The Ultimate Road Trip: An Ode to Garden and Gun and Southern Bookstores

By Kelly Justice, SIBA President, Fountain Bookstore Owner

I have this dream of the ultimate road trip. 

I'd start with a full tank of gas, my (mostly) trusty map application on my phone, and a couple of grand in cash to spend on books....and I'd head South.  This dream has been pretty vague until recently when I checked my mail slot and in it was the February/March issue of Garden and Gun. 

I have a black thumb, no interest in firearms or hunting dogs.  So, why do I have a subscription to G&G?  Simply put: G&G is one of the best sources of information on the culture of the New South.  It's smart.  It doesn't pander.  It is full of articles on everything Southern in food, music, literature and lifestyle. 

In this month's issue is a great essay about parenting compared to gun dog training ("Fetch Daddy a Drink") by P.J. O'Rourke, a feature on oyster eating around the South, a piece on Jill McCorkle.  But most importantly: the guidebook for my road trip.

"Best Sellers: A Literary Tour of the South's Top Independent Bookshops" by Beth Ann Fennelly highlights fourteen stores, many of whom are the inspiration of what I hope I can achieve with The Fountain one day.  (Yep, I'm a dreamer.)  Let's start with the ones I've already visited.

Malaprops in Asheville, NC

Emoke B'racz was one of my early role models as a bookseller.  A clearly defined personality for your bookstore is a difficult thing to develop.  Malaprops' selection of books, attitude of its staff, layout, everything speaks to the mission of being Asheville's community bookstore.  Linda Barrett Knopp has a great deal to do with its success as well.

Books & Books in Coral Gables, FL

Mitchell Kaplan and his crew shine almost as much as the floors in this bright, inviting store.  When I visited, my ego demanded that I find at least one indication of imperfection so that I didn't have to come back to Richmond and close immediately due to shame.  I did eventually find one light bulb out, but it took an hour and it probably went out seconds before I noticed it.  Still, it was enough that I could come home, keep the doors open and start dreaming about my very own wine bar in my store.

Now to the stops I need to make.

Square Books in Oxford, MS

Manager Lyn Roberts and I have been known to bend an elbow from time to time.  And the stories touring authors tell me about the hospitality of owner Richard Howorth demand I make time to go to Oxford.  Purely on the basis of meeting these two booksellers I know that a trip to Square Books would make me feel like I'd found a second home. 

Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL

Raw energy and passion is what I'll find at Page & Palatte!  Karin Wilson owns this family operation.  I imagine a bookstore filled with electric excitement about books and reading.  Must make time to attend an event....they sound like block parties.

That Bookstore in Blytheville in Blytheville, AR

Mary Gay Shipley has been a bookseller to watch before anyone was watching booksellers.  I have to see a store owned by a woman that is described in G&G as the world's best handseller...enough so that she was featured in a profile in the New Yorker. 

Book People in Austin, TX

I just want to sit in the barber's chair and read away the afternoon.  Fountain is about 1/30th of the size of Book People.  I'm not sure how owner Steve Bercu does it.  Here's to hoping he can spare me a few minutes to recommend some great music venues while I'm there.

Alabama Booksmith in Homewood, AL

I've been threatening to couch surf at Jake Reiss's house for years.  Alabama Booksmith has one of the most robust events calendars in the nation.  I think it mainly has to do with so many authors just wanting to visit Jake.

What's keeping me from hitting the road and visiting these fine shops and Lemuria, Regulator Bookshop, A Capella Books and so many other worthy candidates not mentioned in the article?  Well, two things:

1. Age has visited upon me an unfortunate condition: narcolepsy brought upon by long-distance driving.  No joke.  So, for everyone's safety, I'll need a driver. 

2. Finding someone to take care of Fountain while I'm gone.  Applicants for the position should demonstrate a unwavering devotion to the caregiving of a community bookstore equivalent to my colleagues listed above.  I don't expect I'll find this person as they are rare indeed.  But one can dream.

Thank you to Garden and Gun for sharing with the world a few of our Southern jewels. 

Kelly Justice, President
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance 

The Fountain Bookstore, Inc.
Historic Shockoe Slip
1312 E. Cary St.
Richmond VA 23219


Table of Contents

2010 SIBA Trade Show

Spring Book Show 

2010 SIBA Book Award Nominees 

 SIBA as Publisher?

Lady Banks'
Pick of the Week

Savings from SIBA

Document Library Highlights

Call for Authors: Trade Show 2010

Web Tool of the Month

Mark Your Calendar!

