Old Florida Book Shop is an antique book store specializing in old and rare books and prints, vintage magazines and historical maps. Located in Dania Beach, FL the store offers a wide collection of over 30,000 hand picked books. In this era dominated by technology, Old Florida Book Shop offers a unique experience for all book lovers, with its high wooden shelves, rolling ladders, relaxed atmosphere and inebriating smell of books. Throughout his travelling across the U.S. owner William Chrisant has carried along with him all his books and cared for them for over 40 years, Florida is his latest and final stop. Old Florida Book Shop represents the tangible proof of the owner’s love for literature and art; come check our store and you will be overwhelmed by the uniqueness of this cultural corner.
Born to a bookish family, owner William Chrisant’s first experience with the book as an artifact came in college when his mentor acquainted him with the booksellers Otto Harrssowitz in Wiesbaden, Germany & B.H. Blackwell in Oxford. William’s field of study was the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age and their catalogues were filled with both modern and antique books related to the field. This encounter started the acquisition of a great variety of books for information, pleasure and (eventually) investment all within one title. By the end of graduate school, William had accumulated enough books to open a small (200 sq ft) shop within an established antique store. Here he learned the antique trade as well and was able to move into a larger shop which expanded to a 1600 sq ft space with bookcases built to the top of its fourteen foot ceilings. Subsequently William moved to Shaker Square in Cleveland. where he opened 5000 sq ft store that housed books, prints, maps, flat art, and antiques and was a gathering spot for the local intelligentsia and book buyers. After decades of booking in Ohio, William joined his wife in Philadelphia and later to Charlottesville, Virginia. Here he opened The Virginia Book Shop and ran a very handsome business in that bookish town until following his family to sunny Florida, where he opened the Old Florida Book Shop. It took three years to transfer his collection and build the sixteen by one hundred foot library to house them. Since then he’s enjoyed cataloguing books he’d bought (in some cases) decades ago. His field of expertise is the visual aspects of the book, including fine bindings, illustrations and the illustrated book. He is versed in types of prints and has significant holdings in nineteenth century American caricature publications and early twentieth American fashion. William has been a member of various historical societies including The Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society, The Virginia Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association, The Florida Bibliophile Society & the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association. Nationally to The Ephemera Society & Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA); internationally to the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) he has also been a member of the Rowfant [Book] Club in Cleveland for the past twenty years.