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The Book Loft

A few weeks back, I met my client, Terri Dean, to catch up and talk through the production of her latest book, Grace Notes: Walking the Path of Wholeness, soon to be released. I’ve had the great privilege of editing and publishing Terri’s two other books, Traveling Stories: Lessons from the Journey of Life and its companion journal, Traveling Stories Journal: A Guide to Discovering Your Own Life Lessons. You might want to check out Terri’s website. It’s worth the trip.

Both of Terri’s books are also available at The Book Loft, a charming, independent bookstore in Fernandina Beach, which is where Terri and I met before heading off to lunch.

Before even walking into The Book Loft at 214 Centre Street in Fernandina Beach’s historic, tree-lined main street, I knew it was my kind of place. The sign said the store opened at 10ish. I understand; I’m an ish person too.

Cathy and Sue

The two-story bookstore is owned and operated by Sue Nelson with the help of her  knowledgeable, well-read staff—Cathy, Phyllis, Dan, Rita, and Christy. Sue’s husband, Bill, opened the store more than twenty-eight years ago and designed it as “an old-fashioned bookstore…with something for everyone.” The walls are lined with books for both adults and children, many that feature Florida and local writers, but the big guys have visited the store as well, including John Grisham, Pat Conroy, and Dean Koontz. Unfortunately, Bill died in 2011, but Sue has continued and expanded his dream.

Terri Dean

Terri showed me around the store and the room upstairs where she sees clients and writes.

Back downstairs, I told staff member Cathy what great energy the place had. She smiled and then said, “Well, we do have a ghost here.”

The idea of that intrigued me, and I begged for more info. Cathy pointed out a photo taped to the wall a customer had taken some time back. When the image was printed, it displayed an intricately designed orb and the shadow of what looks like a woman, standing by the window.

Cathy also told me about a woman who walked into the store one day and said, “I’m a medium. You have a ghost who lives upstairs. You know that, right?” Sue and Cathy acknowledged that they had been told that before. The woman then asked if she could go upstairs and spend some time with the ghost. A couple of hours later, the medium came back downstairs and gave Sue and Cathy the following message.

Is that not the coolest thing? Sue showed me a photograph of a young woman she found in the attic who they think might be Katherine. Now, Katherine sits high on top of a shelf on the first floor of the bookstore, watching over the many people who visit.


I went back to The Book Loft after lunch with Terri, picked out a couple of books, and sat upstairs by a window shaded by a large oak tree, and read. I bet Katherine was there too.

Sue has invited me to do a life story writing workshop at The Book Loft sometime soon, so look for that announcement. In the meantime, if your travels take you to Amelia Island, find your way to The Book Loft in Fernandina Beach. I promise you will not be disappointed. Say hello to Sue and Cathy and keep an eye out for Katherine too.

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