There’s something about bookstore’s owned by authors that make them deserve all the bookstore love. Authors just know books in a way that makes their bookstores a little more fun. We recently spent a few short hours in Nashville. Even though we knew we stayed for only a few hours, I knew we had to see Parnassus Books.
My other favorite bookstore that’s also author-run? Books are Magic in Brooklyn, NY.
Whenever someone tells me their heading to Nashville I scream: YOU HAVE TO GO TO PARNASSUS. What’s interesting about this is that:
- I’ve never actually been to Nashville, so…
- I’ve never actually been to Parnassus, but also… and this is a good one…
- I get to learn about the book lovers of the world.
There are four responses I get when I tell people to go:
- OMG. I LOVE THAT BOOKSTORE. I ALWAYS GO WHEN I’M IN NASHVILLE. – or – OMG. I’VE HEARD ABOUT IT AND I CAN’T WAIT TO GO!
- THANKS SO MUCH! I’ve never heard of it, but I love checking out bookstores when I’m on a trip.
- I’ll check it out (and they don’t).
- What’s a bookstore? (Just kidding… kind of.)
If someone were to tell me to go to Parnassus, my response would’ve been the first.
Getting to Parnassus Books from Downtown Nashville
Originally our trip to Nashville was going to be about 24 hours. This gave us plenty of time to do the handful of things we wanted to do. But, plans change. We were only going to be there the afternoon. We drove into the city at lunch and realized that Parnassus Books closes at 5 (on the Sunday we were in town) and it’s not really near the downtown area.
Since this was our first trip to Nashville we had no idea what to expect. Which, ended up being, that we loved Nashville. I’m comfortable in my ability to quickly assess whether I like a place or not. We’ve travelled a bit and just haven’t experienced anything like Nashville before. Still, as much as I loved it I knew it meant that Parnassus was going to be that much more worth it. So we prioritized the bookstore, and started thinking of when we could make our next trip to Nashville.
I wasn’t expecting Parnassus to be in a small… strip mall’s not the right word… but it’s close. I think it’s the jealousy that none of my strip malls near home have a book store, let alone an awesome one.
I recently came across this saying that community builds creativity. Is that a famous saying? Not sure. I think surrounding yourself with a community of people doing what you want to do is the best. I knew as soon as I walked in that this was a community I want to be a part of.
I wanted to read all of the books. I wanted to play all the games. I wanted to buy all the merch. We went into the kid’s section and it was the same feeling all over. Kids of Nashville, you are lucky to have this place right there.
The last time I felt this way about a shop or library was at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. But, this isn’t a museum – it’s a bookstore curated by people who really love books. And I can’t wait to be part of that community any time I’m in Nashville.
Parnassus Books Online
Parnassus Books Address:
3900 Hillsboro Pike Suite 14