Langston Hughes said, “A Dream deferred is a Dream denied.” For my first thirty years or so, I believed that every righteous dream I dreamt would find immediate reality. And if that dream didn’t result in instant gratified accomplishment, I was sure the universe had betrayed me.
That attitude guaranteed disappointment.
However, I have recently learned that deferred dreams do not equal denied dreams. Sometimes, dreams begin in germ. They grow in direct proportion to the experience of the dreamer. When my schoolmates dreamed of becoming doctors, pilots, actors, beauty queens and politicians, I wanted to sell books. Libraries had introduced me to printed friends, but the friendships lasted only as long as the due dates. So I pruned my dream and became a professor of English. While introducing my literary friends to captured students, I learned about books: how to choose, order, edit, arrange, and inventory. Then I met living, practicing authors and learned what they knew. Finally, I learned how to submit my own pieces and completed an MFA in creative writing.
All these things prepared me for that moment when I met Murph and Erin Little. They, too, dreamed of bookstores. After nearly two years of proposing, learning about income tax, licenses, insurance, and deciding on content, we birthed a bookstore--we opened The Author Shoppe.
The Author Shoppe starts with all things Mississippi, followed by general southern literature. In addition, you’ll find new and used titles spread across classic and popular genres, children’s books, and special interest titles covering military, theology, African-American, Latinix and lifestyle. Add coffee, beer, tea, soda, wine and water, individually packaged snacks, comfortable couches and chairs, tables designed for work or conversation, and we have a community. We also carry journals, pens, locally made author-themed candles, jewelry, literary coasters and trivets, and paintings by local artists. Our back room doubles as a recording studio for podcasts, storytelling, and book clubs.
William Shakespeare also spoke of dreams. In The Tempest, Prospero says, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on.” Come meet us at The Author Shoppe, a deferred dream come true.