Help pay for balcony repairs
By Richard Howorth
Post courtesy of squarebooks.com
Since 1986, readers and writers from Oxford or afar, Ole Miss students, and Mississippi tourists have enjoyed a quiet, solitary afternoon or a meeting with friends on the balcony outside the second floor of Square Books overlooking the historic Square. It’s where writer Josephine Humphreys once remarked, “this must be the center of the universe.”
There have been plenty of book signings up there — one with Willie Morris accompanied by tunes from Charlie Jacobs and Fish Mickie, others with John Grisham, Larry Brown, Buddy Nordan, and Barry Hannah. There’s a photo in the upstairs office of Gary Fisketjon and Donna Tartt, gazing off into different directions, on the balcony.
The Square Books balcony is a favorite spot for viewing Christmas and 4th of July parades and the annual Double Decker Festival, and at least three weddings and numerous marriage proposals have taken place here. Bill Buford wrote a profile of Lucinda Williams for the New Yorker in which he claimed that he saw something else taking place on this balcony. (We tend to think he made that up, as we’ve never seen that up here.)
The city recently upgraded the building code regarding balconies on the Square, so we are renovating accordingly and replacing the deck at the same time. We are offering for sale pieces of this history, the Square Books balcony, for $5 each, partly in an effort to recover some of our cost. You may get them in the store or, if you’re out of town, we will ship with your next mail order. Each piece is 9″ tall, the standard height of a hardcover book.