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''It's Like Pimping My Own Book''

”Flying Shoes” author Lisa Howorth — co-owner of Square Books, the beloved indie shop in Oxford, Miss. — talks about the art of selling a book, even her own

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How do you feel having your own book for sale in the store?
A little self-conscious and even a little guilty, you know? It’s like pimping my own book. That’s what it is, and luckily people have been very sweet and supportive.

What books have you been putting in people’s hands lately?
Euphoria by Lily King and Thirty Girls by Susan Minot. Euphoria is a fictional account of the life of Margaret Mead as an anthropologist in the 1930s and how wild and fascinating her life was, and Thirty Girls is based on the 1996 abduction of 139 girls in Uganda. It’s beautifully written and very rich.

What’s coming out this fall that you’re excited about?
Sister Golden Hair by Darcy Steinke. It’s a novel about a practically feral young girl growing up in Roanoke in the 1970s, and she’s wonderfully reminiscent of Mick Kelly in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. It’s hysterically funny. I really hope it takes off.

Given Amazon’s stronghold on bookselling, what do you think is the future of independents?
I’m scared to talk about the A-word! I think people have learned that if indies are something they want to keep, they have to support them. As my husband says, the book is a perfect invention. It’s like a sailboat or a bicycle. You can riff off it and make new toys with it, but everyone’s going to go back to the good ol’ book. At least that’s what I want to think.