Camping It Up 

America's airlines got you down this summer? America's gas prices got you rethinking a long road trip? Stick close to home but make it to camp next week, and do it in the company of six authors in eight days at "Camp Square Books" in Oxford July 10th-17th.

The idea is the brainchild of Square Books owner (and Oxford mayor) Richard Howorth, and your fellow campers are writers Julia Reed (The House on First Street and Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, and Other Southern Specialties), Jack Pendarvis (Awesome), Martin Clark (The Legal Limit), Brett Lott (Ancient Highway), David Wroblewski (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle), and Andre Dubus III (The Garden of Last Days). They'll all be meeting, greeting, and signing their latest books at Square Books' offshoot, Off Square Books, on Oxford's town square.

Camp will start each day at 10 a.m. with activities designed for the book lover in you. (Among the activities: poetry lessons, a tour of William Faulkner's home, and a visit to the literary archives at Ole Miss.) The signings are at 5 p.m., followed by drinks. Campers who preregister also can take advantage of a 10 percent discount on books by the featured authors and a discount at area restaurants. Camp itself is free (to register online, go to summercamp@squarebooks.com), and, what's more, you're welcome. As David Swider, publicist for the event, recently told Publishers Weekly, "Even with gas at $4, we hope to get a lot of visitors from Memphis, which is only an hour away by car."

For local readers who don't have the time to go camping, you're still in luck and four for six. Reed, Clark, Wroblewski, and Lott will be at Davis-Kidd Booksellers too. Go to daviskidd.com for dates and times.

"Camp Square Books," Oxford, Mississippi, July 10th-17th. For more information, go to squarebooks.com.

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