Over 60 years ago, John and Mary Haslam started a small used book and magazine store in St. Petersburg. Over the years it grew to be Florida’s largest new & used book store. Now, in our third generation, we are starting a second location… in cyberspace. After all, if we are going to have a second location, why not put it everywhere?
Haslam’s was started in 1933 in the Depression by John and Mary Haslam, both avid readers, to provide other readers with used magazines and books at bargain prices.
After World War II they were joined by the second generation, Charles and Elizabeth and the business began to expand. In response to customers’ requests, new technical books were added, then Bibles and religious books and finally a complete line of trade books and a large section for children. The business has moved four times to accommodate the growing number of volumes and customers, and today covers 30,000 square feet with over 300,000 books.
To promote books and reading, Charles had a television program on WEDU, the local PBS station, for 15 years called “The Wonderful World of Books,” and reviewed books on WSUN radio for eight years. He appeared as a regular guest on WTOG-TV. Elizabeth operated book fairs at local schools for 25 years and now conducts “field trip” tours of Florida’s largest book store for elementary classes.
Both have been active in the American Bookseller’s Association (Charles was president from 1978 – 1980). They have taught in Bookseller Schools and written chapters in “The Manual of Bookselling.” Both are published authors.
In 1973, the third generation came into the business: daughter Suzanne (who also authored a chapter in the “Manual on Bookselling”) and husband Ray Hinst (history, classics & military expert).