Saturday, January 7, 2017

New Downtown Business in Columbus, Mississippi

Welcome to Books & Boards..."A Clean Well-Lighted Place"

A Clean Well Lighted Place
This is one of the newest locally owned businesses to open up in downtown Columbus, Mississippi. Books & Boards is a bookstore that also sells board games. You can also rent the games. The store carries a select inventory of new books and is heavy into local and southern writers. It also carries used books.

The store is located at 422 Main Street, Columbus, MS 39701

In addition to the bookstore, there will be an in-house pastry and coffee shop. These are joint business ventures for this new enterprise. You can get more information about this newest business on their website: B&B has only been open for a little over a month, as I write this, and they are still working on their inventory, but it is fun to visit the store even as they are expanding their stock and about to open the pastry/coffee shop.

I discovered this delightful addition to downtown Columbus, when I was searching for a parking place, so that I could attend the event at the Columbus Arts Council—a reading by Michael Farris Smith of his latest book at the Arts Council's Southern Writers Series, which will be going on all year. I just happened to park near the Books and Boards store on the same side of the street, and as I was walking past, I saw that it was a bookstore. Of course I went in for an initial look around, and then after the reading at the Arts Center, I returned for a closer look.

The owner of the bookstore is Ashley Gressett, and the phone number for the store is (662) 798-0859. They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. I was delighted to see that Ashely wanted to provide the downtown area a late night place to hang out. Most of the downtown businesses close shop at 6 p.m. and few are open on Sundays. The exceptions of course are the downtown restaurants, like Huck's Place and a couple of others. But to me, nothing is more enjoyable than being able to hang out in a bookstore that also has coffee and treats. Add to that the potential of getting involved in the board games there, and your evening is complete.

I visited with Ashely at length last night, January 6, on my way back from Waffle House. It was around 20 degrees outside, and it was great to be in a warm environment. The night before, when I first discovered the store, there was a surprise birthday party going on inside, and last night when I went there, people were sitting around one of the larger tables playing Uno. I think it will take a little while for people in Columbus to discover that there is a late-night place to hang out that is quite different from the atmosphere in a restaurant. I come from a much larger town than Columbus and one of the things I've missed about a larger city is businesses that stay open past 6 p.m. Books and Boards is one of those places in Columbus, and I'm glad to see it open.

What better way to end this post about a bookstore than to also present a surprising high school right here in Columbus. It is among the top five high schools in the United States. That's right. Mississippi might have the reputation for sub-standard education, but that's not always true. The presenter for this video lives across the street from me. One of the retired professors at Mississippi University for Women (which is now co-ed) lives next door to me.

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