our mission

Third House Books is located in the space formerly occupied by Panache, the old dining room for The Wine & Cheese Gallery (now Downtown Wine & Cheese). We are small bookstore that specializes in titles from small independent presses and marginalized voices. So while that means we may not carry the latest Salman Rushdie novel or James Patterson thriller, we are happy to order any title for you. Our small inventory (no more than 300 titles) is intended to allow you to browse nearly every title in a relatively short amount of time without becoming overwhelmed. We also have a small seating area and provide a small coffee menu intended to keep you comfortable during your visit. One of the best perks about our location is that we are attached to Downtown Wine & Cheese where you can enjoy wine, beer, and delectable foods without having to leave the premises of either venue!

Check out our event page for upcoming readings, club meetings, and other announcements. We hope to see you soon!

our history

Hi! I am Kiren Valjee, the owner of Third House Books & Coffee. I came to Gainesville in 2008 from Michigan by way of...well, a lot of different places. I was a graduate student at UF for my first five years here and in that time saw one of Gainesville's most treasured bookstores close its doors. It didn't take long for others to follow suit leaving a very noticeable void in Gainesville's culture scene. After many nights of beer fueled lamentations with friends, I decided to quit complaining and open a store myself. After a year of planning and fundraising and nearly another year of renovations, Third House Books & Coffee opened its doors October 28, 2016.

In my time in grad school, both here and in Massachusetts, I had the utmost pleasure of becoming life long friends with some truly amazing writers and artists. These were also writers who were successfully publishing their own work or getting picked up by smaller independent presses. It occurred to me that they weren't getting the recognition they deserved and so I decided to make it Third House Books's mission to support these writers. That is why we primarily specialize in titles from small independent presses and the smaller imprints of the larger houses. These are people who often require other ways of paying the bills and yet pour their heart into the work and will call themselves writers before anything else, deservedly so. And so while Third House is more than happy to order any title your heart desires, I invite you to come in and discover someone you may not know about. And to be sure, I do not know every deserving writer either. So don't hesitate to introduce me to someone you think needs a spot on our shelves.

Finally, Third House Books opened it's doors during a rather social and political tumultuous time. Thus it only felt natural to steer Third House into a space that welcomes all members of our community, but especially marginalized minority groups. So we are here for you. Come in and find out how we can help you and yours here in Gainesville and beyond. I look forward to meeting you!

Hi there, I’m Heather Halak, the more recent half/co-owner of Third House Books. I have been fortunate to be in Gainesville since 2011, first as a student at the University of Florida earning bachelor’s degrees in English and Linguistics, and later as what many would call an ACR. Gainesville is where I found a sense of belonging, and it brought me opportunities that led to New York City and back. I returned in 2016 after working in NYC for Sony Music, and met Kiren at a book signing for a local author at the Backyard sometime in 2017. I recognized the void in the community, noticing many of the community spaces I loved in my undergrad years had since disappeared. I admired the work Kiren was doing, and of course, appreciated the ability to again buy books locally.

After lots of shared conversation over homemade chai lattes, Kiren and I became close enough friends that I was entrusted with a key to the space and helped throughout the week. It was hard running a bookstore alone, and I was struggling with personal issues; we built a friendship on shared pain and literature. Volunteering eventually led to having a stake in the business, and becoming an owner a year later. Together we have hosted author events featuring some of my favorites including Lauren Groff and Paul Ortiz.

Gainesville’s community of authors and readers has become a circle of friends I would not have encountered otherwise. Third House has been my second house since 2017, and I am abundantly grateful for the experiences in this space Kiren founded.

Thanks for stopping by, reading this far, and shopping local!


hours of operation

Wed - Thurs: 12p - 8pm*

Fri - Sat: 4p - 10pm

Sun: 12p - 6pm

Mon + Tues: CLOSED

*We are often open later for special events. See our event page for those times.

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