Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Landmark Booksellers - Franklin, TN

Landmark Booksellers, Franklin, TN

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If every independent bookstore had a guardian angel like the one at Landmark Booksellers, they would have no more worries.  As owner Joel T. told me, Landmark is fortunate to have its own guardian angel, author Karen Kingsbury.  How so?  Ms. Kingsbury visited Landmark and then wrote a best-selling book about the store and husband /wife owners Joel and Karen entitled, The Bridge.  Landmark Booksellers is that store in real life.  The popularity of the book and the subsequent movie has been a huge boost to a store that lost money for years.  The overwhelming number of customers who visit here as tourists have been one of the critical factors that have sustained this store.  It also helps that Joel owns the building and the adjacent pay parking lot.  Now, with the recent additions of a nearby hotel and a large apartment complex, I see those initial lean years rapidly disappearing in a rear view mirror.

This community and bookstore are absolutely swimming in history.  The building was built between 1806-1808 and Andrew Jackson was here paying his troops from the Battle of New Orleans.  It was also one of many buildings in Franklin that cared for the wounded of the Civil War.  But now you'll find a bookstore filled with new, used, collectible, and vintage books.  Recent sales have included editions by JFK, Mark Twain, and Harper Lee.  If you can't make it to the store consider checking their rare books online.  The strength here is Southern Americana and lit, classics, and civil war to name a few.  As Joel said, for people who visit here from out of town, these are some of the things they're looking for.

Joel and Carol began this journey 16 years ago.  The kids were out of the house and they decided this was something they could enjoy doing together.  Joel bought the inventory from an antiquarian bookstore in Nashville and the business was launched.  Things are now going great and I see nothing but a bright future here for Landmark Booksellers.  Best of all, they have friendly and welcoming people to pull it all off.  Joel along with booksellers Jennifer and Ashley are some of the nicest people you'll meet.  Something that is ALWAYS better than any book-buying experience you'll get online.

My advice to other indie owners?  Be like Joel!  Find a guardian angel like Karen Kingsbury to propel your store securely into the future.  For the rest of us?  Be that army of guardian angels and enjoy visits to wonderful bookstores like Landmark Booksellers in Franklin, TN.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern.  I don't delve into fantasy very often so this one was a stretch.  For me, I found it to be a bit too abstract, a plot that I had a hard time grasping, and somewhat boring.  Comparable maybe to Narnia and an escape into the back of a wardrobe.  Gifted and creative writing, but just beyond what I can absorb. 

CURRENTLY READING:  All True Not A Lie In It, Alix Hawley. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Bridge, Karen Kingsbury.  Twilight, William Gay. 

Beautiful and historic storefront of Landmark Booksellers. 
Another angle. 
This is only a fraction of the history about this building. 
You're not even in the store yet but you can begin the shopping!

Let your dog have a drink while you browse the books outside. 

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  This is one of those spaces where you wish the walls could talk. 
Just inside the front entrance you'll find a few of the items of local interest and by local authors. 
Fascinating historic photo of the bookstore from a previous life.  The building to the right is no longer there and is where customers can park. 
A few of the displayed collectible editions. 
Lots of books about the Civil War. 
One of my favorite areas in the store.  Comfortable furnishings with warm lighting = at least PRETEND to be reading a book while stretched out!
Take time to look at the pictures of the many authors who have visited here. 
In addition to the many used books, the store offers an excellent variety of recent releases. 
One of my favorite author quotes of the many posted in the store. 
If all the places on the couch are taken, slide over to this comfy chair. 
A depiction of Indie Bob returning home after visiting bookstores. 
Beautiful collection of leather bound editions.
Partial view of Joel's office.  It is pure book, vintage, and historical beauty. 
Bookstores in historical buildings almost always have interesting nooks like this one. 
Jennifer filling an order from the nature books. 
Overview of the children's room. 
Another view of the children's room. 

Yes please. 

Overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance. 

This lamp has a wonderful story.  Ask Joel about it when you visit. 

Bring your C. S. Lewis fans here. 
Three Landmark rock stars and a Landmark wannabe.  L-R:  Ashley, Joel, and Jennifer.  Three of the fine folks you'll meet at Landmark Booksellers.  Thanks for a great visit. 


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