There’s nothing more satisfying than letting yourself get lost in a good book. Reading takes you on an adventure, opens your mind and provides an occasional distraction from the outside world whenever you need it. Tennessee is home to several charming, independent bookstores where you can find many of the best reads in the state. Here are our favorites!
Parnassus opened its doors to the people of Nashville in November 2011. This shop is named after Mount Parnassus, which was the home of literature and learning in Greek mythology. Best-selling author Ann Patchett is a co-owner, so you know her selection of books is fantastic. Check out their calendar on their website to browse through their weekly events including “story times” and author meet-and-greets.
This unique bookstore was established way back in 1875, surviving the Great Depression and both World Wars. Peruse through their paperback classics, southern literature selections, historical Memphis reads and more and you are guaranteed to find many intriguing books you’ll want to take home with you. Over the years this shop has even had some famous visitors like Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley!
The employees and owners of Union Ave Books in downtown Knoxville pride themselves in their ability to help their customers find books that are the perfect fit for them. Whether you’re looking for an entertaining, fictional story or an educational non-fiction book, Union Ave has you covered. Take a look at their upcoming events to see when your favorite authors are stopping by!
Are graphic novels your thing? If so, Atomik Comics in Johnson City is right up your alley. Known as the largest comic bookstore in the state, this shop houses many back issues and classics in their 5,000-square-foot space. This is the perfect spot to find retro reads, old school collectables and more!
This little shop is the place to go if you’re a music fan! Howlin’ Books stocks both new and used books focusing on everything from the arts and pop culture to poetry and modern literature. Their shared space with Grimey’s Too New and Preloved Music and the coffee shop Frothy Monkey provides the perfect spot to enjoy a good read, live music and a rich cup of coffee.
The Book Attic in Madison has been providing used and captivating hardbacks, paperbacks and audio to their shoppers for over thirty years. With over 90,000 works to choose from, you’ll have a difficult time picking out just one book.
If you’re looking for a local bookstore that’s great for the kids, head over to Fairytales in East Nashville. This shop is actually Nashville’s very first independently owned children’s bookstore! Browsing their wide selection of books, educational toys and crafting supplies sourced from eco-friendly vendors will have people of all ages feeling like a child again.
For those looking for a large assortment of used books, head to The Grumpy Bookpeddler in Murfreesboro. With over 50,000 books from many genres bursting from their shelves, you can easy spend hours browsing through their collection. If you have a lot of old books lying around, bring them here to sell for cash or store credit.
Known for being Chattanooga’s only independent bookstore selling exclusively new books, the selection at Starline Books never falls short. Each book they carry is carefully hand-selected to ensure their customers can choose from some of the best new reads out there!
This hidden gem in Oak Ridge carries many unique treasures including used books, music, movies and video games. Stop in McGuire Books and you’re certain to find something intriguing for yourself or a friend. Be sure to check out their Facebook to see when their items are on sale!