As anyone who has ever heard me talk about my childhood of my favorite books knows, I LOVE science fiction and fantasy. I was raised on superheroes, I run a biweekly Dungeons and Dragons game, and I audited a science fiction graduate seminar. I’ve forced people to read The Southern Reach Trilogy. I’m invested in promoting the work of Octavia Butler. Considering my love of sci fi, I’m always disappointed when stores have lackluster “genre fiction” sections that only cater to pulpy paperback readers and Game of Thrones fans (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but like Ariel, sometimes I want more).
Picture this: while searching for local bookstores in New Orleans, I find Tubby & Coo's, a bookstore that specializes in used and new science fiction and fantasy novels! They also marry my love of reading and board games by featuring an extensive library of board games both available for play and for sale. They have everything—books, board games, toys, knick knacks, reading paraphernalia (like bookmarks and such), and a lovely children’s section. The best part of the store is their knowledgeable, friendly staff. When I visited the store, owner Candice Huber was hard at work greeting customers and answering questions, yet she still made time to talk to me and tell me about the exciting things the store is up to. A store can have great stock, but the staff really makes a local store feel like a gathering place for fans and their ideas.
One of the goals of Tubby & Coo's is to be a community center for nerd culture, which is a fantastic and beautiful thing. The store offers a board game club that, for a small yearly fee, allows members to play board games at the store (using games from their HUGE library) all year long. As a patron of my own local board game store in Hattiesburg, I’ve learned that board games have a weird power to bring people together, even people who have massive differences. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the world has been pretty crappy lately. Bringing people together is exactly what we need more of!
The store also supports lots of local authors and hosts events for the community. On the day I visited, there were many authors setting up tables to sign and greet fans. Outside the shop, a fantasy-themed maker was selling her handmade crafts, and inside fans of the new Star Wars film were having a debate about character development. In other words, it felt like home! It’s rare that stores are so supportive of the community, and Tubby & Coo's dedication to both fans and local creators is, frankly, inspiring.
If your family isn’t ready for Frank Herbert and Robert Jordan just yet, you can get them hooked on reading upstairs in the children’s section. As a children’s literature scholar and fan, I love seeing awesome children’s sections, and this was one of the best I’ve seen. The children’s section is upstairs, past a colorful staircase, and the room itself feels like a private reading nook, complete with comfy chairs, beautiful murals, and lots and lots of fun books. I can imagine child-me spending a lot of time up there. Also upstairs, there’s a board game room where folks can play to their hearts’ content. I could live there, basically.
The store is also up to some exciting things outside of games and selling books. They’ve recently successfully funded their new publishing company, and are preparing to release three books in the upcoming year. One of their upcoming books follows the rise of Captain Hook (of Peter Pan fame), one is a heartwarming story about being different and family—featuring dinosaurs!, and the final book is a NOLA themed alphabet book. You can preorder the books HERE.
While we’re talking about ordering, you’re probably thinking, “Wow, Mary. This all sounds really great, but I don’t live in New Orleans! I’m sad that I can’t get in on all this great Tubby & Coo's action.” Yes, that may be true, but you CAN support this awesome store by placing an online order. Their easy to navigate site will walk you through placing a special order and getting your books shipped anywhere in the US. They’ll ship up to 5 books to you for only $5 shipping (extra books may incur additional shipping charges)!
Bookstores are a wonderful space for people to come together over a shared interest, and Tubby & Coo's takes that setting a step further by specially catering to science fiction and fantasy fans. They get us, folks, and that is something truly special.
Check out Tubby & Coo's and learn more about this awesome store at their website, and if you’re in New Orleans, drop by Mid City and check them out!
About the Blog
The authors of this blog are four women with opinions about pop culture. That's all you really need to know.