Are you getting tired of the wet and dreary weather? Are you ready to get out of the house for an adventure, but the weather is just too bad to enjoy the nice outdoors activities in Knoxville? You can enjoy a world of adventure without the bad weather by only driving a few miles. Knoxville is home to several great bookstores that will fit any budget, any age, and any genre enthusiast. From the wonders of J.R.R. Tolkien to “The Elf on the Shelf,” you can find whatever you are looking for and enjoy the quite pleasure of browsing through the shelves with the soft sounds of rain pattering on the rooftop.
McKay’s Books is a unique place to browse and find unusual selections for a lower price. Founded in 1974, it was established on the principle of “free enterprise libraries,” where anyone could buy a book, then bring it back to trade in for another book. McKay’s still holds true to this original system, carrying only used books and offering trade credit or cash to sellers who bring in books to trade. They also have a “free box” outside the store, where the books they are unable to sell are offered for free to any book enthusiast. This large bookstore has since expanded to include items like movies, music, musical instruments, and even collectibles, making it an ideal spot for the entire family to spend several hours exploring in their favorite areas. Located at 230 Papermill Pl Way, McKay’s Books is the perfect solution for easing boredom, so be sure to place it on your list for the next rainy day.
Barnes and Noble is located at Suburban Plaza, 8029 Kingston Pike, and is the perfect bookstore choice to find the newest issue of your favorite magazine or the most recent book in your current book series. With toys, games, collectibles, and plenty of reading genres to interest everyone, you can truly spend an entire day with the family at this go-to bookstore! And, there is no need to leave the store when it’s time for lunch or dinner. The B&N Café offers everything from your favorite espresso to bottled drinks, sandwiches, and desserts, so you can take a quick break from browsing to enjoy a delicious meal, or purchase your favorite book and read it in the peaceful, book-filled ambience while eating. Be sure to check the store webpage frequently for current events. From Storytime for smaller children to author signings, you can find plenty to do all at one, convenient location.
At 8507 Kingston Pike can be found another large bookstore filled with all your most recent favorite authors and series—Books-A-Million. With the option to reserve online and pick up in the store, Books-A-Million also offers special savings on certain days, like President’s Day, and weekly deals and discounts like the Millionaire’s Club Card. It carries a variety of items, not just books, so if you have a particular fandom you collect, or you’re into the newest craze of Funko POPs, you just might find what you are looking for while browsing through the shelves. They support education wholeheartedly and offer special services for teachers, schools, and libraries. They also offer a variety of curriculum choices for homeschoolers. Make this bookstore one of your necessary stops for your next rainy day!
Union Ave Books is located at 517 Union Avenue, and is the perfect place to find your next favorite Indie author or check out a brand new series in your must-read genre. A locally owned independent bookstore, Union Ave Books provides a great selection of fiction, non-fiction, young adult, and children’s books, and it states on its website that it will always be “an open and safe space for people of all walks of life.” They host frequent readings and book signings by not only local authors, but regional and nationally known authors as well. Check their website or talk to one of the friendly staff members to find out when you can next meet your favorite author, and be sure to keep an eye out for Scout, the Shop Dog—the bookstore’s cute little helper.
One of the most unique bookstores on the list, Smart Toys and Books, is located at 9700 Kingston Pike, Ste 12. This is one of the best choices for families with smaller children, and offers an amazing interactive playground with a 9 feet high pirate ship and over 2000 square feet of fun that includes a supermarket, climbing structures, Magformers, and sand tables. You can have your child’s special birthday party at this store, check out the art and kindermusik classes, or attend one of the many events or story times. And yes, they also offer a large selection of children’s books!
No matter which bookstore you choose—and you can choose them all—the best Knoxville bookstores will chase away those rainy-day blues.