BOOK BEAT 42 – Mina Hemingway

BOOK BEAT   Naples Sun Times   May 9-15, 2007

by Philip K. Jason

Do you want to shop for books, sell books, or have a book designed and printed? Between them, the husband and wife team of Jon Rothenberg and Mina Hemingway can take care of your book needs. As an owner of Presstige Printing, Jon can provide you with information and service on all your printing concerns. He calls his outfit a “single source solution.” As the owner of Mina Hemingway’s Florida Book Store in Naples, Mina will open her shelves of used and new books for your perusal and recommend titles for your reading pleasure. She might also take some old books off your hands. Together, Jon and Mina can guide you through a personally tailored process from the design through the production and pricing of your book via their Kilimanjaro Books printing program. 

Presstige Printing, located at 10940 Harmony Park Drive in Bonita Springs, has a twenty-five year history in the area. Four years ago, Jon Rothenberg joined Bob Wiedenmiller to become a co-owner of the firm, which is not only a one-stop printing establishment but also provides direct mail services. Presstige has a digital press for short run print-on-demand jobs as well as the traditional ink-to-paper printing press for high quality larger print runs. Many customers choose to have a book produced digitally in order to have a small number, perhaps 25 or 50, available for showing to stores, distributors, or trade publishers – or even for proofing purposes – before deciding on the quantity of the full print run.

All Presstige Printing needs from a customer is a basic Word file. The less formatting the author has done, the better. Jon and his staff will reformat the material and send back design options, along the way developing an understanding of an appropriate cost to the author and an appropriate retail price for the finished product.

Two recent books printed at Presstige are Skyblue Pink, a gorgeous collection of Gulf Coast Florida sunset photographs by Jason and Kristyn Schwartz, and the 2007 edition of Valerie Miller’s Naples Restaurant Guide. The latter is a Kilimanjaro Books project, though the former could just has well have been due to the joint input of Jon and Mina on design and pricing issues. Mina wrote the introduction to Skyblue Pink.

She also wrote an introduction for a special printing of her grandfather’s classic The Old Man and the Sea, the sales of which benefit the Ocean Conservancy. This book is only available locally, and most conveniently at Mina Hemingway’s Florida Book Store, which is located in the Pavilion Shopping Center at 857 Vanderbilt Beach Road. That same address had already been a destination book store for over twenty years before Mina started here business there this past September.

Mina’s place is one of that vanishing breed of independent book stores in which customer and owner can genuinely enjoy talking about their reading interests. Mina is an enthusiast who has read widely, who keeps current, and who can match up customer interests with her own knowledge of related titles that the customer is bound to enjoy. There is no running to the computer – she can put her hand on the book suited to her customer’s taste or help the customer pick out a book for a gift.

As the name of the store suggests, Mina stocks a great many titles of interest to Florida residents and visitors. She is also generous in allowing space for books by local authors. As her own name predicts, there is a sizeable number of titles related to her grandfather’s life and career – as well as editions both popular and rare of his books. There is also a generous selection of magazines.

Other areas of specialization among the used and rare book holdings have to do with modern greats such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Graham Greene, and other trailblazers. There is a good assortment of science fiction and an unusual collection of vintage paperbacks and magazines. Celebrity biographies are also available. And if Mina doesn’t have what you are looking for on her shelves, she may have it stored at home.

So come in, grab a cup of Manatee Coffee (or buy a bag with Mina’s picture on it for home brew), browse, talk books and Hemingwayana with the engaging proprietor, and breathe in the atmosphere of a place where books are not just displayed and sold, but truly loved.  

Philip K. Jason, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of English from the United States Naval Academy.  A poet, critic, and free-lance writer with twenty books to his credit, this “Dr. Phil” chairs the annual Naples Writers’ Conference presented by the Naples Press Club. Send him your book news at pjason@aol.com.

1 Comment

Filed under Authors and Books, Book Beat

One response to “BOOK BEAT 42 – Mina Hemingway

  1. Stuart Kaufman

    Great piece of writing!!!! I enjoyed reading this.

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