Originally posted on the Algonquin Books Blog.
We’re checking in again with intrepid former Algonquin intern David Bradley and his trusty sidekick, Lucky the Leprechaun, on their tour of (almost all) the coolest, hippest, greatest indie bookstores in the United States. Join us for the journey…
JACKSON, Mississippi — Lemuria Books is the ideal store for those of you looking for that blissful moment of discovery. It’s not the easiest place to find, but once you get there you’ll realize that the exploration was worth every minute. Tucked away in a three-story shopping center off I-55, Lemuria is a hidden little gem for all the weary travelers scooting through town.
There are twists and turns aplenty inside these walls, each one presenting you a new pile of books to investigate. And if you tire of peering into shelves, Lemuria still has you covered. There are stacks overflowing onto the floor, displays sitting happily on most open services, and extras topping out all the way to the ceiling. This bookstore is all about function. It wants to give you books, and it wants you to have as many options as you could ever need.
I spoke to all-star bookseller Austin who answered our Algonquin Questionnaire.
•What inspired the name of Lemuria Bookstore?
It’s named after the mythical lost civilization of Lemuria. According to the legend, Lemurians were an advanced race with great knowledge and power, as well as the ability to communicate telepathically.
•What is the oddest non-book item that you sell in the store?
For a while we were selling old VHS videos out front. And I’m pretty sure one of them was a Chuck Norris workout video.
•What is your favorite recommendation for the summer? And what is your favorite Algonquin title?
I really enjoyed A Constellation of Vital Phenomenon by Anthony Marra that just came out a few weeks ago. And Jill McCorkle’s Life After Life is definitely my favorite Algonquin title.
•Are there any hidden talents on the staff?
One of my fellow booksellers, Mark, can fit 15 eggs in his mouth. I want to say he owns the Guinness World Record for it, but I might just be making that up.
•Is there a staff cocktail of choice?
Bourbon neat is pretty popular. Either that or anything with Cathead Vodka, which was started by Austin Evans, our owner’s son, and is the first liquor distilled in Mississippi in over 100 years.
•What is the most visited area of the store?
I’d say the Southern Fiction section is most popular. There is a lot of interest in local authors in Jackson.
During the interview I saw Lucky wander into a small corner of the store. When I found him later, he was smiling next to a book about Liberace, claiming that he resembled the star. I wasn’t completely convinced, but I’ve learned in my first week that arguing with leprechauns is a bad idea.
Next stop: Octavia Books in New Orleans.
*Note: The Lucky Tour posts are not in real time…