Friday, April 3, 2015

Turnrow Book Co. - Greenwood, MS

Turnrow Book Co. - Greenwood, MS
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If you believe the mainstream media, you would think independent bookstores are on their way to extinction but the mainstream media hasn't toured the country to 90+ bookstores.  I'm continually amazed by some of the places where I find independent bookstores.  Who would think you could go to a small southern town in the Mississippi Delta and find a healthy, happening, independent bookstore?  I found it, readers, and it is a hidden gem!

I never would've found this store without the help of three previously visited bookstores, The Booksellers at Laurel,  Square Books, and Lemuria Bookstore, who all suggested I visit Turnrow.  Recommendations from other bookstores is how I often hear about the other indies.  Turnrow is owned by author, Jamie Kornegay.  He is very busy touring bookstores promoting his new book, Soil, so I didn't meet him during my visit, but I did get to meet Ben A., the manager, who was great to talk to about the store and lots of book suggestions (not that I need anything to read!  HA!)

This store opened in 2006 and years ago the building was home for a department store.  It is a two-level store with all the books on the ground floor.  Above this main floor is a wrap-around balcony that looks down on the store and there is a nice café at the rear of the upper level.  You'll find a good inventory of new books here and a strong section of local interests including southern literature and authors, history of the delta, civil war literature, and local Greenwood history.  There is a nice children's section located in the rear of the store and it includes a few sidelines of interest to kids.  Overall, the sidelines here are minimal but Ben shared that there has been some discussion about whether to expand this portion of the business, albeit reluctantly.  The store also hosts frequent author events, many on-site.  Parking is no problem and there is a great public lot behind the store where you can park for free.

So how does this indie in a small community succeed?  Hard work, a strong local customer base as well as tourists, and online orders.  It probably also helps that the store is owned by an author.  It also helps when you have managers like Ben who are knowledgeable about bookstores, books, and authors.  And like all good booksellers, is always trying to sell you a book!  Consider this gem no longer hidden.  I found it and you can too.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  A Civil Action, Jonathan Harr.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Geronimo Rex, Barry Hannah.  And not purchased but gifted, Soil, Jamie Kornegay.  Thanks Ben and Jamie.

Another exterior view.  

A great front window display.  

The author, Jamie Kornegay, owns Turnrow.  You'll find his book here!

View from the front entrance.  

This is in the front of the store.  Wake me when it's closing time!

I love this shot looking toward the back of the store from the front window.  Notice the upper balcony on both sides and the very cool ceiling.  

Books of local interest.  

Another area of local interest books.  

Another great place to sit and sample a book.  

This is the Turnrow 20.  Updated periodically with "can't miss" books.  

More staff recommendations.  

I'm anxious to read this one!

A selection of greeting cards.  

A portion of the children's section.  

View from the back of the store looking toward the front.  

Some of the CDs offered with an emphasis on Mississippi Delta blues.  

An outdoor porch area behind the café on the second floor.  

View of the café area on the second floor.  The side balconies are art galleries and include works by local artists.  

View from the café balcony looking toward the front of the store.  I notice a customer pondering her next book purchase.  

A part of the art gallery on the 2nd floor balcony.  

View from the front of the store on the balcony.  

Is there another indie anywhere in the country where I can have Turnip Green Soup on a Monday?!!

Stairway to the second floor and the framed pictures of visiting authors.

With Ben on the left, manager at Turnrow Books.  Thanks for a great visit!

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