ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

Mississippi Bookstores

Updated on June 8, 2016

Let a book traveler guide you to some of the coolest hangouts in America's great literary terrain: Mississippi

Twice a year, I travel to many Mississippi bookstores for University Press of Mississippi, and I think they are the most valuable havens for bibliophiles in America. Many of Mississippi's towns lack the population to support large chain stores. So from the Hills to the Delta down River Country to the Central Plain through the Piney Woods and on to our Gulf Coast, independent bookstores have found a way to thrive and create places where booklovers congregate. These brave entrepreneurs share the very latest history, mystery, fiction, children's books, and Mississippiana with an eager clientelle. From the state that brought America William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Walker Percy, Shelby Foote, Tennessee Williams, Willie Morris, Richard Wright, Margaret Walker Alexander, James Whitehead, Ellen Douglas, Elizabeth Spencer, Larry Brown, Frank Stanford, Barry Hannah, Lewis Nordan, Howard Bahr, Steve Yarbrough, Turner Cassity, and Natasha Trethewey (to name but a few), expect to be enriched when you walk through one of these doors. Each store is an expression of its management, its neighborhood, and its hometown. So when you are down here with us, drop by. This lens is organized alphabetically by city or town first, then alpha by store name.

(POSTSCRIPT TO BOOKSTORES: If you are not listed here: 1) I'm always building; 2) I'm happy to hear from you; 3) I'm including only stores I know sell new books, not just used; 4) I haven't visited you and need to! So let me hear from you: syates @ mississippi.edu)

type=text
type=text

Bay Books

Bay St. Louis

131 Main Street

Bay St. Louis, MS 39500

228-463-2688

http://www.mybaybooks.com/

Jeremy Burke, a Hancock County native and St. Stanislaus alum, found his local bookstore up for sale. And he heard no one was buying.

"It seemed like a good idea at the time. I wrote the check!"

And since March 26 of 2010 he's been selling books in this delightful nook just a walk from the beach, where pile drivers were busy on new construction when I visited.

Fittingly Jeremy has a story for almost every fixture in the store. When irreplacable tiles (fired in 1911 and no longer made) went bad over the register, he had fascinating woodwork built up to the ceiling. A folding wooden divider bears the last 15 of over one thousand of his grandfather's superb photographs of Gulf Coast people and places. Lost to Hurricane Katrina's ravages. "All those photographs are now out in the Bay somewhere. An architect, an eccentric! Now if he had written a book, it would have been a bestseller." I'm sold!

Drop in and find out what books are perfect take homes to save yourself a piece of this incredible spot on our Gulf Coast.

type=text
type=text

Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum

Biloxi

Edgewater Mall, Highway 90

Near Belk's Entrance

P.O. Box 1907

Biloxi, MS 39533

228.435.6320

http://www.maritimemuseum.org

Temporarily relocated in the Edgewater Mall (Hurricane Katrina wiped out the original location by the bridge to Ocean Springs), this shop has succeeded so well in its foot traffic that manager Robert Sweeting wonders if the museum may keep this location as a satellite once the original is rebuilt. The staff is building the book shelf, which, as you would expect, involves seafood, Coast history, Coast wildlife, and boating, in addition to a new cookbook by the museum. Cool ship models and examples of local power and paddle boats, plus driftwood carvings and more.

type=text
type=text

Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art Store

Biloxi

386 Beach Boulevard

Biloxi. Mississippi 39530

228-374-5547

228-436-3641 (Fax)

museumstore@georgeohr.org

www.georgeohr.org

I love the cafe and the wide open feel of this gift shop with tons of natural light. Books cover one whole wall and are naturally tied to the current exhibitions or to the Coast's artists. Hurricane Katrina picked up a casino barge and smashed it through the original museum in 2005 (a Frank Gehry design!) just a week before the grand opening. Now with the shop open and exhibits up and running, a lot is going on. Manager Stacey Johnson writes: "We have a fantastic collection of all things Mississippi---books, esp. related to the arts, literature, photography. Also a fabulous array of MS music and documentaries, and, of course, ART galore!"

Bay Window Books

Brandon

151 B W. Government ST

Brandon, MS, 39042

601-706-4545

ALERT: This store has moved. We'll be swinging in very soon to augment our photo and get a new review. Suzanne brought 12.5 tons of books from York, Pennsylvania, six months ago (my visit was 7.23.2013), and is now hosting local authors, stocking new books, and helping Pearl school children with that summer reading list. With Suzanne's spirit and mission-driven business philosophy, a lot of good bookselling could happen here! Among the used gems: stacks of Bobsey Twins, Hardy Boys, hardback Evan S. Connell's Son of the Morning Star. No website yet but you can look the store up and like it on Facebook.

Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art

Clarksdale

252 Delta Ave.

Clarksdale, MS 38614

662-624-5992

www.cathead.biz

On my last visit here, I circled the really substantial book table, while just outside (see painting) three musicians lamented the broil of summer and the gigs they were getting, or not getting, with grit and gusto. Something blues is always happening in here. While not a juke (or jook), this joint is funky cool. My face-to-face store stops have all been as a customer, usually touring the bluesy Delta with outworlders (like me) doing their blues traveling pilgrimages. Lots of books and blues CDs and DVDs. A required stop, especially if you want to make the art in your home cooler than the House of the Blues collection or decorate with the otherwise inimitable flare of the jooks in Birney Imes' Juke Joint. 2-KOOL 2-BE 4-GOTTEN. This great image of the storefront is from photo/artist Chuck Lamb.

type=text
type=text

Delta Blues Museum

Clarksdale

1 Blues Alley

Clarksdale, MS 38614

662-627-6820

www.deltabluesmuseum.org

How can you go wrong with an address such as Number One Blues Alley? And right down the row is the Ground Zero Blues Club; up Delta Avenue is Madidi Restaurant. What more do you need to come to Clarksdale?! Again this is a store I'm in more often as a customer, and I'm telling you the clerks can take you deep into blues history or bend your strings to something brand new being played or discovered. This store also boasts one of my favorite book traveler moments. Holding up Earl Hooker: Blues Master (warning: part self-serving plug) I asked the clerk how it was selling. "Sold one yesterday," he says. "Get this, the cat buying was from Bulgaria."

type=text
type=text

Miss Del's General Store

Clarksdale

145 Delta Avenue

Clarksdale, MS 38614

662-624-2381

https://www.missdels.com/newindex.html

One more reason to spend the whole day in Clarksdale, Miss Del's quirky, rustic storefront gives way to a cozy interior with jams, jellies, a cooler of sodas, toys and kids games, and a large library table and a great big corner with two shelves piled with Mississippi books. This gift shop is an object lesson in not judging by exteriors: the ouside might look like the shot here, but the inside is upscale without being foreign to the Delta. Most stores in Clarksdale have books on the blues, but Miss Del's has books on the Delta, on Eudora Welty, some children's books, books you didn't find at the blues museum or at Cat Head. Don't miss the nursery attached to the general store---it is fully stocked for the green thumb!

type=text
type=text

Cotton Row Bookstore and Computer Company

Cleveland

333 Cotton Row

Cleveland, MS 38732

662-843-7083

How great is it to walk in a store and find a huge wall of regional variety as the first feature? But Cotton Row tops that: this giant regional shelf takes up a third of the store! Virginia O'Neal knows her town and its authors and habits. Around the store, Cleveland's downtown (which is shaped in a long rectangle rather than a square) is spruced up with boutique shops, bars, and restaurants. We've done business for years and many authors with Delta roots have signed at Cotton Row. This shot was on a Sunday after a Delta wedding.

type=text
type=text

Pentimento

Clinton

302 Jefferson Street

Clinton, MS 39056

601-925-4662

Right across from Wyatt Waters' gallery and around a corner from Cups Coffee, this bookstore makes Clinton's downtown an even more pleasant stroll. Eclectic new section and savvy used. Great (signed!) first editions of Howard Bahr and others. No webpage yet but I will post when it comes. On a fall day with the doors wide open and Jefferson street bathed in sunshine, lounge in one of the chairs with a good book Toni chooses for you... then I dare you to leave!

type=text
type=text

Tennessee Williams Home & Welcome Center

Columbus

300 Main Street

Columbus, MS 39701-4532

662-329-8765

In the absence of an independent bookstore in Columbus, the convention and visitors' bureau is wisely expanding the gift shop within one room of the old rectory, the house in which the great Mississippi playwright spent his early years. So, bonus!, you can tour the house, see nifty antiques and purchase books by and about not only Williams but also Faulkner, Welty, and Mississippi classics such as Juke Joint by Columbus's own Birney Imes. Be sure to call before you come... budget considerations and staff changes may have the bookstore shuttered but the house open for tours. Ring and discover.

McCormick Book Inn

Greenville

825 South Main Street

Greenville, MS 38701

662-332-5038

ALAS! After 46 years, Hugh McCormick will retire from bookselling November 30, 2011.

If a library is the mind of a college campus, then a bookstore has to be a community's mind, buzzing with new ideas and opinions. A three-hour appointment at McCormick Book Inn could teach you more about Greenville than many a museum. The store devoted significant space to an intriguing and substantial collection of local historic newspapers, photographs, documents, posters, all displayed with curatorial elan.

Now, the store is up for sale: "Property includes land, store building, storage, authentic book smell, legendary dust, multi-generational corner cobwebs, Buster the store cat. Negotiable items: custom built wooden fixtures, basic regional inventory, active website."

type=text
type=text

Turnrow Book Co.

Greenwood

304 Howard Street

Greenwood, MS 38930

662-453-5995

www.turnrowbooks.com

This is the home of one of my book trade heroes, Jamie Kornegay. We both started bookselling in Mississippi at about the same time, him at Square Books in 1998, and me at UPM in that same year. When my wife and I went up to Greenwood to help him move the old Dancing Rabbit Books across Howard to the new store, he dropped one of the most inspirational sentences I have ever heard. "Steve," he said. "I decided this next decade I'm going to work harder than any other time in my whole life." With a smile he said it, and a day's worth of sweat and grit from moving. This space is spectacular, and with the proximity of the Viking Cooking School it is growing a cookbook collection that may rival (no appliance brand puns intended) any in the country. On a recent leisurely visit (my new book Some Kinds of Love: Stories is part of this summer's Turnrow 20), I met delightful local readers, Senator David Jordan, cool and inspiring students from Teach for America, and a potter bringing his wares up to the new gallery upstairs. The café upstairs is wonderful as well. Turnrow is now Jackson's Banner Hall all happening in one space!

