Oxford’s Square Books has been named book store of the year by “Publisher’s Weekly.”
This new distinction fits in well with Oxford’s rich literary legacy: The town was home to William Faulkner, who is considered by many to be America’s greatest novelist. Other successful authors, like John Grisham and Willie Morris, have also called Oxford home. The Oxford Conference for the Book reached its 20-year milestone last month.
Mississippi is famous for a number of other notable writers, like Eudora Welty and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Ford, both of Jackson. Novelist Walker Percy and playwright Tennessee Williams were both greatly influenced by their lives in the Mississippi Delta. The list continues.
Unfortunately, although Mississippi is known for so many wonderful writers, past and present, it is also now known for having a subpar education system. Our high school students’ ACT scores were again the lowest in the nation in 2012.
Education is key to a state’s economy. Future entrepreneurs need a good education to be able to reach their highest potential and create jobs. Also, education is a deterent to crime.
What if Mississippi, in addition to being able to claim the world’s top novelist and the nation’s best book store, was also to claim the best student readers in the nation’s best public school system?