The Top 10 Bookstores In Mississippi

Find both a new read and a strong sense of community at these welcoming bookshops.

Square Books in Oxford, MS
Photo: Robbie Caponetto

Whether in a small town or big city, book lovers know where to find both new fiction and literary camaraderie. Our readers voted on their favorite bookstores in Mississippi, and these ten shops rose to the top of the list. You can always count on finding both new reads and welcoming communities at these Mississippi bookshops. They’re places with a strong sense of hospitality and a love of the written word. They're staffed by passionate, book-loving people, and they host author signings, book clubs, and have–when taken together–miles of book-lined shelves for you to peruse. From the long-loved spots to the new businesses writing fresh chapters, there are many bookstores across the state inviting you inside to find your next great read. Answer the call and make a visit to one of Mississippi’s favorite bookstores this year.   

Square Books in Oxford, MS
Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi.

Robbie Caponetto

1. Square Books


Oxford is a community with undeniable literary bonafides, and Square Books continues to cultivate this college town’s literary leanings. Multiple locations–Square, Off-Square, and Square Books, Jr.–surround the downtown square and specialize in genres spanning fiction, nonfiction, cookbooks, and children’s books.

Lemuria Books in Jackson, MS
Courtesy of Lemuria Books

2. Lemuria Books 


This Jackson bookstore is named for a mythical continent, and its shelves are just as far reaching, traversing the globe with stories of varying styles, genres, and perspectives. It has been in business since 1975, and today, it’s located in Banner Hall off of Interstate 55. Inside, you’ll find a selection of signed books, first editions, and an excellent children’s books section too.

3. Pass Christian Books

Pass Christian

Located on the Mississippi Coast in Pass Christian, this beloved local bookshop has been open since 2002. The second floor of the store is nicknamed “The Mississippi Loft” and highlights books by Mississippi writers, while the building’s deck has views of the Gulf of Mexico. Author events and literary programming round out the bookstore’s calendar.

4. Reed’s GumTree Bookstore


The first iteration of Reed’s opened in 1905 as a dry goods store, and today, the Reed’s legacy continues as a family-owned spot with a bookshop known as Reed’s GumTree Bookstore. The shop is located in historic downtown Tupelo, and in it you’ll find a big selection of fiction and cookbooks, plus shelves full of regional-specific stories too.

5. Main Street Books


This downtown Hattiesburg bookstore opened in 2002. It bills itself as “a place to gather, celebrate, and learn,” and its offerings extend beyond the literary. In addition to a selection of books, Main Street Books is home to Wildflower Market and The Wheel in the Window Pottery Studio, which has pottery for sale as well as a roster of pottery-making classes and events.

6. Turnrow Book Co.


Since 2006, locals and visitors to Greenwood, Mississippi, have known that a visit to Turnrow Book Co. is a must. It has been an essential destination in the Delta not only for browsing books, but also for community programming. Unfortunately, the shop was recently damaged in a fire. If you love books and bookstores, be sure to keep an eye out for ways to support Turnrow Book Co. in the upcoming weeks and months.

7. Lorelei Books


This locally-owned bookshop opened in 2006, and in the years since has invited visitors to Vicksburg to explore its beautifully curated selection of fiction, nonfiction, and books by local authors. Plus, the sunny young adult and children’s books sections ensure that everyone in the family has a nook in which to browse.

Friendly City Books
Friendly City Books in Columbus, Mississippi.

Courtesy of Friendly City Books

8. Friendly City Books


Friendly City Books–which is situated on 5th Street North in downtown Columbus–more than lives up to its name. Emily Liner founded the shop in 2020, returning to Mississippi after decades away with the determination to create a space for community and exploration. The result is Friendly City Books, a cheery shop that always extends a warm welcome.

9. The Author Shoppe


Located on East Front Street in Hattiesburg, The Author Shoppe is a cozy bookstore with a strong sense of place. Bookshelves line the walls, and open mic events, grab bag sales, listening sessions, and lending days pepper their annual calendar, filling the shop with book-loving locals throughout the year.

10. Violet Valley Bookstore

Water Valley 

Getting this nonprofit bookstore going was a community effort. Donations from community organizations, other shop owners, and the persistence of its founder, Dr. Jaime Harker, helped bring this queer feminist shop into existence in 2017 in the small town of Water Valley.

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