary scene, tune into Florida Matters tonight at 6:30 on WUSF 89.7 FM. We'll bring you interviews with three local authors.