Inkwood Books changing locations

Alanna Felton, A&E editor


After 26 years at their Armenia Avenue store, Inkwood Books is moving locations. “The landlords decided to sell the property so Inkwood needed to look for a new home,” owner Stefani Beddingfield said.

The aforementioned new home is in Tampa Heights, an up-and-coming neighborhood located between Downtown Tampa, Ybor City, and Seminole Heights. Inkwood will now be neighbors with restaurants and coffee shops such as The Hall on Franklin, Hidden Springs Brewery, Café Hey, and Ulele.

“There’s a lot of other businesses and things to do close by which I hope will attract more foot traffic into the store,” Beddingfield said.

Inkwood’s new building is the dance hall of the former Baker Pool Hall of the 1950s, and is reported to be almost double the size of their bungalow on Armenia by the Tampa Bay Times.

“I like that vibe and I think the store will have more of an urban feel because it’s not a house,” Beddingfield said.

With Inkwood’s larger store comes new events and opportunities; Leigh Bardugo (New York Times Bestselling author of the Six of Crows duology and The Grisha trilogy) will be doing a stop there on her Midnight Tales Tour this September. Beddingfield wants to bring more of these kind of events to Inkwood in the future.

“I’m really hoping that with a bigger store we can do more kid’s programming and adult events and really become a neighborhood bookstore,” She said.

Starting in September, the store will be open for Bardugo’s event as well as several others taking place over the fall, but Inkwood won’t fully transition to their new location until January. In November and December, both the Armenia and the Tampa Heights stores will be open.

Sophie Able, a junior at Robinson and a frequent costumer at Inkwood, will have a harder time getting to Tampa Heights than to Hyde Park, but is excited for the new location.

“I go there once every couple months whenever I’m in need of a new good book,” Abel (’19) said. “They have really good recommendations.”

Inkwood is the only full-service independent book store in Tampa, and, as such, has always occupied a unique space in the city’s community. That is true now more than ever, with the increased popularity of ordering books online from sites such as Amazon and the decreasing popularity of brick-and-mortar stores.

“Everyone… can keep independent bookstores alive by limiting their online purchases and buying books from independents,” Beddingfield said. “Shop at your local bookstores to keep your community more interesting.”

Abel agrees, and feels an obligation to support stores such as Inkwood.

“Local stores cater to your community, [are] more personal than Barnes and Noble. It is more fun to shop there,” Abel said.