Tag Archives: Landmark Booksellers

Landmark Booksellers

In the movie “Silverado”, Paden tells Emmet “You know, a smelly saloon is my favorite place in the world” and then upon entering Stella’s, he takes a deep breath.

Now, the only time that I’ve been been in a saloon, was in Bannock, Montana and Bannock is a ghost town; and the only time I’ve ever been in a bar, was when I was about 5 years old (just hold on – it’s not as bad as it sounds) and I went with my dad into the local bar because it was the only place open where he could buy cigarettes. They were not my favorite places.

But I have the same feeling as Paden when I’m in an empty theater, an old school, church building, or bookstore. So it was a real pleasure to walk into the antebellum building on Main Street in Franklin, Tennessee which houses Landmark Booksellers.

The owners are friendly southern folks. When I told the gentleman that we were headed to the Christian Dior exhibit in Nashville, he told me that his aunt had been a dressmaker there and showed me the scrapbook of her shop. It was a fascinating journey through changing styles of wedding gowns through the years.

History books are in the front near the desk.

On the wall above the sitting area are photographs of southern writers.

A mixture of old and new abounds in the children’s room. Joe chose 2 new books for our grandsons and I chose 2 old ones for myself: an old reader from the 1940s with great illustrations, and a craft book – probably from the 1920s or 30s – I don’t remember. We purchased these 4 and 2 others books which weren’t going to fit in our carry-on luggage, so we had them shipped to us and I am eagerly awaiting their arrival. Story Times are Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 10:00 a.m.

Go here to explore the shop on their website.

Cookbooks and books about the movies are on the second floor. I’m really sorry that I missed that section, but hopefully, we’ll go back sometime. The good news is that they have some of their collection online and ordering is available.

The anniversary sale is buy 2 and get the third one free, and follows the norm that the free one is the lowest cost book of the 3. Also, at least one of them must be a used book.

A good deal of the stock is used but many are antiquarian. Joel showed me a particularly lovely one (and quite costly) from the early 1800s, with hand tinted pictures. And that reminds me of the scene in “You’ve Got Mail” when Joe Fox was shown a valuable book in The Shop Around the Corner. He exclaimed when told the price and asked if the hand tinting was what made it cost so much. George then replied “that’s what makes it worth so much”.

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Filed under 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, Books, Bookstores, Movies, Quotes, Tennessee

Poetry Reading

At one end of Main Street in Franklin, Tennessee sits a two-story building with white columns, canvas awnings, an American flag and tables and chairs on the sidewalk. Last Thursday night, the sandwich board out front read “Poetry Reading, 7:00”. It was almost that time when Joe and I went into Landmark Booksellers, so we quickly looked around, then left for a hurried dinner so we could return as soon after 7 as possible.

The session was about half over when we came back, but the ladies (no men there except the shop owner and Joe) were gracious and included us into the group. The woman in charge asked each participant in turn to read something they’d brought. Some read their own poetry, others read from a book or a copied poem.

This was the first poetry reading we had attended and it was different than what I expected. I suppose my only previous exposure to this type of event was watching the lampoons in old movies, in which beatnik types read obscure nonsensical verse and the audience clapped by clicking their fingers. That’s not what was happening at Landmark.

Four of the poems have remained with me; I didn’t take notes because I didn’t know the protocol and didn’t want to do something gauche. I wish I’d at least written down the titles and the authors. The four were about:

a Scottish isle where monks live,
shadows in the barn (the author wrote this one for a friend whose horse had recently died),
in my former life, and

These are what I call them in my mind, because (as I said), I don’t know the true ones. The moderator advised the author of “in my former life” to make it a bit more concise and leave it to the listener to fill it out. I know very little about poetry, but this made a lot of sense.

Of all that I remember, “When” struck me with such familiarity that I wish I had written it. The author described what life would be like when ____ happened. I don’t remember what her ____ was, but I know what mine is. When I’m feeling better, when my bills are paid, when my family is healed, etc.

My last experience with poetry was about 5 years ago, a local library asked me to sit on a panel which judged entries for cowboy poems. That was an enjoyable experience and encouraged me to think of poetry in a whole new light and that maybe it was something that I could do.

I’ll be looking around for other opportunities to share with others a love of reading and literature and yes, even poetry.

*I apologize for the blurriness of the pictures. Architectural details are much easier for me to photograph – they are not living and breathing and moving around.

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Filed under Books, Tennessee, Vicissitudes of Life