type=text
type=text

Sugarplum's Bakery, Books & Coffee

Grenada

Sunset Plaza

1321 G Sunset Drive

Grenada, MS 38901

662-226-6676

This store is right off I-55, taking exit 206 east on Hwy 8 (Sunset Drive) and up the hill on the right now. Sunset Plaza is on the crest of the first really big hill traveling east, and the plaza has two sections. Sugarplum's is in the second section. Susan Baker (a baker by trade!) has bought out Yellow Bike Books. Susan and I had a long talk at Mississippi Market Wholesale Gift Show (June 7, 2013), and I am loving the evolution of the store: tuned to the customer. Grenada (pron. Gre NAY da) is without a coffee shop, and so all the hotels were sending guests to Sugarplum's. While guests were enjoying coffee and great baked goods, they wanted to buy books about Mississippi. And of course local school children need a place to bag that summer reading list. Susan is going to meet all three needs, bakery, books, and coffee. How lucky for Grenada!

type=text
type=text

Barnes & Noble

Gulfport

15246 Crossroads Parkway

Gulfport, MS 39503

228-832-8906

Just east off US Highway 49 and before the I-10 interchange as you are slowing in the traffic approaching Gulfport you can see this Barnes & Noble. Linda Randolph maintains a Coast-heavy and Mississippi-friendly selection. Even on weekday afternoons when I have visited, this place is busy with booklovers.

Main Street Books

Hattiesburg

205 Main Street

Hattiesburg, MS 39401

601-584-6960

www.visitmainstreetbooks.com

Here's another store alongside which I grew up in bookselling. When I first talked with Diane Shepherd she was still setting up shelves and getting excited when someone would peek in the window to see what was happening. I was just a publicist and promotions manager then, setting up signings. We answered a lot of questions together, and I don't know who learned more about the business! Now Diane has moved across Main Street and the store has tremendous space, lots of Hattiesburg authors and books about the Coast. For a look inside the bookstore, see the seven (not very professional!) videos I took with a flipcam on my last visit. See them at UPM's vimeo site

type=text
type=text

B. B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center

Indianola

Gift Shop

400 Second Street

Indianola, MS 38751

662-887-9539, ext. 226

www.bbkingmuseum.org

Blues books and not just those about B. B. King predominate here. But you can also find the best new books about the Delta, photography, cooking, music, and more. The Museum exhibits are not to be missed by the blues fan, and having been through them more than once now, I would do it all over again. Get one of the bottled waters just for the label image and the cool phrase, "B.B. King: From Indianola to icon."

Dragonfly Shoppe

Jackson

Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

2148 Riverside Drive

Jackson, MS 39202-1353

601-354-7303

museum.mdwfp.com

This is THE stop for critter geeks (like me and all my nephews and nieces). But the store also carries Walter Anderson books and a good selection of Mississippiana beyond natural history.

Jubilee Bookstore

Jackson

Jackson State University

Ayer Hall

1400 Lynch Street

Jackson, MS 39217

601.979.3935

It's great to get in on the ground floor, but that old cliché literally won't work here (see picture!). Now expanding (really transforming might be the better word) on the second floor of Ayer Hall in the Margaret Walker Alexander Research Center is The Jubilee Bookstore. Director Robert Luckett plans on carrying titles in African American studies, Civil Rights studies, African American fiction and poetry, and of course books by Margaret Walker Alexander and books in our series in honor of her, The Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies. This is NOT the campus bookstore, but something revived and new. Call for hours and information.

Lemuria

Jackson

202 Banner Hall

4465 I-55 North

Jackson, MS 39206

601-366-7619

www.lemuriabooks.com

My hometown bookstore, a phone number I have memorized, and a book space I am thankful for every day. I grew up in the Missouri Ozarks, and let me tell you, it would have been heavenly to have had a store such as Lemuria in my original hometown. I knew about Lemuria before I ever set foot in it or sold a book to its staff. When Rick Bass visited the University of Arkansas Creative Writing Program, he told us he became a writer because John Evans at Lemuria handed him Jim Harrison's LEGENDS OF THE FALL and said, "Here. You ought to read this." Now that is bookselling! Tons of events, pictures on the wall of hundreds of literary lights, first edtions, a seemingly endless selection of contemporary fiction... this is one of the cardinal bookstores of the South.

Mississippi History Store

Jackson

200 North Street

Jackson, MS 39201

601-576-6933

mdah.state.ms.us/museum/shop.php

While the Old Capitol is being repaired from Hurricane Katrina damage, the Mississippi History Store is sharing books on history, art, literature, and Mississippi from the beautiful Winter Archives building. Also a great feature: if you cannot make it to Ocean Springs to the Walter Anderson Museum Gift Shop or Realizations, this store has cards and prints from Anderson and many others. Do call for status... renovations and budget cuts in Mississippi have caused the store to close now and again.

type=text
type=text

Mississippi Museum of Art Store

Jackson

Mississippi Museum of Art

380 South Lamar Street

Jackson, MS 39201

601-965-9939

www.msmuseumart.org/catalog_c166283.html

After you've seen the giant paintings by Bill Dunlap and photographs by Eudora Welty, you can take books home and keep a piece of the art forever. Great cards drawn from the collection and lots of stationary items, but the manager also keeps lots of Eudora Welty on hand and books by other Mississippi writers. The store carries a lot of Walter Anderson books, as well as books on the Wolfes, Hollingsworth, Dunlap, Barthe, and many other great Mississippi artists.

