Bookish Happenings

Adventures at McKay’s Books (Nashville, Tennessee)

You’ve never been to a used book store quite like McKay’s.  If you’re in Tennessee or North Carolina… or if you’re visiting Tennessee or North Carolina… or if you’re nowhere near Tennessee or North Carolina… you should check this place out.  It’s quite the experience.

My friend Kristine and I are on a quest to conquer all the bookstores in Nashville (even if she doesn’t know it yet).  Our first stop on this bookish tour was Parnassus Books and we took a strong detour to McKay’s.  Where Parnassus is an expert in the new and bestselling, with plenty of author meet and greet opportunities, and chic, trendy, bookstore design, McKay’s is like a thrift shop on steroids.


We walked in and immediately it was major sensory overload.  People were grabbing shopping carts… in a book store.  I thought to myself, “Is that really necessary?”  Turns out it is.  Imagine rows and rows and rows… and rows… of bookshelves from floor to ceiling jam packed with used books.  Kristine got there before me and when she texted me to say she was in the Bargain Fiction section, I figured it would be pretty easy to find her.  Wrong!  My first thought when I walked into the building was, “Um, how the hell do I find Bargain Fiction?”  Luckily, McKay’s is pretty smart and puts laminated cards on the end of each aisle with a list of genres and the corresponding aisle in which you can find that genre.  Thank you for that!

When I found Kristine she had a couple of books in her hand.  Bestsellers.  Each for $1.50.  That is not a typo.  Ridiculous.  I found myself perusing the shelves of Bargain Fiction with my head permanently tilted to the right, neck craned, reading every spine in the hopes I would find some steals.  Folks, Bargain Fiction included titles like Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris,  Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah, and One Day in December by Josie Silver (all for $0.50 to $1.50).  It was not your typical “bargain” section that has beat up Danielle Steel mass market paperbacks.  Although it had those too…. for $0.25 a piece.

I picked up this luxurious haul of books by authors Diane Chamberlain (author of The Dream Daughter), Elin Hilderbrand (author of The Identicals and The Perfect Couple) and Tatiana de Rosnay (author of The Rain Watcher).  Four books for $5.46.  You cannot beat that.


Now… I know this is a blog about everything books.  But McKay’s is in the business of so much more than that.  Think board games, toys, puzzles, DVDs, electronics, comic books… the shelves go on for miles.


And one thing that I find super unique at McKay’s is how organized it is.  You can walk into most thrift shops and expect to see shelves of junk that have been picked over and are in disarray.  These shelves are borderline immaculate, organized alphabetically by author, and very well maintained.  If you’re allergic to thrift stores, I would consider this place the exception to your allergy.

If you’re looking for fantastic books at a low price, you need to check this place out!

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