Alameda Back Roads: Wilmot's Books

Alameda Back Roads: Wilmot's Books

Karen Bey

Located in the Suelflohn Building at 478 Central Avenue in Alameda is a book lover’s retreat: Wilmot’s Books.

Tim and Mary Wilmot opened Wilmot’s Books in 2005 after finding the perfect location for their bookstore. Built in 1915 by Gustave H. Suelflohn, the building has two apartments on the top floor and a store on the main level. While living in one of the upstairs apartments, fortune smiled on them when the shop's current storefront location became available. With a little paint and repair, the store, which once bustled with tourists during the Neptune Beach era, was transformed into what the Wilmots envisioned: A small, old fashioned Bohemian-style used book store.

Their collection includes books from just a few years old to over 100 years old. The shelves are carefully stocked with books on a variety of subjects, including maritime, military, Eastern religion and California history. Most of their higher-end collection is sold on Amazon, EBay, and Alibris.

While 50 percent of their business is online, the other 50 percent is drop-in customers. During a recent visit to Wilmot’s, a customer walked in and requested a copy of “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. She left a happy customer when Tim Wilmot pulled one from the shelves.

Because of its location in the historical Neptune Beach District and the bookstore’s unique collection, Wilmot’s Books has become Alameda’s destination book store. The charming building, the wonderful collection of books old and new, and the dedication of its owners to creating a special shopping experience for their customers makes Wilmot’s Books a great asset to the community.

Wilmot's Books is located at 478 Central Avenue in Alameda, and their phone number is 865-1443. Store hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The store offers used books, and their specialty is offering a space to stop in and browse.