Our story began in 1972, when the Blauer family opened the San Marco Bookstore in historic San Marco Square in Jacksonville, Florida. John and Laura Blauer, as well as their son, Mike, ran a used bookstore for over 25 years at our same current address. Fast forward to 1999, when Janet and Mike Molyneaux purchased the San Marco Bookstore in order to live their love of books every day.
Still a family-centered operation, we soon realized that the somewhat tired used bookstore was really a diamond in the rough whose customers would benefit from some carefully planned improvements. Changes and investments were needed as we took up the orange, brown and gold carpet from the ’70’s, replaced the Lawrence Welk and Mantovani record area with more local book titles, began to cater more to children and families, and worked hard to put our own stamp on the bookstore. We listened to our customers and learned what they wanted to find in our store.
This led to us growing our Jacksonville and Florida history sections, offering a much-enlarged stock of classic fiction, both hardback and softback, stocking a full range of children’s books, curating an extensive choice of leather bound books, and selling literary gifts for people of all ages. This led us to better match our store’s merchandise and operations around the changing needs of Jacksonville residents. We have also introduced a wide selection of brand new fiction, nonfiction, children’s and teen books. We have started book clubs which meet in the store, we stock the fine PAPYRUS greeting card line and we carry fabulous and witty literary gifts for special occasions. With all these additions, we realized we were actually San Marco Books and More. But, like most people with nicknames, we’re happy to be called either our original name of San Marco Bookstore or our new and more descriptive name of San Marco Books and More!
Over the last twenty years, we’ve moved shelves, re-arranged books, repainted and re-carpeted, brought in new displays and grown to know our customers better. With daughter, Desiree, as well as her kids, Colin and Kate, active in the store, Jan and Mike are proud to have three generations of our family participating in our independent bookstore. San Marco Books and More supports cultural events by partnering with the Jacksonville Symphony, the Museum of Science and History (MOSH), and the Jacksonville Public Library, as well as many other local volunteer and charitable organizations. Local authors sign at our store almost every Saturday. We have gotten to know so many people through the bookstore, we sometimes feel like characters in a novel. And like the characters in a good book, we strive to keep getting more interesting with each successive chapter!
Jan, Mike, Desiree, Colin and Kate