Local bookstore has a unique and personal touch to keep its doors open
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – One of the few types of small businesses left are local bookshops. However, one local bookstore has kept its customers turning the pages. “It’s not rocket science. We’ve had Indi Bookshops since the beginning of time,” Lara Hammond said. Lara Hammond is the owner of the only independent bookstore in Starkville. She said it’s a love for books that keeps her doors open. “There’s actually a real need and people light up when they come in here and it is eclectic but it’s also a treasure hunt. People who know Indi bookshops really feel comfortable in here,” Hammond said. Hammond said Sage Coffee and Books is meant to do one thing, get people reading again. “I’ve traveled the world. I’ve lived in much bigger areas. But my love of reading is what got me working in film and TV and it’s really the reason I decided to travel. But when I got home to Mississippi, I realized what I was missing was the access to books and when I was growing up, it was everywhere,” Hammond added. And that’s what she’s done. Hammond said book lovers and Cotton District visitors all peek in to see what’s inside. Haley Williams is a graduate student at the University of Southern Miss. She said there’s value in places like Sage. “If you want people interested in books, this is a good way to get people paying attention to books. This is interesting as opposed to big book stores and I like big book stores but this is definitely more of like a site to see than something like that,” Williams said. Even though there are other bookstores in the city of Starkville, the Indi-aesthetic is what keeps customers walking in the door. “It’s a book exchange. So I never know what to expect on a regular basis. The books are so eclectic that come in. So, I basically I try to organize them in a way that is somewhat logical and then as I get a section like that, that’s all classical, it’s all alphabetical,” Hammond said. Along with the Indi-aesthetic, readers said there’s value in nooks like Sage. “People can find new stuff they’re interested in at places like this,” Williams added. “There’s not enough bookshops. There needs to be more. I mean, use to be neighborhood grocery stores and neighborhood bookshops were all over the place. Every, almost every area. There’s a need in the community. That’s why I keep it going,” Hammond said. In addition to books, Sage also offers vinyl records, movies, and tapes to cater to all customers. Visit their Facebook page for more information on the shop.