Indies 'Deserve One Giant, Tight-Squeeze Hug'

The Bitter Southerner based its Summer Reading Roundup on interviews "with the owners of five great bookshops around the South" because it "believes the independent bookstores that have survived the last couple of decades deserve one giant, tight-squeeze hug. More importantly, they deserve our loyalty and our business. In a way, they are community heroes. Support them." A q&a sampling from the booksellers interviewed:

Richard Howarth, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.:
Do people still come in and stock up for vacation/summer reading?
Yes, we've had lots of summer vacation purchases as well as some high school summer reading list sales. People associate summer with reading, which is a great thing!

Gladin Scott, Maple Street Book Shop, New Orleans, La.:
How do you prefer to travel with books?
I always travel with fiction, specifically in paperback.

Frank Reiss, A Cappella Books, Atlanta, Ga.:
Looking back at your life of reading, do you have one book in particular associated with a certain summer?
I can remember getting funny looks when I brought Woody Allen's books Without Feathers and Getting Even with me to wrestling camp one summer. I laughed so much I kept waking up my roommate.... Last summer's favorite read was a book that went almost completely unnoticed, which is a shame. It was a great true story, The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking by Brendan I. Koerner. It's now out in paperback. I hope more readers will discover it.

Karen Hayes, Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn.:
Are people still stocking up for vacation?
Yes. Families come in here looking for something for everyone and walk out with multiple copies for each person.

Mary Jane Reed, G.J. Ford Bookshop, Saint Simons Island, Ga.:
Do you read on a device?
Heavens, no. No device.

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