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Knoxville's Independent Bookstores

After nearly six years in business, Carpe Librum—Knoxville’s only independent new-books store—is calling it quits. The doors are scheduled to close for the last time on Dec. 31.

photo by David Luttrell

After nearly six years in business, Carpe Librum—Knoxville’s only independent new-books store—is calling it quits. The doors are scheduled to close for the last time on Dec. 31.

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  • McKay Used Books, CDs, Movies, and More off Papermill Drive can be a wonder to behold, even on a not-so-busy day. Despite consumer migration to digital downloads, it has made a great success out of recycling old-fashioned physical media, with stores also in Chattanooga and Nashville.
  • At McKay, the art of buying, selling, and trading has been refined into a science—requiring actual instructions on how to do so. In a busy week, customers will bring in around 80,000 individual items; CDs, DVDs, and books.
  • After nearly six years in business, Carpe Librum—Knoxville’s only independent new-books store—is calling it quits. The doors are scheduled to close for the last time on Dec. 31.
  • Carpe Librum’s owners—including Martha Arnett (left) and Flossie McNabb (right)—also work in the bookstore themselves, getting to know their customers personally, as well as their reading habits.
  • The Book Eddy has been on Chapman Highway for the past 12 years, with owner John Coleman and his staff filling it with some 150,000 items—which is making for a large, slow job of moving things. He hopes to open a new store Central Street Books by Dec. 1.
  • Faced with the looming closure of Henley Street Bridge for up to three years, owner John Coleman is closing South Knoxville’s Book Eddy. He’ll be opening a new shop in Downtown North called Central Street Books.

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