Video Profile: Oxford resident works at two of the town’s most well known businesses

Video by Lindsly Penny

Lindsly Penny
Oxford Stories

She works at two of the most well known businesses in Oxford.

Maggie Smith, a native of Madison, Mississippi, graduated from the University of Mississippi with a major in English in 2018. Her love of the town and her job at Square Books led her to stay in Oxford.

Smith’s love for reading and writing make Square Books the perfect job. She also works at Ajax on the Square where she is a server.

Maggie reading a book. Photo by Lindsly Penny.

In the video, Smith discusses her favorite book, Looking for Alaska by John Green, for which she has a symbolic tattoo on her back. She feels the book relates well to a certain point in her life.

Smith said reading is the way she learns. “Some people learn by doing or experience, but me, I learn by reading,” she said. “The best way that I can gain an understanding of a person who is different than me is by reading some kind of novel or memoir that is from that different person’s perspective.”

Maggie’s favorite part about living in Oxford and the South is there is always someone who could help her if she needed it. “It’s a very close-knit community, Oxford and Mississippi as a whole, and that’s very comforting to know that there is a large group of people who are always there for me,” she said.

The opposite of that is that it can be exhausting living in a small town because everyone knows everyone else’s business all the time.

“Sometimes that can be very difficult in terms of growth and maturity because when you have a group of people who have known you for a long time, it can often be very stifling,” she said.

Square Books t-shirts. Photo by Lindsly Penny.

When she was asked if she could have lunch with one person, dead or alive, Smith said she would like to have lunch with the Black Dahlia and ask her what really happened. She would also like to have lunch with Sylvia Plath and ask her about her life and her writing.

Smith wants everyone to know she is easily approachable and loves to make friends with new people. “We can have a conversation any day of the week,” she said. “I would love to talk to you.”

Colorful book shelf at Square Books. Photo by Lindsly Penny.

Visit Maggie at Square Books for help finding a great new read for the summer or Ajax for delicious, Southern food. She is a friendly face who brings energy and warmth to Oxford.

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