It’s hip! It’s fun! But, there’s depth, too! Bookish is Fort Smith’s independent bookstore, owned and operated by a group of delightful ladies who are themselves, bookish through and through. As a bonus, they were excellent teachers, known for their ability to build strong relationships through the written word. Regardless of your interests, Jennifer, Sara, and Linda will help you find the right book or order it if it’s not on the shelves.
This store has a fresh, modern look, but it’s welcoming and warm with comfortable nooks for reading and conversation.
Bookish is also buzzing with literary activities. They’ve hosted a writing workshop with Tipsy Mockingbird (a local publisher) and one of their writers, Kevin Johnson, acting as facilitators. They also host monthly book clubs. They’ll probably do another writing workshop in the near future, so follow their social media and watch for details of upcoming events.
Full disclosure: Both River Valley independent bookstores, bookish, and Chapters on Main, carry my trail guidebook, but I’d still love them if they didn’t! We need them both! They serve a combined population of about 190,000 people in Crawford and Sebastian Counties and act as hubs for the literary lives of many residents.
Authentic snippets of life occur in independent bookstores where the soil is rich, varied, and porous, unlike large stores built from standard designs with the primary goal of increased sales.
On a single Saturday morning at bookish, I met a young man planning future adventures in the Ozarks. His love of nature inspired me to want to continue my explorations and writing. I saw a young mother smiling at her daughter’s fascination with new books. Nearby, a father read to his child while his wife browsed the shelves. On the other side of the store, a young couple looked through guidebooks for their next adventures to share.
Scenes like these are much more likely to occur at bookish than the big box stores. I’m thankful for this special place filled with great words and people from all walks of life who have a love for learning.
Some might think it’s a stretch, but I believe an independent bookstore might be thought of as a sacred space. Forrest Church said, “you might also choose to see it as a cathedral of the human spirit – a storehouse consecrated to the full spectrum of human experience.” Bookish is such a place!
bookish: An indie shop for folks who read
115 N. 10th St., Suite H-119-C,
Fort Smith, AR 72901
Phone: (479) 434-2917