Spring Book Show
Mar. 26-28

SIBA Trade Show
Sept. 24-26
Daytona, FL

Coming Up on Circle of Sites

Love in Mid Air
Love in Mid Air

Tales from the 5th Street Gym
Tales from the 5th Street Gym
(University Press of Florida)

Yes My Darling Daughter
Yes, My Darling Daughter

Girl Who Chased the Moon
Girl Who Chased the Moon


March 2010

#SIBA10 is the Twitter hashtag for the SIBA Trade Show in Daytona!

2010 SIBA Trade Show registration now open! Invite your favorite vendors to the show.  Email them the paragraph below, and let them know how much you’d like to see them in Daytona in September.  Together, we’ll grow a great show!

It’s your lucky day! March is home to St. Patrick’s Day, and the luck of the Irish is with you if you can reserve your booth and register for the SIBA Trade Show online and this month only. SIBA is launching where all things trade show (including an online, virtual component) will be gathered. Exhibitors who register & purchase booth(s) online only and in the month of March will receive a free ad at our new site April 1 through the end of 2010 valued at $500. Specs will be sent once you complete your registration & booth reservations. Learn more at

More Luck coming your way. Attend the Spring Book Show in Atlanta – March 26 – 28.

Arrive early by Thursday evening and join us for the Southern Wing & A Prayer Tour with River Jordan and Shellie Tomlinson.  Friday morning, hear from presenter Stephanie Frost on Marketing Tips Unmasked for the Small Business followed by SIBA’s new Consultation Station – this is one half hour one-on-ones with SIBA Board Members and Staff on any topic you desire.  We can help find the answer if we don’t have the answer.  Hit the exhibits on Friday afternoon and learn more on Saturday morning from the American Booksellers Association at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.  And then more bargain shopping in the Spring Book Show exhibits. Learn more at

2010 SIBA Book Award Long Ballot has been mailed…here are the contenders:

SIBA will host the second annual Writers Block Auction in Daytona, Florida, and these are the writers we hope to have in attendance.  We have had to collapse the Children & Young Adult titles into a single category for this year and the nominated poetry titles have been placed in Non-Fiction or Children/YA.  So even though we will not be giving these in 2010, we will leave the categories available for nominations going forward.  Either way, it is a great list.  Core members will soon receive their long ballot in the mail (one per store) and are asked to mail it back before the deadline.

SIBA as Publisher – Opportunities for bookstores to sell unique content

SIBA has published the Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book.  This is a great combo for readers and puzzlers and collects ten years of SIBA Book Award Winners in one place.  The attractive price point of $9.95 and 50% discount to SIBA Bookstores only makes it an attractive title to have at point of sale.  Hear author Reeden Wright discuss her journey with the book at the South Carolina Book Festival.  Available from Ingram, 978-0-9825205-0-5, SRP $9.95

We are neck and neck with the Northern California Booksellers Association to be the next region to qualify to get our own regional reader.  But we need your stories. See more details and mock cover.

Lady Banks' Pick of the Week

Lady Banks’ Pick of the Week to Encourage Consumers to Buy the Circle of Sites Banner Ad Titles

SIBA is encouraged both by the number of indie bookstores that are participating in the Circle of Sites Program and the publishers that are stepping forward and buying ads and SIBA wants to do everything to ensure the success of this program.  So besides offering free dues to core members, creative, affordable pricing, and placement on the (ARTS) website, we have added a new component that makes this information more tweetable.  Going forward, the Circle of Sites ad is on every page of ARTS, and is designated as the Lady Banks’ Pick of the Week with a link to Free Book Stimulus Plan where consumers are encourage to buy the book and send the receipt in for a free book, and they are driven to a list of stores that are participating in the Circle of Sites Program to purchase the book.  Learn more at

More Luck and More Bucks: Savings from SIBA

Place Banner Ad Code on your website AND Get you 2010 SIBA Core Member Dues Waived!
read more!

Collect Your Co-op AND Get Your 2011 SIBA Core Member Dues Paid!
read more!

CloudProfile offers SIBA member discount AND gets your news out on the web! 
read more!

SIBA Document Library Highlights Southern Indie Bestseller Lists

The SIBA Document Library is a great tool and provides content on tons of topics and the SIBA Bestseller Lists is one of them.  Set aside some time to take a look at some of this great info and tour the document library to find a time-saver.  Here’s on to print & post in store or on line & sell more books. Get the bestseller lists from the document library

Call for Authors for SIBA Trade Show 2010, Daytona, Florida – Sep. 24-26

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance invites exhibiting publishers to submit authors in consideration for special events to be held on Friday through Sunday, September 24-26, 2010. These programs will be held at the SIBA Trade Show in Daytona, FL. It is imperative that you have registered to exhibit at the SIBA Trade Show before authors can be considered.   Exhibit registration will open on March 1, 2010. 

More information here

Web Tool of the Month – searching free photos

Whether maintaining a website, distributing an email newsletter, writing a blog or twittering, pictures are worth…, well, you know.  And everystockphoto has searchable photos that are free to use.  You can have an account at everystockphoto, but it is not necessary for searching and using free pics…I had written a post about scary sites and searched “scary” after I had named the post – Short & Sweet & Scary – and loved the photo I found.  It was exactly short, at one-time sweet, and very scary!  I needed a paper clip, searched paper clip, and found the perfect paperclip -.  Need pictures of books?

SIBAWanda Jewell
Executive Director
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
3806 Yale Dr.
Columbia, SC 29205

Trade Show 2010: Daytona, FL, The Plazas; Sept. 24-26

Find your favorite authors at
Become a Fan of SIBA's Facebook page
Follow me at
Ask me about Free Book Stimulus Plan

Reader Cover

Booksellers  Dream of getting published?

We have published the GREAT LAKES READER and PACIFIC NORTHWEST READER, with pieces written by booksellers + librarians!!

We will now do other regions, as we receive essays. We may do 2-3 essays per state.

A SOUTHEAST READER COULD BE NEXT!!! If booksellers send in an essay about any state you desire and we’ll publish all-bookseller + librarian regional versions in paperback in the next year,

with a % of proceeds to ABFFE.

About 2,500 words and by Word doc by email to me only.

As you’ll see in State by State, some authors once lived in the state they wrote about, or do now, but some were sent to the state for a first, fresh look.

Likewise, I’m open to pieces about parts of larger states.

NOTE: These are NOT about bookstore life; you’re Jane or John Citizen on this, but of course, working in the book life as part of the piece would be more than fine.

Email me if you have any questions: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


CloudProfile and SIBA

In order to help its members take advantage of the many opportunities offered by developments in social networking, SIBA has entered into a partnership with, a service specifically geared towards small businesses that is designed to maximize their visibility on the web and simplify their presence on social networking sites.

Cloud Profile acts as a portal that allows businesses to manage their social networking accounts, publish updates to services like Facebook and Twitter, as well as their own Web sites and blogs with a single click, and connect with potential and regular customers at all these sites.

A leader in what is being called “micro-site” services, Cloud Profile allows independent business people to stay active online even when they are on the job or on the sales floor—via web, cellphone, and even email.

Cloud Profile allows businesses to respond quickly to customers, showcase (and sell) products, upload photos, and post updates. It also has advanced search engine optimization, and will automatically submit business information to hundreds of online business directories.

SIBA recognizes that its booksellers would rather be talking about books than updating web sites. Cloud Profile is a service we think will help you do just that.

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Learn more here:

Columbia, SC--The 2010 SIBA Book Award "Long List" has just been released, containing a complete collection of all the eligible books nominated by Southern Independent Booksellers as favorites for 2009.  The list features 101 different books in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, cooking, and children's/young adult that are either set in the South or by a southern author (or both!) and were published in 2009.

The long list will be sent as a ballot to SIBA member stores, who will then vote to choose finalists in each of the four categories. A jury of SIBA booksellers will then choose winners in each category. Finalists are announced in April. Winners are announced July.

The 2010 SIBA Book Award Long List

children's & young adult

A Certain Strain of Peculiar Gigi Amateau Candlewick
Along for the Ride Sarah Dessen Viking
Beautiful Creatures Kami Garcia/Margaret Stohl Little Brown
Black Angels Linda Beatrice Brown Putnam
Change Up: Baseball Poems Gene Fehler Clarion
Eli the Good Silas House Candlewick
Gone From These Woods Donna Bailey Seagraves Delacorte Press
Me with You Kristy Dempsey Philomel
Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys and Gulls Lucy Nolan Sylvan Dell
Peter and the Sword of Mercy Dave Barry Hyperion
Road to Tater Hill Edith Hemingway Delacorte Press
Ruined A Ghost Story Paula Morris Scholastic
Scat Carl Hiaasen Alfred A. Knopf
Shackles Marjory Wentworth & Leslie Pratt Thomas Legacy Publications
Shiver Maggie Stiefvater Scholastic
Soap Soap Soap Elizabeth O. Dulemba Raven Tree
Swamp Song Helen Ketteman Marshall Cavendish
The Secret World of Walter Anderson Hester Bass Candlewick
When the Whistle Blows Fran Slayton Penguin


Chefs of the Triangle Ann Prospero John F. Blair
Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook Chris Hastings Running Press
In the Cracker Kitchen Janis Owens Scribner
Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book John Perrine University of KY
My New Orleans: The Cookbook John Besh Andrews McMeel
Southern Farmer's Market Cookbook Holly Herrick Gibbs Smith
Sweet Carolina: Favorite Desserts and Candies from te Old North State Foy Allen Edelman UNC Press
The Blackberry Farm Cookbook Sam Beall Clarkson Potter
The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern Ted & Matt Lee Clarkson Potter


