I'm featuring the world famous Square Books Jr. in Oxford, Mississippi, a little slice of heaven located a couple of blocks from my house. It is a spin-off children's store in a separate building from it's parent, the Grand Dame of all bookstores Square Books. (if you click the link, you will see my two youngest girls flanking Kate di Camillo in the last picture ... go look, I'll wait)
In the nearly ten years that I've lived in Oxford, I've met Kate di Camillo, Keven Henkes, Mo Willems, Deborah Wiles, Toni di Terlizzi, Christopher Paul Curtis, Karen Hesse, Laurie Halse Anderson, Trenton Lee Stewart, Ally Condie, Jan Brett, T.A. Barron, Laura Numeroff, Richard Peck . . . (and those are just the ones I thought of off the top of my head) at Square Books, Jr.
My dear friend Jill Moore is the head book buyer, and she runs the store in a way that is relaxed, inviting, and with just a touch of groovy-hippie vibe. My children and I can go to the store and read and linger without feeling pressure to make a purchase and leave (although we make many, many purchases).
|John Bemelman Marciano and Jill Moore|
The store is located downtown and close to the middle school. It is a local ritual for all of the sixth-eighth graders in town to walk to the Square after school to hang out at the bookstore, coffee shops, the yogurt shop, the candy store ... Square Books Jr. has a huge back room where they allow all of the kids to dump their backpacks so that they can walk around, unencumbered by fifteen pounds of Algebra textbooks on their shoulders. How cool is that?
I could gush on and on about all of the tiny wonderful things that Square Books does for our town, but the main thing I want to say is that it is the BEST thing in the world to have a curated store of hand-picked books with a knowledgable sales staff who know their customers.
Hats off to indies!!! Follow us on Twitter using #iheartindies and check out some more indie love at the links below:
Carolina Valdez Miller
Sara Bennett Wealer
Lisa and Laura Roecker