Bookstores in Memphis, TN
After more than three decades in East Memphis, Davis-Kidd Booksellers nearly closed in early 2011. Fortunately, the physical store was spared from the auction block, and the staff rebounded with a slight name change. Otherwise, everything’s the same at this East Memphis institution, as celebrated for its vast selection of new books and high-quality gifts as it is recognized for book signings by the likes of David Sedaris, Bill Clinton, and “Madeline at the White House” author John Bemelmans Marciano. If you’re in a browsing mood, be sure to check out the well-read staff’s picks, located just inside the store’s east entrance.
Burke’s Books, more than a century old, is the place to go for locally grown music biographies such as Robert Gordon’s It Came From Memphis, Peter Guralnick’s Last Train To Memphis, and Stanley Booth’s Rythm Oil, tomes by regional faves William Faulkner and Peter Taylor, and bestsellers by Burke’s most prominent supporter, one-time Memphian, John Grisham. Situated at the crux of Cooper Street and Young Avenue, Burke’s is easily the best independent bookstore in Memphis. Browse the well-stocked shelves for signed first editions, out-of-print Southern literature, or leather-bound books for your home library. Pick up a copy of owner/author Corey Mesler’s latest, Before the Great Troubling, and quiz staff on any readings or book signings that might be coming up.
From manga to graphic novels, old school Dungeons and Dragons games to superhero comics, Comics and Collectibles is the largest specialty comic book and gaming store in the Mid-South. Located in an easy-to-overlook corner of a strip shopping center, the shop is nevertheless an oft-frequented haunt for teenaged boys, men, and the occasional geeky female. Thanks to the popularity of films starring Spiderman, Hulk and the X-men, the aisles at Comics and Collectibles are crowded on Saturday afternoon; be wary of “new comic day,” when the weekly shipments from Marvel and DC Comics hit store shelves, and arguments over “Who’s stronger – Hulk or Thor?” can reach the boiling point.
One person’s trash is literally another one’s treasure at this well organized bargain bookstore, which is stocked with Goodwill donations and run by the charity giant. Turnover is quick at this location, so stop in often to browse the 10,000 or so titles, which range from romances and biographies to hardback fiction and selections from Oprah’s Book Club. Most books are priced at $2, and when you’re done reading it, you can re-donate it at any Goodwill drop off location. So far, GoodBooks has been an incredibly successful operation, expanding less than a year after its opening in 2008.
For the last three-and-a-half decades, savvy East Memphis moms have brought their tots to Pinocchio’s every Friday morning for story time in the bookstore’s playroom. Located in a whimsical cottage a few blocks north of Poplar Avenue, Pinocchio’s stocks the latest, greatest, and most beloved books for children from tots to teenagers, ranging from Babar’s adventures to classic chapter books. Open six days a week (Monday through Saturday) and independently owned and operated, Pinocchio’s employs a knowledgeable staff that is refreshingly low-key, but when asked, always delivers brilliant recommendations. Better yet, they’ll enlighten your children to the fact that Despereaux the mouse was the hero of a book long before he starred in the blockbuster animated movie.