Position: Owner of Used Book Heaven – 5216D Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key
Hometown: Elizabeth, N.J.
The vast selection books available at Used Book Heaven might be overwhelming to the average person, but for owner Pat Orlando, keeping track of the store’s 40,000-book inventory is second nature. She effortlessly points out book locations from memory and spots out-of-place books with ease. She says her passion for reading, combined with her knowledge of many different genres, is what sets the store apart.
Orlando, who operates the store with the help of her husband, Bob, has been passionate about reading from a young age. In grade school, her enthusiasm convinced the librarian to let her read above her grade level.
While living in New Jersey, she worked at the public library for two years and ran the library at Jesse Selover School for three years. In 1994, she and Bob moved to Siesta Key, where she opened Used Book Heaven.
A fan of romantic suspense, mystery and historical romance, Orlando enjoys interacting with customers and building an ever-growing list of must-read books. Even though most of her customers don’t share her taste, she loves to help them find the book they’re looking for. The store offers many meticulously organized genres, including children’s, classics, contemporary, Oprah’s Book Club, romance and mystery.