Cape Coral's only bookstore returns as Flutterbuy, loaded with paperbacks, jigsaw puzzles

For more than a quarter-century, Donna’s Book Stop was the go-to place for book and jigsaw-puzzle lovers in Cape Coral.

Then Hurricane Ian shut the store’s doors for good in downtown Cape.

Or so it seemed.

Luckily for readers and puzzlers, the store didn’t stay dormant for long. Now Donna’s has been reborn with a new owner, a new name and a new location just off Pine Island Road.

Flutterbuy Books and More has most of the used paperback books and jigsaw puzzles from the Ian-damaged Donna’s ― salvaged in the days after Ian ― plus a cheerful butterfly theme throughout the store.

And there’s former owner Donna Baker, too, now working as a store employee twice a week for new owner Lillian Till ― who, herself, was an employee at Donna’s Book Stop for more than five years.

Baker says it was time to say goodbye to her store after Ian. But she wasn’t ready to leave its books, puzzles and customers just yet.

Love James Patterson? You're in luck at the new Flutterbuy Books and More in Cape Coral.
Love James Patterson? You're in luck at the new Flutterbuy Books and More in Cape Coral.

“I love books,” she says. “I want to be near them. I don’t want to just give them up. …

“I like to be able to look at them all. And I like getting out of the house!”

Here’s everything you need to know about the new Flutterbuy Books:

Why did Donna’s Book Stop close?

It was time, Baker says. Especially after Hurricane Ian damaged the store she’d owned for about 27 years.

The storm caused minor water damage to the front of the store, she says. Then, a day or two later, the roof partially collapsed onto one of the aisles.

The building was condemned, and suddenly Baker had to find another home for her business.

She decided enough was enough.

“When Ian hit, I took a look around and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I’m 76 years old,’” Baker says. “I said I’m just too old to do it again and move all this stuff … It’s a lot of work.”

A metamorphosis: Donna’s transforms into Flutterbuy

Luckily, Donna’s Book Stop employee Lillian Till had always wanted to run her own bookstore.

The semi-retired nurse is a voracious reader who says she finishes a book at least every two days.

“This is my dream, to own a bookstore,” Till says. “It was either that or a bed and breakfast on a lake in the mountains. And since we don’t have a lake and mountains anywhere around here, I did the books.”

Lillian Till poses in her new Cape Coral bookstore, Flutterbuy Books and More.
Lillian Till poses in her new Cape Coral bookstore, Flutterbuy Books and More.

So when the opportunity came along, Till decided to buy Donna’s Book Stop and its inventory of used paperback books and jigsaw puzzles (most of which survived the hurricane). She stored all of them in her garage for months before finding a new location.

“It was packed!” Till says. “My car couldn’t get into the garage. I’m sure it drove my husband batty, but he was kind about it.”

She’d hoped to find a place closer to the old store in downtown, but there wasn’t much to choose from in her price range. She eventually landed on a former dress shop just off Pine Island Road, behind the Bonefish Grill shopping center.

They finally opened June 3 in the 1,900-square-foot space at 840 S.W. Fourth St., No. 7 ― about 200 square foot bigger than the old one.

Till has NO idea how many books and jigsaw puzzles she has stacked in the place, floor to ceiling.

A LOT, she says.

“I know we had 47 medium-sized boxes of fiction, alone,” she says. “It took over two months to put these books up. That’s how many we had.”

Cape Coral’s only bookstore

You won’t find another place like this in Cape Coral, Till says. It’s Cape Coral’s only dedicated bookstore, used or otherwise. It also has the biggest selection of used jigsaw puzzles that she knows about in Southwest Florida.

Readers have fewer and fewer places for finding books these days, Till says. Even major book chains have been cutting back on their inventory.

“Publix doesn’t sell books anymore,” Till says. “BJ’s and Sam’s cut back. You go into Books-A-Million, and it’s not even 50 percent books anymore. … Even Barnes & Noble has cut their fiction section dramatically.

“So where do you go to get books. How do you find out about new authors?”

Jigsaw puzzles are a big deal at Flutterbuy Books and More. There are two walls packed with used puzzles in the back of the store.
Jigsaw puzzles are a big deal at Flutterbuy Books and More. There are two walls packed with used puzzles in the back of the store.

Flutterbuy has you covered: Stacks and stacks of colorful books by everyone from Fern Michaels and Mary Higgins Clark to Dean Koontz and Tom Clancy ― all neatly arranged in genres such as Florida Authors, Historical Romance, Horror and Mystery.

Almost everything in the store is used. All used paperback books are sold for 50 percent off the cover price. And used puzzles are $4 each. If you bring in used books and puzzles for trade, you’ll also get credit toward your next purchase there.

You can even rent a small selection of new-release hardcovers at $5 for two weeks. If you bring it back a week early, you get store credit.

It’s a much cheaper way to go than buying new, Till says. New hardcovers can cost $20-$30.

“Books are expensive,” she says. “The prices have gone up.”

A haven for jigsaw puzzle fans

The puzzles are a big draw, as well: They take up two packed walls in a small room at the back of the store ― with puzzles stacked behind each other on the shelves and towering up to the ceiling, too.

Puzzles are still a huge part of her business, Till says. She sells almost as many of those as books.

“I would say it’s almost 50/50,” Till says. “There are a LOT of puzzlers!”

Just like in the old store, you'll find a table set up at the front with one of Baker’s puzzles already in progress. Till, however, admits she isn’t much of a fan, herself.

“Donna does puzzles,” Till says. “I read books! I don’t have the patience for puzzles.”

How did Flutterbuy get its name?

Wander around the store for a few minutes, and you’ll figure it out quickly: Till loves butterflies.

There are butterfly paintings on the walls. Butterfly stained-glass art on easels. Butterfly throw rugs. Till even has a butterfly tattoo on her hip.

The butterflies are a nod to Till’s dad, Doug Parrish, who died about two decades ago. He raised butterflies as a hobby and helped start a local elementary-school program where he’d bring butterflies to the schools.

When it came time to name her store, Till figured butterflies had to be represented. Then she came up with “Flutterbuy.”

“I just thought it was cute…” Till says and smiles. “Flutter by and buy a book!”

To learn more about Flutterbuy Books and more, call 789-6619 or visit

Connect with this reporter: Charles Runnells is an arts and entertainment reporter for The News-Press and the Naples Daily News. For news tips or other entertainment-related matters, call him at 239-335-0368 (for tickets to shows, call the venue) or email him at You can also connect with him on Facebook (, Twitter (@charlesrunnells), Threads (@crunnells1) and Instagram (@crunnells1).

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Cape Coral's only bookstore: Flutterbuy is home to puzzles, paperbacks