Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ann Patchett’s Nashville Bookstore Hits the Road, With Dogs in Tow

Photo  - Nathan Morgan for The New York Times
Nashville’s newest bookstore is an old van.

The bright blue bookmobile, which hit the road this week, is a roving offshoot of Parnassus Books, a popular independent bookstore. It will roam around town, stopping at food truck rallies, farmers’ markets and outside restaurants.

The arrival of a bookstore on wheels is a fitting evolution for Parnassus, which is co-owned by Karen Hayes and the novelist Ann Patchett. The store’s name comes from Christopher Morley’s 1917 novel “Parnassus on Wheels,” about a middle-aged woman who travels around selling books out of a horse-drawn van.

Since Parnassus opened in 2011, Ms. Hayes has wanted a traveling bookstore of her own. She looked at taco trucks and ice cream trucks and felt envious of their freedom to take business wherever people gathered, she said.
“A bookmobile made so much sense, because food trucks work so well in this town,” Ms. Hayes said by telephone. “It’s a great way to get our name out there, too. It’s a rolling advertisement.”  MORE

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