At Lion Heart Books, the shelves tell the story

Lion Heart Book Store houses an eclectic collection of volumes, keeping the shelves as interesting as their owner and visitors. The turnover is fast, too — titles come and go as everyone who visits finds something that intrigues them. The most popular books come from the fiction section, but people ask for a great variety of titles, editions, and genres. The mystery section is always well-stocked, with paperbacks stuffed into narrow shelves with no wiggle room. On the opposite wall of the store, by the entryway, is a scarce-but-growing children’s section. David is making the effort to start a Spanish section among the kids’ books, which further highlights his passion for people, for diversity and culture, and for being a part of something bigger.

Inside the shop there is almost certainly something for everyone. And if you don’t know what you want, talk to David for a few seconds and he’ll lead you to a book. There are racks of pocket poetry, assorted cards and artsy postcards, and trendy picks like adult coloring books. Bestsellers and classics stand on a small central table — copies of The Boys in the Boat, Pride and Prejudice, and Cannery Row. Vonnegut, clearly a favorite, lines the counter and displays, making the space even more lively with the vibrant and colorful book covers. Two tall glass cases stand at the end of the bookshelves, which are slim in size but not in pickings. These cases, containing fragile old books and small figurines, are a nod to David’s previous books and antiques store in Lake City.

While some of the books come from customers, David orders most of them, always careful to curate the selection to please visitors. I once visited as he was unpacking new arrivals, sorting through stacks of boxes in the small space behind the counter. With his amazing energy he unpacks, recommends, and entertains as he moves around his store. What results from his consideration is a perfectly varied selection that caters to every need. There are John Green novels, books about Seattle and Pike Place Market for souvenirs, quick reads for a plane ride, and obscure unheard-of titles. If you’re searching for the next item on your to-read list or don’t know what to gift someone, a visit to Lion Heart Book Store will not disappoint.