Old Florida Book Shop is an antique book store specialized 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 10,000 books hand picked but its owner, William Chrisant.
In this era dominated by technology, Old Florida Book Shop offers a unique experience for all book lovers, with its wooden shelves, relaxed atmosphere and inebriating book smell, our store prides itself in being the only vintage book shop in whole of South Florida.
Although the store opened in 2012, the past three years have actually been used to relocate and reorganize the impressive collection hosted among these shelves. Throughout his travelling across the U.S. 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 William’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, William’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. Thanks to the success of his books, William was able to later 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 years of successful book trading, William and its collection moved to Philadelphia and later to Charlottesville, Virginia. Here he opened The Virginia Book Shop and ran a very handsome business in that bookish town. Due to family responsibilities, however, William and his books had to later relocate once more to the sunny Florida, where he opened the Old Florida Book Shop. It took merely three years for William to transfer his impressive collection, consisting of over 10,000 units, and settle in his new store; since then he’s enjoyed cataloguing books he’d bought long 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 I belong 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.