Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USF chapter.

The Book + Bottle website explains that Book + Bottle is a “bottle shop, an independent bookstore, a coffee café, and a wine bar all rolled into one exquisite little package.” Located in St. Petersburg, FL off Central Ave, a friend and I decided to check the place out for a little study date on a Saturday morning. Arriving just before their opening at 10 AM, Dominic invited us in early to sit and settle in while they fully opened the shop. The team were super friendly and you could tell they knew what they were doing and had a passion for their work and the community!

After ordering, we sat at a table and settled in. They handed us our drinks and my friend asked Dominic for a book recommendation who asked us of our favorite genres and some authors we loved reading. With that information, he left us and returned within 5 minutes with some books that matched our reading vibe. His recommendations were spot on and you could tell he was passionate about the books he recommended and all book things in general. He mentioned some details of the different book clubs the store hosted and showed deep passion for their fiction book club’s March read, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. With such a wonderful experience our first time, we returned every other week for a study date at Book + Bottle and ultimately decided to join the fiction book club. I was NOT prepared for Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow but let’s save that for another article. Fiction book club is the last Thursday of the month from 6-7:30 PM.

On the last Thursday of March, my friend and I were there at 5:45 PM, not knowing what to expect but we were excited! We ordered our drinks and tried to find a seat but it was very cozy and we ultimately ended up standing. Book club conversations start at 6:30 PM, allowing attendees to settle in and order their drinks. While waiting, I noticed how people in the crowd talked to each other and greeted each other. Dominic was the moderator and I noticed how well he moderated and talked to the crowd about the book and even previous experiences. The community came out and it was surreal to see how interconnected and respectful everyone was. They cracked jokes and also spoke so thoughtfully of the characters and the plot within the book. I loved the atmosphere and loved hearing everyone’s thoughts because some of them pointed out some things I didn’t even think about or notice while reading! Some people have been going to Book + Bottle’s fiction book club for years, as I witnessed a banter between two different attendees who explained that this must be the second book in all their years of book club the other person enjoyed.

Despite having to stand the entire time, my friend and I really enjoyed being there and would love to return again. Although, we might have to arrive way earlier next time. If you’re interested in joining a book club or finding a new place to study at, Book + Bottle is the place to go!

Serena is an aspiring Medical student majoring in Biology with a concentration in Medical Biology. She has written for most of her life, earning a Silver Medal along with numerous Gold and Silver keys from the Scholastics Art and Writing Awards, publication for her poetry, as well as performed a spoken word piece at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami. Most of her work centers around her identity as a Filipino Mestizo. Usually, you'll find her sipping on an iced matcha latte, experimenting with different foods, and exploring the places around her. Check her out on Instagram: @SerenaLozandi