A Good Man Larry Baker Ice Cube Books
A Quiet Belief in Angels R J Ellory Overlook
A Separate Country Robert Hicks Grand Central Publishing
A Twisted Ladder Rhodi Hawk Forge
Accidental Bestseller Wendy Wax Berkley
Ancestors & Others Fred Chapell St. Martins
At Home on Ladybug Farm Donna Ball Berkley
Crowing Glory Calla Lily Ponder Rebecca Wells Harpercollins
Dead Weight Batt Humphreys Joggling Board Press
Devil's Punchbowl Greg Iles Scribner
Driftwood Summer Patti Callahan Henry New America Library
Education of Chauncey Doolittle James Everett Kibler Pelican
Fixer Upper Mary Kay Andrews Harpercollins
Girl on Legare Street Karen White NAL
Going Away Shoes Jill McCorkle Algonquin
Hell Robert Olen Butler Grove Press
If By Whiskey Quentin Whitwell Coldwater
Judas Kiss JT Ellison Mira
Last Light Over Carolina Mary alice monroe Pocket Books
Long Story Short Marianne Gingher UNC Press
Nuclear Jellyfish Tim Dorsey Morrow
One Second After William Fortschen Macmillan/Forge
Rebel Yell Alice Randall Bloomsbury Publishing
Reefer Moon Roger Pinckney Evening Post Publishing Company with Joggling Board Press
Saints in Limbo River Jordan Waterbrook
Sand Sharks Margaret Maron Grand Central Publishing
Saving Cicadas Nicole Seitz Thomas Nelson
Secret Keepers Mindy Friddle St. Martins
Secrets She Left Behind Diane Chamberlain Mira
Silent Killer Beverly Barton Kensington/Zebra
Sound of Building Coffins Louis Maistros Toby Press
South of Broad Pat Conroy Nan A Talese
Southern Cross Skip Horack Mariner Books
Swallow Savannah Ken Burger Evening Post Publishing Company with Joggling Board Press
Tender Graces Kathryn Magendie Belle Bridge Books
The Better Part of Darkness Kelly Gay Pocket Books
The Campfire Boys Philip Lee Williams Mercer University Press
The Confederate General Rides North Amanda Gable Scribner
The Girl on Legare Street Karen White New America Library
The Help Kathryn Stockett Putnam
The Last Child John Hart Minotaur
The Ocean Inside Janna McMahan Kensington/Zebra
Travel Guide for Reckless Hearts NM Kelby Borealis Books
Widow and the Tree Sonny Brewer Macadam/Cage
Wyatt's Revenge H. Terrell Griffin Oceanview Publishing


A Good Mule is Hard to Find Kirk Neely Hub City Writers' Project
Book of Dads Ben George Harpercollins
Caveat Onus Dave Brinks Black Widow Press
Coral Castle Rust McClure Ternary Publisers
Don't Say I Didn't Warn You: Kids' Carbs, and the Coming Hormonal Apocalypse Anita Renfro Hyperion
Education of Mr. Mayfield David Magee John F. Blair
Give My Poor Heart Ease William Ferris UNC Press
Hard Work Roy Williams Algonquin
Hauntings in My Head Angela Burke CreateSpace
Hidden History of Greenville Alexia Helsley History Press
In the Sanctuary of Outcasts Neil White Morrow
It Gives a Lovely Light a Biography of Chelsea Groves Victor Whelan Eloquent Books
Just Passin Thru Winton Porter Menasha Ridge
Legends of the Natchez City Cemetery, the Most Interesting Cemetery in the South Don Estes Don Estes
Long Snapper Jeffrey Marx Harpercollins
Mayhem in Mayberry Brian Lee Knopp Cosmic Pigbite Press
Most They Ever Had Rick Bragg macadam/cage
On Rocky Top Clay Travis It Books
Outcasts United Warren St. John Spiegel & Grau
Rising Sea Orrin Pilkey Shearwater Books
Soul Tree Laura Hope-Gill Grateful Steps
Splendid Isolation Pamela Bauer Mueller Piata Publishing
Swarm Tree: Of Honeybees, Honeymoons and the Tree of Life Doug Elliot History Press
Through the Glorieta Pass Lavonne Adams Pearl Editions
Undaunted Heart Suzy Barile Eno Publishers
Yoknapatawpha, Images and Voices George Stewart USC Press
You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning Celia Rivenbark St. Martins
Zeitoun David Eggers McSweeneys