‘Burg Live, an interview with Lorielle Holloway, owner of Cultured Books in St. Pete

Top and bottom view of an interview, and a shot of a child browsing books at a bookstore
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‘Burg Live is a brand new Instagram Interview series we’re running to speak with local business, owners, artists and residents in the Sunshine City who are doing good work for the betterment of our community. Tune in every Thursday at 6:30pm for live interviews!

On Thursday, August 13, we spoke with Lorielle Holloway, owner of Cultured Books in St. Pete.

The pop up bookshop features a diverse selection of reads for kids — and the inclusive environment instills a love of reading based on empathy and personal expression.

Today, cultured books continues to deliver good reads to the community through their website, as well as appointment shopping at the store.

Cultured Books was also just recently featured by The Oprah Book Club.

Holloway hoped these books could serve as a bridge in her local community. Learn all about Holloway’s journey in the interview below:

Cultured Books is a wonderful institution in the Sunshine City that promotes literacy, inclusivity, creativity, and compassion. Store owner Lorielle Hollaway is now hoping to get more books in the hands of kids in Pinellas County through the book report project.

The Book Report Project is a literacy initiative built as a fund. It removes the financial barrier to accessing books by allowing youth to purchase books with alternative currency; a book report.”

According to the School Library Journal the average cost of a children’s book in 2018 was $18.69. Through community contributions and partnerships funds are raised for the purchase of new, diverse and inclusive books.

Cultured Books has set a fundraising goal of $30,000 dollars. The procured books will then be made available to kids for the small cost of a book report.

Here’s how it works:

  • Interested kids are given an initial survey.
  • In exchange for completion of the survey students are able to select (1) one book to keep.
  • Youth will read their chosen book then create a book report.
  • The format of the book report is accessible to all learning styles and abilities.
  • Youth will turn in their book report in exchange for a new book. If a book title is not currently stocked, youth will have the ability to order.
  • In the event that a book needs to be ordered the reader will write a shelf talker to cover the cost of shipping.
  • The cost of books purchased with book reports are covered by The Book Report Project fund.

80% of Florida children from low income families are not proficient readers by 3rd grade.

“Culturally responsive literacy practices are vital for the academic achievement of socio-culturally diverse learners,” wrote Holloway on The Book Report Project page. “At Cultured Books our books are curated to affirm and broaden world views.”

You can make a donation online here.

Keep up with Cultured Books by following the store on Facebook and Instagram.

You can browse and order from their wonderful selection of books here.

Cutlured Books, 833 22nd Street South

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of ilovetheburg.com. Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to info@ilovetheburg.com.