type=text
type=text

Barnes & Noble

Madison

1000 Highland Colony Pkwy Ste 3008

Ridgeland, MS 39157

601-605-4028

While my tag here says Madison, the mail goes to Ridgeland. On Interstate 55 just north of Jackson it is hard to tell when you have barreled past Jackson into Ridgeland into Madison. So slow down! Lindsay Jarman and staff have an expansive store with a mind toward local representation. If you want some Mississippi, they make sure it is here.

type=text
type=text

Barnes & Noble Mississippi State University

Mississippi State

75 BS Hood Drive

Cullis Wade Depot

Mississippi State, MS 39762

662-325-1580

There's no way to call this spectacular store just another college bookstore. Designed inside to mimic the depot architecture of the reclaimed train depot that is Mississippi State's stunning Student Union, this store serves its community as well as a student and faculty audience. Just sitting for a few hours with the trade manager during spring break was all the proof I needed. Local customers came to her desk several times to follow up on new books they had ordered in a previous visit, find new books (Nebraska archeology was one request!), and order more books if they were not right on the shelf. This store has a large regional trade wall, stacks of Mississippi State gear. And it is right across from the football stadium. The way that trade manager Beth Johnson, a Bulldog alum, viewed customer service and the community service role of the store was inspiring,

Cover-to-Cover

Natchez

www.c2cbooks.com/?page=shop/index

Charles Hall has transformed his store to online and events only. Check out his webpage, and he is still committed to helping Mississippi authors with events in restaurants around lovely Natchez.

type=text
type=text

Old South Trading Post

Natchez

200 North Broadway

Natchez, MS 39120

1-866-440-5354

http://oldsouthtradingpost.com/newsite/

No checkout counter here to afford maximum merchandise, and so all transactions, all commerce sings from the narrow garret Jonathan Wood roams and rules in the back of this super stocked tourist haven. His mighty, melodious voice greets all comers with a Happy hello, and, Here's what's new. I defy a customer to leave with buyer's remorse after his glad greeting or exclamation of What a perfect choice, she'll love that! And I couldn't resist a tastefully designed tee-shirt that read Natchez, Mississippi, established 1716. 1716! For books, the Old South Trading Post keeps Civil War, Mississippi and Louisiana cook books, photography gift books, ghost story books, and southern travel guides. A mailed newsletter goes to 18,000 every quarter. This shop is on the bluff side of Broadway in the same depot building that houses an outlet of the amazing Mississippi catfish restaurant, Cock of the Walk.

Turning Pages Books & More

Natchez

520 Franklin Street

Natchez, MS 39120

601-442-2299

www.turningpagesbooks.net

One of my favorite driving circuits is to blaze over to Vicksburg and see Lorelei Books, then cruise down the Blues Highway US 61 through Port Gibson and on to Natchez, where Mary Emrick and great Natchez books await. Greg Iles signed copies and lots of literary Mississippi here, plus an enormous shelf of Civil War books and every Natchez home and architetcture book waiting for Spring and Fall Pilgrims. This store is as cozy as a warm cup of tea, and boasts a mascot named Sugar (see mascot photos below), who will sleep on your coat without your even needing to ask.

Realizations

Ocean Springs

1000 Washington Avenue

Ocean Springs, MS 39564

228-875-0503

walteringlisanderson.com

If you haven't been to Ocean Springs, drop what you are doing and hit the road now. An especially great time to be there is during the Peter Anderson Festival when the streets are flowered with craft vendors and all the shops and restaurants are bustling. This shop will show you books on Anderson's work and offer lots to take home from this unforgettable seaside village.

type=text
type=text

Walter Anderson Museum Store

Ocean Springs

510 Washington Avenue

Ocean Springs, MS 39564

228-872-3164

walterandersonmuseum.org

The first experience of Walter Anderson's art is transformative for anyone who has visited this museum. You will leave and see motion and energy in nature such as you never beheld before this encounter. Go here! Then stop at the shop and take something home to return you to Anderson's vision in case the World gets too much with you.

Square Books

Oxford

160 Courthouse Square

Oxford, MS 38655

662-236-2262

www.squarebooks.com

Looking out on the square that Benjy Compson was driven round to calm him and where so many other scenes William Faulkner described come alive, this store is one of the gems, and like Lemuria a cardinal store of the South. With OffSquare Books and Square, Jr. operating right around the corner, one could book browse all day in what Square has to offer, and still return to find undiscovered nuggets the staff is sharing in sections as far ranging as poetry, photography, and philosophy. Just down Courthouse Square are two more iterations of Square Books, Off Square and Square Junior. Off Square contains literary magazines, used books, and the event space. Square Junior is an amazing children's store. When I last visited I counted two strollers in the store and three more on the way in, and a lot of happy faces.

