It's Indie Bookstore Day! Here's Why I Love Mine.

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Happy Indie Bookstore Day! I hope you celebrate by visiting your local bookseller and finding your next great read. 

I originally posted this in 2016, but it still holds up. I'm so proud and pleased that Parnassus is an even bigger part of Nashville's literary community today.

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A few nights ago, I attended a signing at the wonderful Parnassus Books in Nashville.

The signing author was Ariel Lawhon, who was launching her brilliant story chronicling the doomed flight of the Hindenburg, FLIGHT OF DREAMS. As Ariel and I hugged and kissed hello, bookseller extraordinaire Bill Long-Innes smiled benevolently and asked, “Do you guys have a writer tribe? It seems like Nashville authors really make an effort to support one another. I wonder if any other cities have such a tight knit group?”

Ariel and I nodded.

Because we do have a tribe here in Nashville.

Our literary community, dubbed the Nashville Literati, is tight. There are cliques within it—young adult writers in the SCBWI, crime fiction in Sisters in Crime, romance writers in MCWR, literary authors big with Salon 615 and Humanities Tennessee and The Porch Writers’ Collective.

But when it comes to supporting another author, we cross genres like a boss.

We lunch together. We attend each other’s signings. We hang out in East Nashville at East Side Storytellin’. We pull together all our writing buddies when a writer friend comes to town. We even go on writing retreats together.

And now one constant we all have in common is our indie store, Parnassus.

I think the store’s staff has made it such a welcoming, open place for writers of all genres, of all stripes, that we can’t help but want to gather there.  

When our beloved former indie, Davis-Kidd, closed its doors in 2010 (and Parnassus didn’t yet exist), it suddenly became much harder to get everyone together. We have the annual Southern Festival of Books, which is always well-represented with local authors. We did lunches and cocktails, drove out to other counties to attend signings.

But not having an indie store that represented and celebrated all the writers in town was hard. A town without an indie store is a sad one indeed.

Davis-Kidd had a long history in this town. As a matter of fact, it was one of the reasons I was okay with moving here. When my then boyfriend (now husband) brought me to Nashville in 1993 to meet his parents, he drove me around, and our last stop was Davis-Kidd. “See?” he said. “This is the best bookstore in town. You’ll have plenty to read if we ever move here.”

(I’m not sure if I was more entranced by the idea of books—books!—or the fact that my boyfriend had just hinted strongly he wanted a long future with me.) 

Davis-Kidd was everything you could ask for in a bookstore: great staff, great events, a huge, diverse collection of titles. I attended my very first author signing there (John Connolly! My writing hero!). At that signing, I met a woman who became my other mother, who mentored me through years of writing, getting an agent, getting a deal. I did one of my first signings at David-Kidd. I hit my first bestseller list while I was launching my fourth book there. I attended Sisters in Crime meetings there. I wept with everyone else when it closed.

To have an indie in our midst again is incredible.

It’s been very fun to watch Parnassus take hold in our community, to see stories being made there. The Nashville Literati grows stronger day-by-day, with new writers coming up to join the established ones. And Parnassus is our hub. Several writers are booksellers there (And one co-owns it. You might have heard of her . . . her name is Ann.). This lends a verisimilitude unmatched anywhere else.

Yes, Nashville has a writer tribe, just as strong as Chicago, New York, and L.A.

And thanks to our favorite indie, we have a place to call our own, too.

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Davis Kidd Presents Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Celebration

On Sunday, July 11th, join Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Nashville’s community bookstore, for our To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary reading!

To celebrate, Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Nashville will host six local authors from 1:00 to 4:00 pm to read their favorite passage from To Kill a Mockingbird. Authors include: Marshall Chapman, Goodbye Little Rock & Roller, Susan Gregg Gilmore, Looking for Salvation at the Diary Queen, Craig Havinghurst, Air Castle of the South, Beth Pattillo, Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart, Lisa Patton, Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’Easter and Clay Travis, On Rocky Top.

Additionally, 20 percent of all purchases made during the anniversary reading will be donated to Nashville’s local chapter of Room to Read.

Room to Read works in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond.

Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 for To Kill a Mockingbird. The book became an international bestseller and was adapted to film in 1962. It has remained her only novel.

“Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." -Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird

It’s easy to get lost in a book. Why not lose yourself in a bookstore? Offering books on all subjects, a DVD and music department specializing in bestsellers and local interest, cards and gifts, a children’s section
complete with story time and kids’ events, and around 250 author events a year, Davis-Kidd Booksellers is proud to serve as the premier independent bookstore in Nashville.
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Davis-Kidd Booksellers|Green Hills Mall|615.385.2645|daviskidd.com

I so wanted to join the fun, but had a scheduling conflict. Y'all go and show my peeps at Davis Kidd some love!