March 2: National Read Across America Day | Chamblin’s Uptown

Author: Rebecca Kobrin, Downtown Vision Marketing and Events Intern
Featured Image by @xanajazmin

“When I get a little money I buy books;

and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”

Erasmus 1469-1536

March 2nd is National Read Across America Day, a holiday to celebrate and bring awareness to the joy of reading. We explored our inner book-worm and checked out Chamblin’s Uptown, a book oasis stocked with intriguing literature around every corner. Nestled in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville, this independent bookstore sells and trades both new and used books, as well as rare and collectable items you can’t find anywhere else. We spoke with an in-store employee to get the inside scoop on this community staple.

Since 1976, Chamblin’s Uptown has been a nostalgic museum of books that has brought people together from all walks of life.  It’s eclectic ambiance and friendly customer service has allowed them to thrive in our ever-growing world of online shopping. There is also a cafe attached, with a coffee bar, breakfast and lunch, plus yummy vegan options! Because sometimes, all you need is a cup of joe, a rocking chair and a good book.

What makes Chamblin’s unique is that customers have the opportunity to sell their gently used books in exchange for money or store credit. Most of what is in stock are books that have been donated and sold by Jacksonville residents, so you can really get an idea of what the city is all about from browsing the various selections. What we found the most interesting is the collection of rare and unique items that they have acquired from private collectors. Museum quality items live on their shelves, such as a book signed by famous icons.

Owner and philanthropist Ron Chamblin is the heart of Chamblin’s and a great example of what Read Across America is all about. In his lifetime, he’s donated hundreds of books to different charities, prisons, and foster homes.

Visit their Website and Instagram to learn about their events.

  • Black out Poetry (first Saturday of the month)

  • Open mic (last Wednesday of the month)

  • Book signings from local authors

Staff Pick

  • The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka