There's a lot of websites - you know, those kind of websites - that claim Haslam's Book Store in St. Petersburg is haunted. And it could well be. There's certainly no shortage of weird mojo around St. Pete. Problem is, some of those kind of websites seem to think practically everyplace is haunted.
Which, come to think of it, could well be too.
Be that as it may, my interest in Haslam's is not for its haunting legends but for, firstly, the simple fact that it's just a darned fine bookstore. Surprisingly, though, for a place with so many books, there's a lot of certain subjects and certain authors I found lacking in their stock; maybe I'll sneak some in and just place them on their shelves as a little gift from me to them.
Secondly, their sign says they have every kind of book from "A" to "Izzard". What the hell is that about?
Thirdly and most significantly, Haslam's was regularly frequented by Jack Kerouac during the final period of his life when he lived at 5169 10th Ave. N in St. Petersburg. Stories are oft told that Kerouac was always getting in trouble with the owner for rearranging the books in a manner that suited him, especially his own books, which he would constantly sneak and place on prime display at eye-level.
You'd think the mere act of being Jack Kerouac would have earned him certain indulgences.