Books and reading a form of therapy to Biloxi independent book store owner

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 2:34 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - For Shereen Kostmayer, lifelong battles with anxiety and depression kicked into another gear through a life-changing event that happened nearly 10 years ago.

“My father was actually murdered by somebody we knew,” Kostmayer said. “I had always been dealing with since I was a kid anxiety and depression. When something traumatic like that happens, it can be a huge trigger and illnesses can kind of spiral and escalate.”

It did, not only for her but also for her two children.

“When something like that happens to a family member, you start reassessing what’s important to you,” Kostmayer added.

After taking some time to reflect on and process what happened, Kostmayer decided to quit her job as a dental hygienist and open a new chapter in life by opening an independent book store called Southern Bound Books in Biloxi.

“I was in the dental profession for 17 years and loved it and was able to help people the way I always wanted to, but something didn’t feel right being in that clinical setting anymore,” she added. “Books had always been my outlet and I always found them therapeutic, and reading was therapeutic for me as a child. Biloxi did not have an independent book store at the time, but that’s what I landed on.”

Now, Kostmayer said every day is a creative therapy session with new challenges every time she reads through the pages of life.

“I just now know it’s a little helpful for them,” she said. “The thing that helps me is that tomorrow is another day, tomorrow is a new day.”

If you’d like to learn more about local resources to help you or a loved one dealing with anxiety, depression or other mental health topics, check out our South Mississippi Mental Health Resource Guide>>

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