So, Davis-Kidd is closing and people are bummed. I, personally, am not bummed. I know this is because of my deprived childhood, but we didn’t have bookstores nearby. If we went to the mall, I might sometimes get to go into B. Dalton or Waldenbooks, but I could rarely buy anything because that’s what the library was for.

Fair enough. Though I got plenty of books as presents, so someone was driving into the “city” to get them.

And, I’ll admit, I loved the big box bookstores when they came into being. I mean, I am pretty sure the first time I walked into a Barnes & Noble, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

And then there was

You didn’t have to go anywhere to get books. You just came home, no matter where in the United States home was, and there they were.

And now, you don’t even have to go home. You can just pull your iPhone out of your pocket.

Granted, no author is going to make an author appearance on your iPhone, but damn, it’s amazing.

It’s sad that Davis-Kidd is closing. But the reason why is a pretty spectacular life improvement for a lot of people.

11 thoughts on “Bookstores

  1. The way that store was laid out was a mess. Make it a pain in the ass to find a book, or just to browse the limited selection crowded out by trendy “gift” items. Awesome business plan.

    Even for Green Hills, that’s pretty stupid.

  2. Wow, I was pretty shocked reading this because I just read in the Commercial Appeal this week that our Bookstar (which got taken over by Barnes & Noble some time ago) is closing and I was sad about that – it’s in a fantastic space that was put in where the old Plaza Theater was and they kept a lot of the theater’s look when they built Bookstar there.

    And the sadder thing is that in many of the comments on the article, people here in Memphis were saying “Oh well, at least there’s still (the Memphis) Davis-Kidd”.

    I’m guessing not for long now after reading about DK closing in Nashville. Double blow for Memphis.

  3. Just to echo the first reply, Davis Kidd wasn’t that good a bookstore after the move. There wasn’t this much hullabaloo when Bookstar closed down on Harding so many years ago, and they probably carried twice as many titles. I think a lot of the people upset are the ones who never actually shopped there often(which is partly why there closing). It’s kind of like how people get so excited about Bookman/Bookwomen, yeah it’s alright but Rhino and Elders are as good or better, it’s just they aren’t in as trendy of locations

  4. I stopped going when they pared down their media selection from something south of pretty good to something that resembles what gets stocked at your typical Fred’s.

    Borders did the same thing. More’s the pity.

    But I can certainly understand why they did that; keeping such a hefty inventory means a lot of overhead expense.

    DK seems to thrive on the customer who can afford to pay MSRP for a back title, and in the case of some of their CDs, a buck or two over. That was the same model as Tower Records/Books; sure, you might find it cheaper but you won’t be able to find it anywhere else locally.

  5. When we first moved here, Davis-Kidd was the lone “happy place” I had in town. We knew nobody except the people we met at our sucky jobs. If we needed a bit of happiness, we’d go hang out at DK and browse.

    Leaving Gracie Plaza was a huge mistake. That building, with its enclosed brick courtyard and fountain, was a truly charming setting. The layout was organic and encouraged you to browse.

    But when they moved to the mall….

    Everything about that mall store is terrible. We’ve only gone there a half-dozen times since the move because it’s like the Pet Semetary version of the store. Yes, it’s back to life, but in a creepy, dead shell of itself. Bronte no longer looks over a bright courtyard. Instead it’s shoved into a basement corner. The books are impossible to locate, and always play second fiddle to overpriced jars of jam and ugly Vera Bradley purses.

    They are out of business because they don’t give you what you want from a brick-and-mortar bookstore. And like you say, there’s a lot to be said for getting a book without having to drive to the snootier part of town and fight for a parking place.

  6. David Kidd made it possible for me to meet Bill Wyman (bassist for the Rolling Stones) – he did a book signing there almost 10 years ago. For that one reason I will be forever grateful and miss that store.

  7. Yeah, I hadn’t considered the importance of them moving in the death of the store, but reading these comments made me realize that I used to go to the old store all the time and the only time I ever went to the new store was once, coincidentally, with Sarcastro.

    If I want to struggle to park, I can just go to Borders.

  8. Years ago, right before you got married. You rescued me from that painful Christmas party and, in exchange, I had to go to the Mall at Green Hills with you so you could buy your mom a robe.

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