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Violet Valley Bookstore Named Top Independent Book Store to Visit by Oprah Magazine

By Talbert Toole
Lifestyles Editor

Violet Valley Bookstore is located at 303 North Main Street in Water Valley. Photo by Talbert Toole.

This past Saturday, April 27, book lovers around the country celebrated “Independent Bookstore Day.” To honor the holiday, Oprah Magazine listed its top 20 independent bookstores “every bibliophile should visit.”

Violet Valley Bookstore—located at 303 North Main Street in Water Valley—graced the list at number 12.

In 2017, owner Jaime Harker—director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies—opened the bookstore which is said to be the only LGBTQ-friendly bookstore in the state.

She said the store is honored to be in such good company on the magazine’s list.

“These independent bookstores have served as inspirations for us, and it is heartening to be recognized publicly as a resource for LGBTQ+ youth in Mississippi,” Harker said.

Opening a bookstore had always been a dream for Harker. She told Hottytoddy.com when the store celebrated its one-year anniversary that it is a labor of love to keep the bookstore open, and she, among others, do it to make Water Valley and Mississippi a better place.

Violet Valley offers a variety of selections that includes children books, fiction, feminism and LGBTQ history and biographies.

It is open on Saturdays and by appointment.

Harker invites everyone to visit the store on Saturdays as members of the LGBTQ+ community, as allies, as friends, and as fellow Mississippians and Southerners.

To see Oprah Magazine’s full list of top 20 independent bookstore’s, visit the magazine’s website. For more information on Violet Valley visit www.voiletvalley.org.

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