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.
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.