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Bookstore Redux

In downtown Lake Worth Beach, Florida, a new independent bookstore has risen like a phoenix from the Cellar – specifically, the Book Cellar, which closed in April 2020.

The Dancing Elephant

The reimagined operation is called The Dancing Elephant, which actually is replacing two bookstores that originated in Lake Worth (now Lake Worth Beach).

The roots of the new store go back to 1972, when a Hungarian metaphysician named Tamas Burger opened a metaphysical store called Rainbow Bridge in an off-downtown location. In the 1980s, the store was relocated to Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach, attracting notables such as John Lennon of The Beatles. Later, the store moved to the Palm Coast Plaza on the south side, where it remained until March, when a young entrepreneur from Boca Raton named Shane Logan bought the store’s contents from a retiring Burger.

“I was good friends with the owner, because I used to visit the store a lot,” Logan said, adding, “I just like to read a lot.”

New bookstore opens in Lake Worth Beach, Fla.

The Dancing Elephant differs significantly from its predecessor, which was akin to a community center, a meeting place that included a café, story time for kids, and jazz and other musical performances, besides books. The new store is centered more on books, of which there are about 20,000, along with the occult. Emphasis is less on the big sellers of the day than on classic literature, philosophy, spirituality, and the metaphysical. Fiction titles also are in the mix, along with antiquarian and other esoteric volumes. Almost all the books are new.

Augmenting the extensive book collection is significant exposure to tarot literature and paraphernalia such as gemstones and crystals.

Logan has a business degree from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and claims to have made enough from investing in the stock markets to fund the opening of a bookstore at age 23. Now 24, he, family members, and his girlfriend, Ava, worked assiduously for the last three months to stock the store and ready it for business. He is continuing his evening and weekend job as a parking valet, and she works as a florist.

My roman à clef Murder in Palm Beach: The Homicide That Never Died sold relatively well on a consignment basis at The Book Cellar, and it is available at The Dancing Elephant, as well. Both it and my newest and most engaging novel, the legal thriller Blood on Their Hands, are found on a table with books by a few other Florida authors.

The store’s pink and white front exterior remains essentially unchanged from its Book Cellar days, with the windows advertising the items available.

The store is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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