If you’ve ever visited Portland, Oregon, you’ve probably heard about and seen Powell’s Books. The main location is a labyrinth of rooms dedicated to different kinds of used and new books. Basically, it’s a bibliophile’s heaven. While Nashville has many nice book stores, I think the best and most closely reminiscent of Powell’s Books would have to be McKay’s. McKay’s is west of Nashville proper off of I-40 and Old Hickory Boulevard. It is a warehouse filled to the brim with used books, CDs, vinyl, video games, and more. When you walk into the sliding doors, you are greeted with a sense of energy. In the front, you might see people perusing videos or video games, to your left, there are rows of books old and new, and if you look up, you’ll see and hear people shuffling through CDs from all sorts of artists.
I suggest planning to spend a few hours at McKay’s for a couple of reasons. 1) There is so much to look through at McKay’s, bookshelves span the length of the warehouse, and they are all filled with titles of all types, and 2) from what I’ve seen, there isn’t an exact way to look up a book, CD, or movie. I have not found a catalog in the times that I have been there, and even if I had, the chance that the book would be right where it was supposed to be is low. But that’s the magic of a place like McKay’s.
If you have a bookshelf full of books you don’t read or CDs you don’t listen to anymore, bring them with you. McKay’s fills the shelves by buying directly from their customers. They sort through your stuff, give you a price in trade or cash that they will pay for the items they want and then give you the other items back. You definitely get more of a percentage if you do trade than cash, but if you can’t find anything then a few dollars in your pocket isn’t so bad. If you really don’t want to bring those books home that they didn’t take, you can always leave them outside in the free box.
For more information about McKay’s, head to www.mckaysbooks.com