Bookish Travel: Nashville

I had high hopes when I went to Nashville. Mostly these hopes were for sun, but also for finding fun things to do that weren’t solely focused on country music. I was moderately successful. 70 and sunny for the first weekend in February was a definite win for my boyfriend and I. 

Country music…well…there was a lot. I may have a newfound appreciation for honky tonks and Johnny Cash but will probably still steer clear of my local country radio stations. 

Anyway I am here to talk to you about books. Again, Nashville is a great place for literary adventures. Their public library is beautiful, and they have a lovely author festival come the fall. I am sad to have missed the festival but I did get to stop by the library. 

I also dragged my boyfriend across the city to visit Parnassus Books. Owned by none other than Ann Patchett, Parnassus may be my new favorite indie bookstore. Located in a strip mall (that also has a nice donut shop for your flight weariness) Parnasseus screams charm, books, and community. As I browsed a children’s storytime was in progress. Along with sections for best sellers there were also tables for authors who had visited the store, local authors, and of course Ms. Patchett herself.  I left heavy with books, a new tote bag, and an inspiration to read. 

We also took a stop by Third Man Records, primarily a record shop (run and owned by Jack White.) They also now have a literary imprint – Third Man Books. Also their shop is really fun. I recommend both the Nashville and Detroit locations.

While our literary adventures were short, or food adventures were long and beautiful. I will give a quick bookish shoutout to Mockingbird in the Gulch neighborhood for having amazing food and a pun filled menu complete with literary references.  

Other fun experiences that weren’t super literary but would still be worth your time include The Parthenon, The Country Music Hall of Fame, and a tour of the Ryman. We missed a visit to the Tennessee State History Museum, but that just means we will have to go back and enjoy more hot chicken, bar-b-que, and beer!

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