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A Southern sense of place.


A Good Morning by 2013 PWAF featured artist Peter Corbin


A friend from Utah emailed me this week asking for my thoughts on the South, on what it's like to be born and raised here, on what it means to be Southern. 

I didn't really know how to respond at first. I've never been sure if the Southern label was for me.

Yes, I was born and raised in Florida's panhandle, but I don't say y'all. I don't drink sweet tea, and grits aren't my thing. I'm quieter, I think, than your stereotypical Southerner, and I don't hunt or fish or have a husband who does. Most of my belongings aren't monogrammed, and I only own one set of pearls.


There is, inside of me, this rather innate sense of place, of belonging. And I think, really, that's a very Southern thing. This idea that we have a people, a clan, and those people were born and raised here, among the tree-lined dirt roads and rough sandy beaches.

Southerners like their land, their space. They know it; they own it; they breathe it.

Maybe, for some, that means hunting and fishing. It means getting up early and waiting patiently in the tall grass on a cool November day. Or maybe it means hiking and walking and looking around thinking, "This is glorious." 

I think maybe, that might be Southern.

This weekend, Thomasville will celebrate its annual Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival. It's a pretty cool concept, really, to celebrate your place in the universe and the ecology that is yours. That's what PWAF is all about, and the way the festival combines that natural world and the cultural arts is such a unique, bold concept, a way for all kinds of Southerners to meet and mingle and rejoice in their heritage. 

How do we, as book lovers, play a part in that celebration?

With stories, of course.

This weekend, stop by the shop to discover all the books that define our little corner of the South. (We've created a pretty handy list, below.) And while you're in town, meet local author Chip Bragg, whose new book, Crescent Moon Over Carolina, recognizes Southern history and weaves the story of Major General William Moultrie. Chip will be signing copies of his book Saturday from 11 to 1, so you can stop by in between art exhibits and gallery offerings.

Celebrate your people, your land, your ecology this weekend. If you'd look around, you'd see: it's a pretty beautiful thing.

Book List
ISBN-13: 9781611172690
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of South Carolina Press, 10/2013

ISBN-13: 9780807835753
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: University of North Carolina Press, 10/2012

ISBN-13: 9780820330471
Availability: Currently Unavailable
Published: University of Georgia Press, 2/2010

ISBN-13: 9780813041483
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: University Press of Florida, 10/2012

ISBN-13: 9780062242389
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harperwave, 10/2013

A Place Apart
Model: place

A Land Remembered (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781561641161
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pineapple Press, 9/1996

The Lion's Paw (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780982093207
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: A.W. Ink, 10/2008


Book swag.



I love to read. Books line the walls of our home and crowd my overflowing nightstand. They are my constant companions; I hide them in the pockets of my purse and stuff them in the trunk of my car. I love books, and as an avid reader and book-buyer, I also happen to really love book swag. 

What's book swag, you ask?

All of the awesome product inspired by the books we love: t-shirts, tote bags, bookmarks, stationery, magnets, buttons... all book swag, and we just happen to have a lot of it on our shelves right now.

There's a truth about readers, I think: We take a little bit of pride in our love for the written word. We want to sing our books' praises from the mountaintops, and if we can't do that? Well, the least we can do is wear a cool t-shirt.

We've got Out of Print book cover tees in the shop; Out of Print donates a book to a library for each shirt purchased, and the shirts themselves are soft and luxurious. (My personal favorite? The Pride and Prejudice v-neck, which pairs perfectly with a cardigan.) Other book swag in stock? Great new canvas tote bags perfect for taking to the library (we like free books as much as the next person), and funny book-lover magnets we think would be fun to give to your fellow book club members. 

And, out this week, The Reader's Book of Days, a literary nerd's dream. The book features events from the lives of all your favorite authors -- and in calendar format. Fictional events are covered too; each day features new fun facts and figures about the books you love. 

Look, if you're like us, you've got a lot of readers on your holiday gift list. And while we think a book is just about the best gift you can give someone, why not throw a fun t-shirt or book-inspired bag into the mix? We're better the readers in your life love book swag as much as we do.  

Book List
ISBN-13: 9780393239621
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 11/2013

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