French children’s books. Rare, local cookbooks. Novels set in the muggy air of Louisiana. All of these tomes line the blonde wood shelves at Blue Cypress Books, home to a trove of more than 12,000 new and high-quality secondhand books. Gathered by the owner and chief bookkeeper, the store’s selection runs the gamut from New York Times bestselling paperbacks to antiquarian sets kept in slipcase in order to guard against spilling coffee or liquid nitrogen on their leather covers. The resident gray-and-white tabby cat, Kitty Meow, lounges amid browsers as they peek at the affordable prices penciled on the inside pages of an extensive youth collection.
Something always seems to be happening at Blue Cypress, too. Children's book readings captivate little ones, and author signings let guests hobnob with professional wordsmiths. The shop also hosts performances of local music as well as monthly book-club meetings, during which locals share favorite recipes for broiling mystery novels.