type=text
type=text

Pass Christian Books

Pass Christian

300 East Scenic Drive

Pass Christian, MS 39571

228-222-4827

www.passchristianbooks.com

How many bookstores can say: "Capable of withstanding 145-mile-per-hour winds?" The coffee shop and bookstore combined are wonderful, cozy, and the sunsets have to be an experience all to themselves. Too bad my wife and I only realized that looking through the rearview mirror... Oops! Upstairs loft will soon be filled with the books of Mississippi authors and books on Mississippi. The coffee shop also boasts a sandwich lunch, which locals are lining up for, and the store has already, in reopening November 2013, seen tremendous support. And why not considering the local builders and craftsmen who built it? Scott Naugle had said this last year on the Pass Christian Books' Facebook page: "It is important to us that our rebuilding project employs local firms and suppliers. We are, after all, a local business supporting and keeping our money in the local economy. Leah Watters of Watters Architecture is the architect patiently persevering through multiple renderings with us over almost two years. Matt McBride and his company, More Than A Carpenter, are the builders. Both Leah and Matt are Pass Christian businesses. Thank you to Sazerac Square for the early free use of earth-moving equipment before we could bring construction equipment onto the sloping lot. The pile-driving company of NTC Pile Driving in Ocean Springs placed more than two dozen piers seventeen feet into the ground, pressing on through broken equipment after striking an oyster bed. To date, in Pass Christian, we've had support from surveyor Buddy Clarke of J.R. Clarke and Associates keeping us above the required flood elevation, Keel Lumber, Pass Wholesale, and Puckett Rental with the lifts and cranes. Ron Daley is our unofficial photographer with daily photo updates. Lucio's Mexican Restaurant permitted the use of their parking lot as a storage and staging area." Come witness this Coast success!

type=text
type=text

Dancing Rabbit Press Gallery

Philadelphia

402 East Beacon Street

Philadelphia, MS, 39350-2954

601-650-1999

www.dancingrabbitpress.com

ALAS! Received word today (7.23.2012) that this store has closed.

There's a new gift shop, well new to me, that I may be able to post a lot more about here soon. Very sad to see this one go.

type=text
type=text

Book Mart

Starkville

120 E. Main Street

Starkville, MS 39759

662-323-2844

At my last visit (3.6.2014) I was so encouraged by the number of young customers (ages seven through thirteen or so) coming in to buy books themselves or with parents! No fewer than four sets of young customers shopped while Carolyn and I worked through the spring list. So encouraging! In downtown Starkville along a developing row of restaurants (including the original Mugshots), Book Mart has one whole room of Mississippi State gear, and a larger space devoted to trade books, mysteries, romances, and lots of regional books. Foot traffic was really good on the Thursday when I last visited. This store is associated with the Campus Book Marts, and the downtown outlet does carry course texts, and now features a cafe and bakery! The store works closely with its customers---in one appointment I counted two special order pick ups and one called in. If you're looking for any published author from the Golden Triangle (Columbus, Starkville, Tupelo, West Point), this is the place. I found books by local authors from our deep, deep backlist! On my recent visit, the thriving cafe was in full swing (I could smell strawberry cake everywhere!), and Barbara reported Christmas/4Q 2011 as the best in Book Mart history, with all three categories rising: books, cafe, MSU apparel.

type=text
type=text

Barnes & Noble

Tupelo

The Mall at Barnes Crossing

1001 Barnes Crossing Road #104

Tupelo, MS 38804

662-791-7868

Aren't we getting big-time with three Barnes & Nobles in the state! Scott and Starr work overtime to make sure their store has a solid Northeast Mississippi flavor. Beware the Nook sales kiosk at front, especially if you bring a gadget geek with you. You will be hooked into Nooking by a happy, gregarious Tupelo retailer! Bypass and head straight for the regional section. On a recent visit, Scott reported one of the best 4Q in the store's history. The store was quite busy for a Wednesday, and he said the opening of the new Toyota plant in Blue Springs nearby had really amped the local economy. Go, Golden Triangle!

Reed's Gum Tree Bookstore

Tupelo

111 South Spring Street

Tupelo, MS 38801-4811

662-842-6453

www.reedsgumtreebooks.com

Still selling good books and having fine events at my last visit (3.6.2014), Reed's Gumtree Books is now run by the smart and talented Susan May. Susan taught middle schoolers and then worked as a supervisor on the line at the Blue Springs, Mississippi, Toyota plant: so nothing can stop her! Reed's Department Store in hopping downtown Tupelo (I'm not kidding, great restaurants, cool pubs, nifty music and art stores, outstanding automotive museum, Elvis's birthplace has a whole lotta shakin goin on) is a classic, and Reed's Gum Tree bookstore is part of what makes it great. John Grisham signs new books at only a few stores in the nation---Lemuria, Square Books, Turnrow, and Reed's are among the lucky. On my recent visit, Grisham had just been in and there was a steady flow of customers picking up signed copies of his latest, 2500 copies in two days.

Lorelei Books

Vicksburg

1103 Washington Street

Vicksburg, MS 39183

601-634-8624

www.loreleibooks.com

And you thought Vicksburg was nothing but casinos and the battlefield. Take a look downtown and you will find next to the Attic Gallery a bookstore that makes buying local its mantra and your reward. Anything and everything about the River, Vicksburg, steamboats, the siege, it's here or Laura Weeks will find out about it for you. Plus, she has gathered literature and even poetry---she was advocating a new discovery, the poetry of Murray Shugar when I was last in. Ask her about who she's reading! A truly inviting space.

