Literary Feasts

Table of Contents at Blue Jacket

by Ed Davis on April 7, 2016

Blue Jacket in Xenia Has Food!

How would you like to dine on gourmet soups, sandwiches, desserts and coffee among 50,000 books? If, like me, you’re looking for quality destinations along Greene County’s Little Miami Bike Trail—or, if not a biker, a place not too far to drive—then Table of Contents inside Xenia, Ohio’s Blue Jacket Books will delight you.

Could be you know Blue Jacket Books already; after all, it’s been an anchor business at 30 S. Detroit Street for ten years, selling used books almost exclusively, with vast holdings in social sciences and history. Also, BJB has a strong local authors section (including yours truly) and hosts readings. I’m always surprised to find bookish folks who’ve never patronized Blue Jacket. If you need something beyond books to entice you to make the trip, how about excellent cuisine and fresh coffee?

Owner Lawrence Hammar’s wife Cassandra Lee, and James Luckett of Yellow Springs, go well beyond the minimum to satisfy hungry readers, writers and bikers with excellent homemade comfort food. The menu changes weekly, although some favorites, like zesty tomato soup, appear regularly. (The café’s Facebook page features dish descriptions and pictures for the day’s offerings.) The food leans vegetarian, and probably 70 to 80 percent is organic.

On my first visit, I was offered three different soups and sandwiches; I highly recommend the grilled cheese sandwich (gourmet cheese and bread) with green onions threaded throughout, plus tomatoes, a good compliment to the hamburger soup. I had African peanut soup at my next visit. Dessert choices included otherworldly chocolate and lemon cakes, all made from scratch. (Delicious.)

Very important to me, I was allowed to linger after eating. Once the lunch crowd dispersed, I was left alone to write on my laptop and take advantage of a free coffee refill, one of Stoney Creek Roaster’s darkest, richest blends.* I found myself quite productive in a peaceful atmosphere surrounded by the published works of diverse writers.

Table of Contents is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and serves lunch as well as “take-away dinners.” While I’m not likely to abandon my allegiance to Cedarville’s Stoney Creek Roaster’s (recently renamed Telemetry Coffee Roasters), now that good weather’s here, with its wonderful deck perched above Massie’s Creek, I definitely plan to include Table of Contents on my cycling itinerary. When you go, don’t forget to graze the shelves along with the food!

Back to Yellow Springs for Gourmet Lit

AzimuthsEpic Bookshop, tucked between the Emporium and Senior Citizens Center at 229 Xenia Avenue, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, will host Rebecca Morean on Friday, April 29, 6:30-8:00 p.m., reading from her new literary novel Azimuths and other works. Azimuths, a beautifully-written, poetic work, focuses on five women living in a trailer park in the Mojave Desert, with a fossilized whale underneath them and an oval supercollider beneath both. For a nice conversation between Becky and Hallie Ephron about the book, see

With Stops in Greenville and Oakwood . . .

April is of course National Poetry Month, and here are two readings to tease your artistic taste buds:

The Greenville Poets (Cathy Essinger, David Garrison, Suzanne Kelly-Garrison, Belinda Rismiller, Lianne Spidel, and Myrna Stone) will read at Montage Café (527 S. Broadway Street, Greenville, OH 45331) on Friday, April 22nd, at 7 p.m. It’s a cool venue with great homemade food and pastries.

The Wright Library Poets will give a reading on Tuesday, April 19th at Wright Memorial Library in Oakwood. Call the library at 937-294-7171 for more details.

*Unfortunately, Table of Contents currently lacks an espresso/cappuccino maker, a situation they hope to remedy soon.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Taylor Minor April 25, 2016 at 2:35 am

Thanks Ed, I always look forward to seeing your bike parked out back. Hope to have a lively discussion with you soon 🙂



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