SEASIDE, Fla. (WMBB) — The Seaside community is mourning the loss of Sundog Book Owner Bob White.

Since opening 36 years ago, the bookstore has become a staple in the community and was named this month by Southern Living Magazine as the number one bookstore to visit in Florida.

It’s the charm and kind owners that draw people into the store.

“Sundog Books means Seaside to me,” Seaside Local Nan O’Connor said. “I’ve been coming for a long time.”

Bob and Linda White opened Sundog Books in the heart of Seaside in 1986.

It didn’t take long for the charming store to become a special place to not only locals but visitors from around the world.

“Bob and Linda have let it grow in a really organic way over the years, and we’ve just had more and more customers, more and more locals, more and more visitors and so we’ve been able to totally grow our collection of books so that we have a little bit of just about everything and we all just love being here too,” Sundog Books Bookseller Laney Blanchard said.

Blanchard has worked alongside the White’s for 21 years, she said without Bob, the bookstore won’t quite feel the same.

“He was somebody who was, he was a character,” Blanchard said. “He said what he thought he was always utterly, totally himself and that’s one of the things that helped make this place special, too, because you just always knew that you could be yourself with him and that’s what he that’s what he wanted.”

But Bob’s legacy still lives on through the words of his favorite books.

“He was a huge reader totally a voracious reader so his shelf is always a fun one for people to look at,” Blanchard said. “We have staff picks and so everybody has their own shelf with their favorites and his was always changing because he was always reading all kinds of things.”

And he was a stranger to none.

“Bob was a really nice guy. They both are and then you would see him walking his dog or walking to work at the store, and both of them were just in there all the time and it’s just, they’re just very special people,” O’Connor said.

As for the future of the store, they have no plans to stop selling books anytime soon.

“Bob is always going to be with us here, and I think he would love just to see it keep growing,” Blanchard said.