Thunder, lightning, and rain doused the fireflies and sent us into the van early last night at Tims Ford State Park near Winchester, TN. We’ve criss-crossed this state from north to south, east to west. It’s a beautiful state with hills, hollers, horses, and churches. Lots of churches both large and small: Baptist, Primitive Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Gospel, Church of God, and more. It was Sunday, and the parking lots were full, some late into the afternoon. We were on our own pilgrimage of sorts to Parnassus Books in Nashville.
Parnassus is co-owned by Ann Patchett, an author Laura adores.
Greetings. Laura, here: It’s just a bookstore, but for some reason it is THE bookstore. Many friends who are readers want to be Ann’s friend; she’s just so cool. We want her to know she can visit us in our respective towns–Moss Beach, Pescadero, New York–and have someone to eat dinner with. We are Patchett geeks.
Her bookstore is fabulous: silver stars hanging from the children’s section, a store dog named Bear that sidles up for pets, tall blonde bookshelves, high ceilings, industrial light fixtures from the now-defunct Borders. The staff is uber-helpful and excitable. The thing about this bookstore is that it is a bookstore; they sell books. Lots of lovingly chosen books. Not many gifts, not doo-dads. Books.
I admit to being giddy. I sat on the bench in the store and could barely think: pick up a book, put it down, pick up another, put it down. OhmygoshI’mhere! We stayed over an hour and I left with 4 books. And a big grin.