type=text
type=text

Old Courthouse Museum Store

Vicksburg

Old Court House Museum

1008 Cherry Street

Vicksburg, MS 39183

601-636-0741

www.oldcourthouse.org

How's this for history? Jefferson Davis delivered his first political speech on the east courthouse steps (pictured). From the cupola at top, a who's who of Confederate generals watched in dread as the Union gunboat fleet swung into firing range. And Ulysses S. Grant addressed his victorious troops from the west facing staircase. Dominating much of the first floor, the Old Court House Museum Store has all kinds of new books about the city, the river, and the siege. And it carries reprints of classics, and lots of local luminary and former curator Gordon Cotton's books. The minimal fee for museum entry is abundantly rewarded in the Confederate, Pioneer, Objet d' Art, and other curated display rooms.

type=text
type=text

Vicksburg National Military Park Store

Vicksburg

3201 Clay Street

Vicksburg, MS 39183

601-634-6286

http://www.nps.gov/vick/index.htm

Talk about getting your history at the source. Here's a bookstore with a super helpful and knowledgeable bookstore manager and park rangers on hand. AND its built on the hallowed ground of the 47-day siege. Walls of Civil War books, everything you could want on the siege, its commanders, armies, soldiers, civilian cave life, the Eads gunboats. If you wish only to drop into the store, you do not have to pay the park fee, though the monuments and driving tour are spectacular.

Bookstore mascot - Coco of Lorelei Books in Vicksburg

Coco says sales reps talk WAY too much.

Bookstore mascot - Sugar at Natchez's Turning Pages Books & More

Sugar received her MBA at Tulane University and was the first canine in Natchez to ace her CPA test on the first try.

Bookstore mascot - Bay Books' Pepper

type=text
type=text

Bookstore mascot - Patch from Main Street Books

type=text
type=text

Jerry and Diane found Patch at the back door one morning in 2007. Blind, tiny, and suffering, he was a mess. They took him to the vet, and the vet found so many problems, he recommended Patch be euthanized. Jerry said, no way. Here Patch is thriving in January of 2014. Now there are customers who come to the bookstore just to see and love Patch. UPDATE on Patch: Patch now does pottery! Though owner Diane Shepherd may claim to be the artisan turning beautiful bowls, cups, and pots and hosting pottery painting parties at Main Street Books, Patch assures us HE is the creative genius behind it all!

Bookstore mascot - When, O when does the UPS man arrive?

type=text
type=text

Chloe of Yellow Bike Books, the most gregarious and popular Maltese in all Grenada, delights in every customer... but, besides owner Debbie Mitchell, the UPS man is her absolute favorite. Since this picture doesn't capture her happy demeanour, let's assume she is anxiously awaiting her man in brown! After only three months customers are already dropping in just to pet this little wonder.

Bookstore mascot - Sugar of Bay Window Books

Who wouldn't like getting some sugar when you go to the bookstore? Bay Window in Pearl has a mascot that will jump right in your lap.

Bookstore mascot - Mr. Bailey of The Book Mart in Starkville

Mr. Bailey is the snoring partner of Monsieur Boudreaux. His snore is a sure sign the sales rep has gone on quite long enough about a given title.

Bookstore mascot - Boudreaux of The Book Mart in Starkville

Monsieur Boudreaux is the silent partner of Mr. Bailey above. Pugs are really hard to photograph---when you speak sweetly to them, they move!

Kindle some defiance, why dontcha? - Find this sign on your next visit

type=text
type=text

The revolution will not be kindle-ized, or so says Jamie Kornegay.

Bookseller at work - Diane Shepherd

readying the store at Main Street Books, Hattiesburg

Porch of Happy Sighs - at Pass Christian Books

At the newly rebuilt (pictured January 2014) Pass Christian Books, there are dozens of architectural and interior design moments when the book lover will pause and sigh in transported contentment. I predict this porch will be one of the most contentedly sighed upon spaces in all our Gulf Coast. And I say this before the harbor, which it will overlook (upper right corner), is finished!

Glad they were there; - Glad to see them gone!

Utility trucks putting Bay St. Louis back on the grid right outside of Bay Books when I visited.

Great reading space - The DotCom Building at Lemuria

I think this is Michael Connelly reading.

Cover-to-Cover - In beautiful downtown Natchez

Notice the building was originally a bank in 1889. Heartens, doesn't it? As if after the current banking system is destroyed, there will still be some good, undaunted bookseller courageously sharing books with his or her community no matter what befalls us!

Does selling Walter Anderson's books affect booksellers? - Side effects may include...

This is the lovely foot of an Alabama bookseller. And on that fine-turned foot is a tattoo of Robinson the Cat, Walter Anderson's famous kitten on the keys who plays duets with ease. Next person to email me the correct name of the bookstore this foot presides in and the town this foot belongs in wins a copy of Robinson: The Pleasant History of an Unusual Cat. Email syates @ mississippi.edu

Where Jubilee began! - At the Jubilee Bookstore at JSU

Or at least we can say, upon this typewriter Margaret Walker Alexander wrote her novel Jubilee. Shoppers can see it and many others artifacts and surprises at Jackson's "newest" store.

Where do we want to go next? - Allons à Lafayette!

With all apologies to the Ville Platte Queen candidates for any ethnomusicological innuendo here, and thanks to Ian McNulty for the photo, I'm embarking on a squidoo lens about Louisiana Bookstores. Check progress at links to my other lenses or at

http://www.squidoo.com/Louisiana-Bookstores, see link below!

