What is a book shop?
Is it just a place to buy books or to take your old books for store credit? Independent book shops stretch far beyond this box, if they are true to their purpose and nature; for they are meant to be a hub of ideas, discussions, imagination and thinking, nerve centers of the community regarding literature and ideas, and encouragement toward literacy and reading. Every community should have an indie book shop.
Our community is blessed to have an indie book shop in Biloxi, MS.
Since 2013, Southern Bound Book Shop has been the only indie book shop in Biloxi (and also Ocean Springs). Shereen Markowitz Kostmayer dreamed of opening a community book shop and after 17 years in her chosen profession and a personal tragedy three years ago, she took her life into a different direction – to create space for real books to thrive in a digital world.
The book shop opened with nearly empty shelves, but it quickly grew and now spills over with books. In fact, a second location will soon open as the only book shop in Ocean Springs, Miss.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast is filled with talented writers and authors.
From the ocean, words seem to drip upon the shores and hang from the palm trees, inspiring the many who write. It’s a place known for artists, creativity and writers. Southern Bound Book Shop features the work of local and regional authors, from the well-known like Greg Iles and Carolyn Haines to the new and novice authors. Regional authors frequently visit the book shop to host Book Signings, readings, and receptions sometimes coined as “Wine & Signs.”
Southern Bound Book Shop has many loyal customers who order books and frequently stop by to peruse the menagerie of genres lining the bookshelves in the cozy boutique atmosphere. It’s the kind of place that overwhelms your desire to pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read all day. You can also chat with Shereen about books as you meet new and interesting people. In the children’s area is a reading rug and bean bag for the kiddos; in the back of the shop, Mom & Dad can plop into one of the funky and cushioned chairs.
The book shop also carries a large collection of used books,
many of which come from patrons who receive a store credit. The used books are in such great condition, one never guesses that most are used. Prices are reasonable and when in doubt about which book to choose, Shereen is happy to recommend one or two.
In addition to books, Southern Bound Book Shop offers vintage jewelry and recycled art by local artists. There is a small collectible books section for the true book collectors. Don’t forget to check out the Okra Picks Books, which are nominated by the Southern Independent Bookstores Alliance (SIBA). Members of SIBA nominate new books quarterly. Their motto is “Great Southern books, fresh off the vine.” Trisha Yearwood’s cookbook has been nominated, as well as many other great books for all ages.
Every Tuesday is New Release Day.
Lucy (from the “I Love Lucy” show) has become the unofficial mascot of New Release Day, and her image – a face of surprise and wonder- announces what new books have been released.
Southern Bound Book Shop encourages the community to read
by sponsoring a Little Free Library located at The Greenhouse on Porter in Ocean Springs, which has gotten great feedback from visitors who take a book and leave a book. This past summer, Southern Bound held several story time events for children. They also offered a free activity for children at the Downtown Ocean Springs Artwalk at which kids could draw, write and make their own book to take home. Other recent events relate to local history, container gardening, and a benefit concert.
This corner book shop is truly a treasure for the community! Stop by and check it out… and bring a friend!