When Davis-Kidd moved from Grace’s Plaza to The Mall at Green Hills, a collective angst was felt among my friends. I think we all had a gut feeling that this move was the beginning of the end, and we were spot on. Just a few years after the move, Davis-Kidd closed. CLOSED.

Sniff, sniff. We miss you. Photo courtesy of Susan Gregg Gilmore’s site.

Then, Borders on West End closed. I made a crack on Facebook about needing to “travel” to Williamson county to buy books and my Franklin friends didn’t think it was funny. “Pack your suitcase, you can spend the night here!” But, in my world of never an extra second to spare, I’m going to order my books on Amazon before I drive 20 minutes away to walk through a bookstore. I need a bookstore that is convenient. So, if you live in Williamson County, consider yourself lucky: your Borders and Barnes and Noble stores remain open. For Nashville residents, here are a few places to try, all located near the 40/White Bridge Rd intersection and perfect additions to your Target run route.

The Beveled Edge: I know they are known for framing and great gift selections, but I’ve always thought that The Beveled Edge had the best selection of gift/coffee table books in town. Lucky for us, so have lots of other people. Given that their book sales have gotten stronger each year, this past January, the owners decided to dramatically change the layout of the store to accommodate an entire room dedicated just to books. Now, this may not be Davis Kidd, but for local book signings and an eagerness to have a well-curated selection, we give The Beveled Edge high marks for forging ahead in this direction. We especially admire their emphasis on carrying books with local flavor. “We are excited to offer a new home for Nashville’s rich literary scene,” said Susan Taylor, co-owner and founder of The Beveled Edge. “Many talented authors contribute significantly to Nashville’s artistic community, and with the loss of beloved area booksellers, we want to ensure their books still have a local venue to get the exposure they deserve.” If you have gifts to buy, the selection of books here will fit everyone on your list.

The Beveled Edge

Books-A-Million: I honestly thought this was the place where all the unpurchased, bad books of the world went to be buried. (You know, sort of like the Island of Misfit Toys in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?) Then, Elizabeth and I were talking with Stacie Standifer, editor of Nashville Lifestyles, and she told us that it was similar to Borders. Really? I had NO IDEA. Apparently, this place has an image problem, as most people I talked to shared the same opinion. Wanting to see the truth for myself, I went to Books-A-Million and what do you know? It is, in fact, a lot like Borders. I found every newly released book I could imagine. And toys? They have toys. And, Books-A-Million sells coffee. Oh, one more thing, for a $20 membership fee, you get to take an extra 10-40% off selections throughout the store, get an even larger % off online AND you get days each month where everything in the store in an extra 20% off. Did you know all this?

Toys and books


A selection of area schools’ summer reading essentials

McKay: (I’m handing this one over to Amy, our editor, as we both have an insane addiction to this place.) People who know me well know that I not only love books, but I also love to clean out closets and cabinets. (Weird, I know…) McKay’s enables lots of efficient multi-tasking where both of these preoccupations of mine are concerned. McKay is a used bookseller, offering a bazillion book titles, as well as music, movies and games at bargain basement prices. Summer reading list for the kids? Great place to start shopping. Books for vacation? I buy tons of used books every summer to take to the lake or beach and love that I can enjoy them by the water and not worry if they get trashed or left behind. And my favorite find at McKay? Art books. I’ve found some beautiful books in great condition that normally retail for $75+ and am happy to spend $20 or less for books that wind up being stacked under a plant on a table or providing some decorative filler for bookshelves.

All these books were bought for Liza’s coffee table, from McKay’s, for $3 or less per book.


No ambiance: McKay’s Bookstore

And how exactly does this connect to my predilection for purging at home, you ask? McKay’s offers a credit/trade program, giving you a chance to trade in your unwanted books for store credit. (You can also sell them outright, but the store credit is usually greater than the cash price they offer, fyi.) After the end-of-year purge-o-rama at the Norton house, we load up all the books (some from school, some from other places) that we no longer want or need and head to McKay. We trade our books in for store credit and shop til we drop. Ambiance-wise, McKays is no Davis-Kidd (think flea market for books instead of boutique) but it’s a great bang for your book buck!


And, for another soon-to-be place to shop, read here about Ann Patchett’s latest adventure, opening a bookstore! http://www.tennessean.com/