New Chapter for Tulsa Book Lovers

By / Photography By Brooke Allen | December 21, 2017
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Magic City Books takes a personal approach

Every season comes with its own reason to pick up a good book, but only the frigid chill of wintertime makes the activity into a warm and cozy escape from it all. So if you’re looking for something new to read as the nights grow darker and colder, why not get a personal opinion from your new friendly neighborhood bookstore?

A project of the Tulsa Literary Coalition, Magic City Books is a new retailer in downtown Tulsa’s Brady District. It is the headquarters of Booksmart Tulsa, an arts initiative that for 10 years has been putting on events around the city that bring readers together with writers, artists and each other.

Standing on the north side of the intersection of Archer Street and Detroit Avenue, the store officially opened on November 20, the culmination of three long years of work. The bookstore kicked off its launch with a five-day celebration, featuring author signings, a poetry night and live discussions about works of literature and literary culture, with the event series concluding with a visit from the actress Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss’ online book club, Belletrist.

Booksmart Tulsa has been putting on events like these for years, and naturally several more are planned for the future. Purchases of books from Magic City directly finance these get-togethers, meaning the group’s efforts have never been easier to support. At Magic City, your $20 paperback stack buys you more than some great stories—it helps bankroll Tulsa’s literary culture. It supports Tulsa’s art scene.

The Magic City Books project was spearheaded by Jeff Martin, founder of Booksmart Tulsa and president of the board for the Tulsa Literary Coalition, and Cindy Hulsey, a former Tulsa librarian and the Coalition’s executive director. Together with the book buyer, the store manager and a handful of employees, you’ve accounted for the whole operation. And they’re eager to get to know you—if you come in unsure of what you might want to read, their goal would be to guide you toward something that you’ll like.

Unlike chain bookstores or online markets, which are typically paid by publishers to promote books that are flavors-of-the-month, Magic City takes a curated approach, with an intention to personalize its stock for your reading pleasure. It’s an approach that acknowledges the customer as a reader, unique in their tastes, instead of just as someone with some money in their pocket.

This personalized approach extends beyond personalized book selections, and includes advice, training and book recommendations for people who want to start their own book clubs. They even offer space for clubs to meet, with enough space for 100 people and group discounts on books purchased through the store.

In addition to its carefully cultivated stacks of literature, Magic City also has on offer a selection of local coffees, wines and beers, because its owners know that nothing helps a good book go down like a nice, relaxing drink—and maybe a locally crafted snack or two.

Magic City Books is located at 221 E. Archer St., open every day from 10am to 9pm. For up-to-date information on events and special promotions, visit

Article from Edible Tulsa at
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