Mississippi has been among the last states to entertain the Coronavirus, and it has now become necessary to understand how it may affect us and wise to take precautions.

    While human health is everyone's chief concern, many independent or local businesses have begun to feel the effects of lower traffic and diminished sales.   Small businesses are rarely flush with cash, and thus can be severely and quickly harmed by even a brief recession.  As I write this, Square Books is not struggling, but chances are good that it may struggle.   We wish to emphasize how important it is to support local businesses of all kinds at this time, and some of the details below about Square Books details apply to other local businesses as well.

   Nothing is more important than the safety and health of our staff and our customers.   Those who come to any of our four locations on the Oxford Square -- which remain open our standard hours until further notice, if necessary -- will be greeted by staff with a brief written note of common-sense precautions, and, upon leaving, a copy of this message.

    - Those who have reduced social activity are encouraged to visit and order books from our website

   - Our media mailing charge is now free, as many are choosing to do business this way.   

   - Within a five mile area of Oxford, we offer free delivery.

   -  Buy gift cards, which can help a small business get through a challenge such as this ( 

   - Get your digital audiobooks through

   - sign up for our e-newsletter, follow us on TwitterInstagram, and or Facebook to stay up date (@squarebooks).

   - Donate to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, which helps booksellers with medical expenses, natural disaster recoveries, and is likely devising plans to help with COVID-19.  

   - Should you be home more than normal, now is a great time to update your library, and obviously a good time to read.   If you're low on what to read next, contact the pros here at Square Books for help and check  out our latest Dear Reader catalog.

Thank you for supporting Square Books and other local businesses.   Good health to you and those you love.   Best wishes,

   Richard Howorth

   *thanks to Josh Cook at Porter Square Books (no relation, just indie bookstore friend) in Massachusetts, who not long ago went over much of this on social media.