Friday, September 19, 2008
Another greatly revered literary destination in Oxford is Square Books, the aptly named independent bookstore, which anchors a corner of The Square. With its doors open since 1979, the store is cherished by the town and a larger community of literary devotees. It is consistently ranked among the top independent bookstores in the nation.
Owned by Richard Howorth, the current mayor of Oxford, and his wife, Lisa, Square Books has embraced the literary history of the city. The store not only celebrates William Faulkner, but carries a large selection of works by Southern writers, such as John Grisham, Alice Walker, Eudora Welty, Barry Hannah, Willie Morris, Larry Brown and many others. Book signings and readings are frequent events at this store.
Two offspring locations are in close vicinity. Off Square Books carries used and discount books; it also plays host to Thacker Mountain Radio, a live variety show featuring musical acts and author readings that is broadcast live every Thursday evening. Square Books Jr. is a store geared to children.
On the upper-level of the main store, there is a small cafe and plenty of cozy reading nooks.
The second-story balcony, which runs alongside the entire length of the building, overlooks The Square and is filled with benches, tables, and chairs. It is a perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee, read and watch life on the streets below.
You can browse their collection of books online, and all three locations are open seven days a week.