During a recent trip to Oxford, Mississippi, to see a granddaughter graduate from the University of Mississippi, I was struck by the phenomenal independent bookstores in that bustling college town.

Bookstores in general, both national chains and independents, have dwindled in recent years, but they are great places to pick up some summer reading for the whole family or add to one’s home collection.

We found five independent booksellers in the Tulsa area whose stores are perfect for browsing through the shelves on a hot summer day.

Fine Books

4107 S. Yale Ave., 918-742-727810 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday

The store is operated by the father-son team of Phil and Joey Burch. It specializes in general fiction, nonfiction, collectibles, autographed, first printing and leather-bound books. It’s in the Promenade mall next to Macy’s.

The Book Place

732 W. New Orleans Ave., Broken Arrow, 918-455-142210 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Janice Mills Riker has operated the store for 15 years. It sells new books, such as current best-sellers, as well as used books, totaling some 100,000 copies in the 4,000-square-foot store.

McHuston Booksellers & Irish Bistro

3122 S. Main St., Broken Arrow, 918-258-330110 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Owner Larry Hoefling’s store specializes in Irish, Celtic, military history, trains, hard-to-find and general interest books. Son Dustin runs the Irish bistro, serving lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

The Frugal Bookworm

5932 S. Lewis Ave., 918-742-832910 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Opened by Karen Bussell in 2007, this store specializes in modern fiction and a wide range of general interest books. Some artist-made jewelry and book-related knicknacks also are available.

Gardner’s Used Books & Music

4421 S. Mingo Road, 918-627-732310 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday

Carve out some time to spend in this mammoth, 23,000-square-foot store started by Richard Gardner in 1991. In addition to books, it has wide selections of DVDs, CDs, records, video games and collectibles. Senor Fajitas and RoseRock Cafe and Bakery also are under Gardner’s roof.

Scott Cherry 918-581-8463


Scene Writer

Scott is in his second tour of duty with the Tulsa World. He was a sports writer during his first stop. Since returning to the World in 1992, he has been the food writer and now restaurant critic and wine columnist. Phone: 918-581-8463