Travel: Oxford, Miss.

With great reluctance, the owner of an independent bookstore in the picturesque college town of Oxford, Miss., admits that "the quality of life is truly quite good here." Oxford's 11,000 residents would like to keep their quiet, historic city a secret, but the home of William Faulkner and Ole Miss is starting to attract a crowd.

Philip Sprague and his wife Esther Sparks found the place a few years ago, while enduring a miserable Midwestern winter, after Sprague read that author John Grisham considered his hometown of Oxford a paradise on earth. "As soon as the ice-storm was over, I got...

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