Bob and Linda White came to Seaside, Florida in 1983, moving here from Mississippi. Originally, they waited tables at the Paradise Café, the Red Bar’s predecessor. In 1985 Sundog Books opened its doors in Palm Plaza, shortly after Robert and Daryl Davis invited them to become part of the Seaside community. Linda and Bob hustled to open before Memorial Day Weekend in a little 8’x12’ plywood shack with a tin roof and sand-covered floors. With no cash register or inventory system, everything was put in a cigar box and written out by hand. They sold books every day on the edge of the dunes and closed up shop at the end of Labor Day weekend. The next year, Seaside attracted a bigger crowd and the seasons for vacation grew longer.
Sundog grew out of its confines and moved into a larger space. Seaside vacationers and locals recall the presence of a special employee during those years — the White’s dog, Patty. “Families would come into the bookstore and say, ‘We haven’t checked in yet, but we had to come by and see Patty first.’ She was a big draw, a big part of it for a long time,” Bob reminisces. Nowadays you’ll find a playful cattle dog with a love of people named Glover, sidling up to customers for a belly rub.
Although much has changed since the early days of unpacking boxes outside in the sand, the vision remains the same. Sundog Books has always been founded on individuality and a respect for independence, rooted in a love of the classics and current works of fiction and non-fiction.
The future of independent bookstores ebbs and flows, but Sundog Books continues to thrive because of its location, staff, selection, and gifts. When customers visit the store they find genuine recommendations from genuine people. The Sundog Books staff, who have always consisted of thoughtful spirits, bring decades of bookselling experience to create a relaxed environment where visitors and locals can find just the right book.
It’s been over four decades since Bob and Linda decided to “buy the ticket and take the ride,” and our customers remain our number one priority. We welcome you to come in and get lost in a good story or find yourself in a meaningful character. We’ll be here for you.