The third installation in our series features 5 more bookstores who are weathering the pandemic with author events, staff picks, and book bundles in tow. As we await their reopening, here are some resources for readers in need!
Square Books – Oxford, MS
A beloved bookstore serving residents of Oxford, Mississippi as well as University of Mississippi students, Square Books celebrated its 40th anniversary in September of 2019. Since closing to in-person business in March, booksellers wasted no time creating virtual opportunities for readers to stay connected with the store, from author talks on Instagram, to shop-able virtual shelves. Behind on spring shopping? Celebrate a deserving dad or recent graduate with a gift bundle, or treat yourself to a care package of a hand-picked book, a coffee mug, and the Square Books coffee blend. For fans of new releases, Square Books maintains a regular subscription program of signed first-edition books for fiction and non-fiction fans alike, and keeps an updated list of Staff Picks on their website.
Parnassus Books – Nashville, TN
Parnassus Books, a longtime haven to book-loving Nashvillians, opened in 2011 with novelist Ann Patchett and her business partner, Karen Hayes, at its helm. Home to fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books alike, Parnassus has withstood the pandemic, continuing to market, sell, and ship books to readers on lockdown. Tune in on Instagram for a weekly recommendation from a gowned Ann Patchett, whose quarantine wardrobe rivals Scarlett O’Hara’s. In want of some book mail? Parnassus offers Book Bundles and Memberships, and is accepting online orders for shipping as long as the storefront remains closed. Grow your to-be-read pile with selections from booksellers’ Staff Picks and curated Reading Lists, and don’t forget to tune in for virtual author events on Facebook Live.
The Bookshelf – Thomasville, GA
A favorite among Thomasville, Georgia residents, The Bookshelf has garnered support from readers nationwide, all of whom can tune in to the From the Front Porch podcast, register as Bookshelf Bucks members, or shop the shelves from a distance. These efforts to reach faraway readers are more prescient than ever. Since closing its doors to foot traffic in March, The Bookshelf has continued to service readers from a distance, fulfilling online orders, delivering book bundles, and hosting a virtual Literary Lunch to celebrate summer releases. For devoted readers, The Bookshelf offers three Shelf Subscription programs: A Book-of-the-Month Club featuring new-releases chosen by shop staffers, a membership for Kids + Kids at Heart, and a Treat Yo’ Shelf bundle, replete with a first edition hardback and a bookish gift. For even more Staff Picks check out The Bookshelf’s social media pages, and give From the Front Porch a listen: this episode about building a personal library is a favorite of ours.
Scuppernog Books – Greensboro, NC
Scuppernong Books opened in December 2013 in the Greensboro neighborhood of North Carolina, and has become a regular provider of books, wine, and company to local readers. Though the storefront is temporarily closed, Scuppernong has digitized much of its programming, hosting virtual author talks, writing workshops, e-parties, and book clubs, all while fulfilling book orders via their website. Adventurous readers may consider a mystery box of books in the genre/age group of their choosing, while the risk-averse can create a wishlist to keep track of their favorites. Need a gift for a recent graduate? Adopt a Scuppernong bookshelf in their name, or take a look at co-owners Brian and Steve’s suggestions of books for the class of 2020.
Skylark Bookshop – Columbia, MO
Tucked away on Ninth Street in Columbia, Missouri, Skylark Bookshop is known for its sleek design and highly curated stock. Owner Alex Goerge and manager Carrie Koepke have worked to keep the shop active since closing to foot traffic in March, providing recommendations via email (you can reach Skylark at [email protected]!) and shipping books to faraway readers. For more information on book-buying from Skylark, refer to this guide on choosing and acquiring your next read in quarantine, and stay up-to-date with Alex George’s book-of-the-day pick on Instagram. For gift-seekers and book-lovers alike, Skylark offers a Reading Subscription, and seasonal book bundles including this one for 2020 graduates, or this one for quarantined kids.