Even though I’ve lived in Mississippi for the past few years, I’ve only been to Jackson once on a school trip. I’ve heard about Lemuria from friends, but never actually been there until a few weeks ago, when I invited myself on a trip to drop someone off at the Jackson airport (Thanks, Todd and Alfonso!).
Lemuria is connected to an interesting assortment of stores (which somehow aren’t quite a mall and aren’t quite a strip mall either). There’s a convenient coffee shop/cafe downstairs, so you can easily buy a book or two then sit and enjoy a coffee while you read. There’s also a pretty rad stationary store, but we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to talk about the books.
Lemuria has a homey, yet funky atmosphere that I really enjoyed. There are little reading nooks--chairs and couches--tucked away here and there, and the staff is helpful, but not claustrophobic. They understand you might just want to browse, and that’s a good thing! Bookshelves line the walls from floor to ceiling, but it never feels overwhelming. Instead, it sort of feels like Belle’s library in Beauty and the Beast. Haven’t we all dreamed of that at some point?
The books are also organized well, with some specific, apt categories. My favorite was in the politics section, where there was a Books about Trump section and a Reactions to Trump section. The reactions section was by far my favorite.
Lemuria--as all my favorite bookstores do--also serves as a bit of a community hub, hosting events and author readings. They also have a large first editions room where the rare books aficionado can find the perfect treat for themselves. In addition to the first editions room, the store also hosts three first editions clubs--one for fiction, one for nonfiction, and one for young readers. These clubs allow readers to receive first edition books through pickup or through delivery. If you opt for delivery, the store will mail them to you with an archival quality mylar covering on the dust jacket, wrapped in parchment, and sent in a box so the book doesn’t get damaged! I particularly like that they have a first editions club for young readers in addition to one for fiction because children’s lit is wonderful! This subscription would be a great gift, as well.
Lemuria has an online store where you can browse their selection and support a real, live bookstore! Amazon may be cheap, but they don’t have the friendly and helpful staff of a real bookstore.