I’m not sure how I learned about Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee. Probably I was looking up something about author Ann Patchett, who is one of the owners of the bookstore. I have loved her books for years. And I adore her bookstore. Even though I’ve never been there.
Something about it immediately tickled my fancy—even from afar. Maybe it’s the name? In greek myths, Mount Parnassus is the home of the Muses, those inspirational goddesses of literature, science, music, and the arts. Maybe it’s their programming—they do some fantastic work there. Pretty much every week I’m wishing I was close enough to attend an event they’re hosting. (Sign-up for Musing and you, too, will know all they’re planning.)
I have a deep and abiding love for independent bookstores. I am lucky enough to live in a place that is home to several wonderful indies—a couple of them dedicated entirely to children’s literature, even. The people who work at these bookstores are simply the best. They are well-read, excited about local authors, tireless in their event/program planning, and generous in their promotional work. They take seriously the business of getting the right books in front of the right readers. I don’t know how they do it, but now that I’m an author, I’m more than just admiring—I’m grateful. Most authors do not have an enormous marketing department and budget behind them—they have indie bookshop angels recommending their book to one customer at a time.
A friend visited Nashville this past weekend, and she not only visited Parnassus, she also took a picture of Giant Pumpkin Suite on their shelves! This is such a thrill for me. (Well, who am I kidding, it’s a thrill every time I see my book on a shelf—even my own bookshelves.) But there’s something about it being at Parnassus, in particular, that just warms my heart.
When you call Parnassus Books, someone who sounds like my aunts, or maybe one of my Mom’s cousins, answers the phone. (This Minnesota girl has some southern roots.) I immediately feel…well, at home and loved. And so, although Giant Pumpkin Suite is set in Minnesota, I just know it must feel quite comfortable down there in Nashville on the shelves at Parnassus.
Thanks Parnassus, for being my favorite bookstore I’ve never visited. (I’ll get there!) And thank you indies everywhere—for your passion for books, your dedication to readers, and your kind support of authors. Thanks for including Giant Pumpkin Suite on your esteemed shelves.
(And thank you, Terri, for sending the picture!)