On August 27, Square Books in Oxford, Miss., celebrated its self-declared First Amendment Sales Tax Holiday by discounting books by 7%, which is the state sales tax. Bookselling This Week reported that the bookstore's staff "came up with the idea in response to the Mississippi state legislature's decision to remove the sales tax on firearms and hunting supplies during a three-day 'Second Amendment Holiday,' which was inaugurated two years ago." The promotion was intended to encourage the legislature to consider adding books to future tax holidays and to raise awareness about the importance of free speech.
"We think the legislature may agree that a tax free holiday for books would be a great way to celebrate our state's rich tradition of literature," said owner Richard Howorth. "We also enjoyed this opportunity to promote the First Amendment and to remind people of its importance."
The First Amendment Sales Tax Holiday increased the store's sales by 15% over the previous Saturday. "A lot of people said it was the reason they came in the store or decided to buy two books instead of one," Howorth noted, adding that Square Books will hold a three-day First Amendment sales tax holiday next year: "We'll do a lot of pre-sale marketing, and I think it will be much bigger."