Reader Feedback

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • upmtraveler profile image
      Author

      upmtraveler 4 years ago

      @SusanM5725: Thanks, missnative! I'm eager to hit the road in the new year and reconnect with Reed's and others. Thanks for dropping in on the stores and I hope the lens leads you home again soon!

    • SusanM5725 profile image

      Susan spencer 4 years ago from Texas

      Great lens! I have visited a couple of the Tupelo bookstores you mentioned. Reading your lens has made me realize I have been away from home for too long. Look forward to visiting your Mississippi bookstore lens again.

    • upmtraveler profile image
      Author

      upmtraveler 5 years ago

      @DrBillSmithWriter: Hey, Dr. Bill, thanks for visiting, and I'm really glad you enjoyed the info on these great bookstores! Mississippi is blessed.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I featured this lens in my new lens:

      https://hubpages.com/travel/heritage-tourism-in-mi...

      Thanks for sharing this useful information - love bookstores! ;-)

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      A great resource. Thanks for sharing! ;-)

    • profile image

      VillaDejaBlue 5 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens! Love book stores (my mom REALLY loves book stores!). I am actually an author - recently published my first book! If you get a chance, maybe you can look it up. It's called "Grace Through Every Trial." Again, great lens!

    • profile image

      Tupelohoney 6 years ago

      @upmtraveler: Yes, Yellow Bike Books kept the number 662-226-6676. Debbie will be happy to hear from you. I told her about UPM and this site. I love my new home but I will always be a Mississippi gal. I will be keeping up with all the bookstores through this site. Thank you so much for your commitment to the passion for books!

    • upmtraveler profile image
      Author

      upmtraveler 6 years ago

      @Tupelohoney: Thank you, Carolyn, for this splendid news! And I will greatly miss working with you. Now I have two new bookstore owners to meet---one in Bay St. Louis and one in Grenada. Exciting! Did Yellow Bike keep the same phone number?

    • profile image

      Tupelohoney 6 years ago

      Ooops. Forgot to mention I am Carolyn O'Brien, the founder and owner of BOOKS in Grenada, Mississippi -- now Yellow Bike Books!

    • profile image

      Tupelohoney 6 years ago

      I am thrilled to announce that the legacy begun by BOOKS in Grenada, Mississippi will continue! Debbie Mitchell has bought this store and will take it to a new level. Her new concept is Yellow Bike Books. (I just LOVE this name!) We couldn't help saying, "a good book and a good bike never go out of style."

      When I decided to sell my business I got constant questions and comments by my shoppers about how the Kindle or Nuk (sp? who cares) is putting book stores out of business. NOT TRUE!! I was relocating to Fairhope, Alabama. Independent book stores are thriving. Like any retail business new times call for some tweaking and small book stores or "book-tiques" I like to call them, are doing a marvelous job.

      Support your independent book stores and if you are near Grenada, Mississippi you must check out Yellow Bike Books in the Village Creek Plaza on Sunset Drive.

    • profile image

      AmateurAtHTML 6 years ago

      I love the anti-Kindle sign! If I can't hold the book in my hand and physically turn the pages it just doesn't have the impact on me.

    • upmtraveler profile image
      Author

      upmtraveler 6 years ago

      @AmateurAtHTML: Thanks for dropping by, AAHTML. And yes, these are different times. I have some thoughts about changes in the industry at http://fictionandhistory.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/... and more come up at UPM's blog http://upmississippi.blogspot.com/2011/06/mississi...

    • upmtraveler profile image
      Author

      upmtraveler 6 years ago

      @Countryluthier: Never stop dreaming, Countryluthier! And bless you for visiting. When you return, maybe take a minute and let us know which store you visited first!

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 6 years ago from Virginia

      Awesome collection of stores. I cannot wait to return to my native land and visit each of these fine establishments over time. It'd be nice if one of my lenses led to book carried by one or more of them, but that would be dreaming. Great lens.

    • upmtraveler profile image
      Author

      upmtraveler 6 years ago

      @TeacherSerenia: Serenia, I'm so glad you enjoyed the lens. It is a privilege to serve these great book stores! And I'm delighted you visited.

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 6 years ago

      I wish I lived in Mississippi. But I live in one of the biggest cities on the noth american continent and there are very few independent books shops selling NEW books in this city. There is one huge chain buying up as many shops as it can.Plenty of second hand shops. This was an absolutely wonderful lens and I loved each and every personal review. Thank you. Blessed by an angel.

    • upmtraveler profile image
      Author

      upmtraveler 6 years ago

      @MamaRuth: Thanks very much, MamaRuth! Tupelo is a great city. If you have a car nut in the family, don't skip the automotive museum right off Hwy 45 near downtown. Thanks for dropping by!

    • MamaRuth profile image

      MamaRuth 6 years ago

      I was looking for links related to Tupelo when I stumbled across your lens. As a bookstore lover, I was immediately intrigued. I have visited several of the stores you mention and appreciate the excellent job you did of conveying what is unique about each. I also enjoyed the excellent photographs. Way to go!

    • upmtraveler profile image
      Author

      upmtraveler 7 years ago

      @OhMe: Wow! Thanks, OhMe. I received this while, you guessed it, I was on the road! I'll check "Reflections" and thanks for the blessings!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Wonderful lens. Great photos and information with lots of local flavor of Mississippi's Book Stores. Very well crafted. Blessed by a Squid Angel and I am lensrolling to my lens Reflections of A Mississippi Magnolia.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 8 years ago

      Well, I guess this Alabamian will have many book stores to visit whenever I get around to crossing the border!

