Square Books and Sales Rep Bruce Joshua Miller Honored by PW

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Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, has been selected by Publishers Weekly as the PW Bookstore of the Year. This is the 20th anniversary of the award.

Square Books, now in its 34th year of business in the historic town square of Oxford, is actually three stores in separate buildings, just feet apart. A few doors down from the main store, Square Books, is Off Square Books, featuring lifestyle books, and across the square is Square Books Jr., which houses children’s titles. The stores host more than 150 events per year, a summer camp for adults and kids to meet authors and tour literary sites, and the weekly Thacker Mountain Radio Show, which broadcasts author interviews and musical performances.

Owner Richard Howorth, who is both a former ABA president and former Oxford town mayor, told BTW that the award gives Square Books “an opportunity to be grateful to those who made this happen. This is an affirmation of what we’ve endeavored to do and what our community has been so incredibly supportive of since we opened…. I’m grateful our community has this recognition, and that we’ve gained some recognition for bookstores as a whole.”

Howorth posted a special message of appreciation on the store’s website: “Thank you, loyal customers; thank you Square Books staff; thank you to our partners in publishing, and thank you to the great writers — this award is for all of you.”

Publishers Weekly noted that John Grisham is also a fan of the store and a regular visitor, and was quoted as saying, “I love the place. When you walk in the front door you can smell books. Time stops, and you want to browse and read and gossip and drink coffee upstairs on the balcony for the rest of the day. If you want a book, it’s somewhere in the store. If you want to know something about a book or an author, Richard or one of his staff will have the answers. If you want to meet authors, they’ll stop by soon enough.”

Publishers Weekly also named Miller Trade Book Marketing sales rep Bruce Joshua Miller as the recipient of its 2013 Rep of the Year award. Miller was acknowledged for spearheading a movement to help save the University of Missouri Press (UMP) when its funding was threatened in 2012. UMP Consulting Director Jane Lago told PW: “There is no doubt that Bruce has gone behind the call of duty on behalf of the press. He has put in more hours than can ever be justified by the commissions he earns. He has done so because of his belief in the value of university press publishing.”