For some, shopping at a bookstore is really just shopping. For others, shopping at a bookstore is a quest. Only after browsing through about 300 volumes covering every shelf in the building do they feel satisfied making a purchase. The new Kendall Book Exchange is for the latter shopper.
The Book Exchange, which just reopened last month, is a peruser-friendly, carcinogen-fighting, holistic haven for the frugal, tuckered-out literary vagabond. Eunice Rodriguez and her husband Manny Rodriguez are the owners of Tea n’ Sanity, an herbal tea parlor in Kendall that specializes in serving customers a variety of organic and exotic spices as therapeutic treatments.
When the West Kendall Book Exchange closed down last year, Eunice Rodriguez was sad to see it go.
“I couldn’t think of them just throwing all of these books away,” she said. “It makes me hurt.”
She decided to buy the old Book Exchange’s inventory and converted her back room yoga studio at Tea n’ Sanity into a bookstore. Since its Feb. 15 opening, her hope -that customers would feel comfortable to sit down and browse through books while enjoying a free cup of tea- is slowly, but steadily, being realized.
With about 6,000 volumes in its inventory, the Kendall Book Exchange is small but nonetheless stimulating. One shelf, for example, offers reading about motorcycle touring, aerial photography of Scotland and cooking with Spam in vintage hardback.
As customers thumb through the variety, the fragrance of lavender and ylang-ylang from the tea shop form an atmosphere of mental repose. Contributing to this is the generous book trade-in policy. Customers get store credit for half of the printed price on the trade-in book. The credit can be used to buy books at a fourth of their printed price.
“I had this old great big English dictionary worth about 200 bucks,” Eunice Rodriguez said. “A guy who wanted it came in and got it for $50.”
Tea n’ Sanity also offers its own library of all-natural and reasonably priced teas, essential oils and cleaning and hygiene products.
The Rodriguezes and Miguel Cisneros-Abreau, one of the parlor’s consultants, are passionate about sharing the benefits of herbal therapy. Cisneros-Abreau is not shy to explain how carcinogens are in all kinds of things from fireworks to deodorant. The owners also say that their lavender-based essence can, nine times out of 10, remove a headache in a few breaths.
For the month of April, Eunice Rodriguez will provide one other kind of therapy at the Exchange: tea and cookies every Sunday afternoon.
“It’s nice to just come in and find some books and have a cup of tea, and to not have to spend a fortune,” she said.
David Sargent may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO:
What: Kendall Book Exchange at the Tea n’ Sanity tearoom
12011 SW 131 Ave.
Kendall, FL 33176
When: M-F 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Weekends 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: Trade-in books get half of their printed cover value in store credit.
Store credit buys books at 1/4 of the printed cover value.