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 intended to keep you comfortable during your visit. We are currently serving tea from a small menu as we phase out our drinks, and provide complimentary drip coffee, but you are welcome to bring in a cup from any of the seven neighboring coffee shops in the downtown area. 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!

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our history

Founded by Kiren Valjee, my dear friend, Third House Books was built upon an important lacking in the community: a safe space to read, gather, learn, and recharge. Kiren witnessed some of his favorite local bookstores closing, being replaced by rapid development with no real spaces to connect. After a year of planning and fundraising and nearly another in renovations, Third House Books was opened on October 28th, 2016 in a turbulent time both for the downtown Gainesville community and the country. This space hinges upon amazing writers and artists and ensuring they get the recognition they deserve - this is our mission at Third House. This is why we primarily specialize in titles from small independent presses, smaller imprints of the larger houses, and marginalized voices. 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.

A bit about me: I’m Heather Halak, the new full-time owner, formerly 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! I look forward to meeting you!


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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