    • profile image

      Almor 8 years ago

      I liked all the images of the different book stores. I enjoy going to book stores and browsing. Books are addictive to me. Great lens. You are welcome to go to my book store at PennGrove Books.

      It looks bland compared to some of these stores.

      Allan

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hi Steve,

      This is a fine collection of bookstores; thanks for gathering them on one page. I was in Mississip in November for a book tour for my novel WHERE THE LAKE BECOMES THE RIVER, about growing up in the Delta. I gave readings at Square Books, Turnrow, Lemuria, McCormicks Book Inn, and finally Davis-Kidd in Memphis, and signed stock at some of the other stores you have listed here. They are all wonderful and sumptuous, each in its own way, and I just wished I had more time to hang out in them and enjoy. Will use your listing to contact some of these other fine bookstores for a return visit / booktour in Spring or Summer, so thanks for this excellent resource. All the best, Kate

    • profile image

      marydayle 8 years ago

      Hello! I finally got my squido on. Don't know how much further than this I can go with it. My family is already about to destroy my computers over the time I spend on our official website mccormickbookinn.com . Great job, Steve! I especially appreciate the short articles you reprint. Often use them on our site.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      This lens entered Fresh Squid Contest for January as one of featured lenses on Fresh Squid group in December! Come by and vote!

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      Welcome to Fresh Squid group! Glad to have you aboard!

    • RickBasset profile image

      RickBasset 8 years ago

      I see you found your way!

      Welcome to "BOOKS ON SQUIDOO!". Thanks for your great additions to the group!

      Peace! :~)

      Rick

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Wonderful article. As President of the hundred member Gulf Coast Writers Association, we independent writers value the local bookstores willingness to promote our work. Thanks for this excellent resource!

    • profile image

      JamaicaWriter 8 years ago

      Hello Mississippi Bookstores and Mississippi Readers,

      Margaret Cezair-Thompson here, author of "The Pirate's Daughter" (Unbridled Books) now available in paperback (Random House). I toured Mississippi last year December and had the time of my life. Invite me anytime and I'll be sure to come back. Thanks again to Jamie and his wife at Turnrow Books for making those great Jamaican appetizers, Reed's Gum Tree Bookstore for your wonderful hospitality, Square Books and Lemuria for choosing my book for your first editions clubs. Thanks too to the extended Tyler family and my great friends Amanda and Kris for driving us around and making us feel so very welcome. I want you all to know, my first novel "The True History of Paradise" will be reprinted and available in 2009. Look for it. I'm here on Squidoo, so please send me a "Hello." ps I have some photos from my Mississippi book tour & will post them if I can figure out how.

    • upmtraveler profile image
      Author

      upmtraveler 8 years ago

      [in reply to DavidMeermanScott] OYAAA! David Meerman Scott is the Grand Mac Daddy of new marketing, so THANK YOU, David, for visiting and leaving word. Here's a way to complete the great circle of karma, visitors. Call one of the bookstores above or drop in and purchase or order David's great book, New Rules of Marketing and PR, ISBN 9780470379288. You will be rewarded for the reading of it, and I mean more than karmically! OYAAA!

    • profile image

      DavidMeermanScott 8 years ago

      Cool. Thanks, Steve.. It's great that my ideas are helpful to you.

      FYI, my newest book "World Wide Rave: Creating triggers that get millions of people to spread your ideas and tell your stories" will be released in March, 2009. http://www.worldwiderave.com/

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      My first book came out this summer, which was thrilling until the dread reality set in that now I would have to sell it!

      Cold calling bookstores around the region to gauge interest in hosting a signing by me, an unknown, untested author, was daunting. . .that is until I started talking with these booksellers. The consideration, the interest and the honest assessment they afforded me was amazing.

      When it came time to hit the road and visit the stores that agreed to host my signings, the hospitality and welcome their staff and owners showed me was matched by the energy and intellect they obviously pour into their work. It really wasn't until I made my ad hoc tour of local bookstores that I realized how unique and valuable they are.

      So, from New Orleans and from the road, thanks for these stores and their people. And thanks Steve for getting them some deserved attention.

      Ian McNulty

      www.seasonofnight.com

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks Steve - that is in fact Michael Connelly reading at Lemuria. It was a great night, but the photo reminds me that I am losing all of my hair. I too am glad you squidoo.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Steve, what a grand idea. Personally, I have been visiting several of these stores for years and have been an advocate for these booksellers. I know that many of the publisher in New York love and respect these booksellers. On more than one occasion, I have witnessed shoppers from outside of Mississippi wander into these stores for the first time and express their surprise at the selection and the wonderful service they received.

    • upmtraveler profile image
      Author

      upmtraveler 8 years ago

      [in reply to senecacindy] Thanks, senecacindy! When the booksellers are this good, you have to shout it to the Hills... and the Delta and the Coast, and so on!

    • profile image

      senecacindy 8 years ago

      Great reading! I love Borders in Flowood. Thanks for starting this.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Cool read, Steve! You've made me want to hit the road and visit all of these wonderful Mississippi bookstores. I look forward to seeing you add more pictures, event info, and stores to this tour guide. Our state truly has such a rich literary history that you shouldn't have much trouble finding more interesting info to add. Keep up the good work!