On Saturday, in the midst of its 40th anniversary celebrations, Square Books, Oxford, Miss., launched its fourth store, Rare Square Books, featuring rare and antique books, the Oxford Eagle reported. The new store is in the space where Square Books was originally located, from its opening in 1979 until 1986.
Co-owner Richard Howorth told the newspaper he has had rare and antique books in his office or "off to the side" and wanted a central location. "I always kind of had this collection and sold them, but it was always a sideline," he said. "People would kind of look in my office but they wouldn't want to go in there because it was not very welcoming. I would always tell people, 'Come look at these and help yourself.' Then, this space became available....
"It's quite different from the other book business that I'm in," he continued. "Every item is unique. You're not buying 10 or 20 or 100 copies from the publisher and getting them all in a box one day and scanning them with the thing and getting them in the system and getting them on the floor. Every book has to be described and appraised and priced. That's not even thinking about doing a catalogue."
Beckett Howorth, Richard's son, will be the main person in charge of Rare Square Books, helped by longtime Square Books bookseller Cody Morrison. Beckett Howorth attended the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar at Colorado College in July to learn more about this part of the business and said, "It's more about books as a physical object than anything to do with literature. That was an interesting aspect for me. I've been selling literature my whole life and now it's a little different.... The fact that a book is more than the literature within it. It's got history. It's got a story to tell."