Monthly Archives: November 2011

There Are Never Enough Bookstores

Nashville’s getting an independent bookstore again. No, it’s not near me, but still. Here’s the email that the owner sent out as a public service announcement.


3900 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215 · Get Directions


1 615.953.2243



Open until 8:00 pm


Mon – Sat: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Parnassus Books Grand Opening on Saturday, November 19th!

10:30 am: Puppet Show by Nashville Public Library’s Puppet Truck

1-3:00 pm: Meet-and-greet with local children’s and young adult authors

5-8:00 pm: Grand Opening drop-in reception, featuring local adult authors

A Note from Ann Patchett:

Once again, Nashville has its own independent bookstore, friends, and it feels good. Really, it feels like we have wrenched the hands of time backwards, back to the days of Mills and Zibarts.

I know I’m raising some high expectations for those of you who are old enough to know the stores I’m talking about, but this is what I mean: Parnassus is a small store with a carefully selected inventory of books that you are actually going to want to read.

Someone said to me recently that they went into the three story Barnes & Noble in Union Square in New York and couldn’t find a single thing they wanted to buy; then they went into the 500-square-foot Crawford and Doyle Booksellers on the Upper East Side and were driven mad with desire for nearly every book they saw. How is that possible?

For the same reason that a 75 page menu makes you feel bewildered and not the least bit hungry. Limited choices can be helpful when faced with the Library of Congress.

And here’s another thing we have going for us that our great predecessors knew something about: a friendly, intelligent staff comprised of people who read the books they sell. (Roger Bishop, anyone? Stephanie Freudenthal?)

I know, it doesn’t make any sense to me either. How can we employ such smart, well-read, and truly pleasant people when everybody knows there’s no money to be made in book selling? It turns out that there are some people who love books so much they just want to be around them. People actually offered to work in the store for free (which, sadly, didn’t turn out to be entirely legal.)

The debate isn’t just between e-readers and paper books. It’s also about having the chance to interact with humans while making your purchase. Outstanding humans at that. Please, come in and meet them.

You know those motivational speakers who tell you that the people who become hugely successful in life are the people who do what they love? The thing that doesn’t even feel like work? Well, those motivational speakers probably weren’t talking about opening a bookstore, but still, were doing this because we love it.

If Parnassus works out, I really want to open a tiny drugstore that has a soda fountain that makes great ice cream sundaes, because that’s the other thing I’ve been missing.

In closing, I am thinking of my cousin, Ann Wilson. Every time I left her house, she would say, You best stay with us.

Really. Stay with us.

Thanks so much,

Updating on that personal note

I’m back to work now and doing fine. According to my cardiologist, it was the lightest a heart attack can be and still be measurable (which is probably why I was able to sleep through it). And all the effects of the stroke are all gone, except for an apparent inability to talk loudly. I’ll get a big stick, I guess. I probably could have gone back to work a week or more ago except for the drainage tube running out my back. But that’s gone now. All I have to remember it all by are a few more prescriptions and that one, last, lingering kidney stone. Since he’s the last stone, I’ve named him Keith.