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books / (c) Shawn Nystrand / Flickr
books / (c) Shawn Nystrand / Flickr

The Best Independent Bookstores In Nashville

Picture of Leena Kollar
Updated: 25 January 2017
Bookworms in Nashville have several places to go when they want to dive into a good book. These are the best bookstores for writers and readers to escape reality and enter the world of imagination.

Howlin’ Books

Located in a shared space with Grimey’s New and Preloved Music, small and independently owned Howlin’ Books carries new and used books and magazines. The store specializes in music, pop culture, the arts, poetry, modern literature, and children’s books and sometimes hosts author signings or in-store performances. The inventory of Howlin’ Books comes from people selling their own, and the store is always interested in looking at pre-loved books in exchange for trade credit or cash.

Howlin’ Books, 1702 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 942 9648

This would be so much more enjoyable without a #crabbypants six-year-old. #howlinbooks #justcomebackformetomorrow #grimeystoo

A photo posted by Mrs. Aldridge-Ritchey (@usmslibrary) on


For those looking for pre-loved books, movies, music or video games, McKay’s has a large selection of everything from gardening to self-improvement to fiction. Trade in for cash or store credit or shop the store’s shelves, which are full of others’ previously owned goods. Occasional author signings and other events on the calendar are free to the public.

McKay’s, 636 Old Hickory Blvd., Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 353 2595

McKay's Books / (c) RecoilRick / Flickr

McKay’s Books / (c) RecoilRick / Flickr

East Side Story

Freelance writer Chuck Beard once felt that there was a lack of opportunities for local Nashville authors to share their stories. In 2012, he came up with the idea for a local-centric bookstore – East Side Story. More than just a bookstore, East Side Story strives to be a place where Nashville-area writers connect and build a book community in the city. In addition to its selection of books, the store sells merchandise like jewelry and artwork from local artisans.

The store also hosts a free bi-monthly live event called East Side Storytellin’, which is an hour long podcast recorded the first and third Tuesday of every month.

East Side Story, 1108 Woodland St, Unit B, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 915 1808

Parnassus Books

Owned by Ann Patchett and Karen Hayes, Parnassus Books sells fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature and has an extensive section of books written by local authors. The store was named after Mount Parnassus, the home of the Muses in Greek mythology. Considered “Nashville’s Parnassus,” the store provides a place for writers and readers to connect through books with the hope of contributing to the cultural character of Nashville.

Parnassus Books, Hillsboro Plaza Shopping Center, 3900 Hillsboro Pike, Suite 14, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 953 2243

books / (c) Shawn Nystrand / Flickr

books / (c) Shawn Nystrand / Flickr

Rhino Books

Committed to Nashville’s creative community, Rhino Books accepts gently used hardbound and paperback books, instruments and vinyl records for sale or trade. The locally owned and operated store sells classics, art books, children’s books and history books. There is also a small collection of rhinos scattered throughout the store.

Rhino Books, 4006 Granny White Pike, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 279 0309

Rhino Books, 4918 Charlotte Ave, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 279 0310

#bookstore #nashville #📖 #📚

A photo posted by Rhino Booksellers (@rhino.booksellers) on