Tuesday, April 29, 2008

woodward books

last week, i stepped into knoxville's newest book store, woodward's, to see if it was worth a damn. it is.

owned by tim and jeannie daniel, woodward books began as an online store for rare and antique books and has grown to such an extent that the couple moved the operation out of their home in north knoxville. the new store is located on jackson avenue next to the pilot light.

i walked in to snoop around and was greeted by tim and jeannie immediately. they showed me their section on southern authors. which was complete with a few first editions of agee's work as well as plenty of lessor known works by various authors, including a beautiful book of poetry by dickey (deliverance) coupled with southern artwork. the whole experience was a history and literature lesson. i highly recommend going by whether you have intentions to buy or just look around. not only are they eager to fill you in about their store, but they have wonderful insight into literature and rare books in general.

as enjoyable as it is for you to hear their stories about finding rare books (he has traveled to england for certain editions) and literature lore (apparently, the illustrations in the first edition of charlie and the chocolate factory depict the umpa lumpas as scantly clad pygmies--drawn by america's favorite nazi racist, walt disney), you feel that they enjoy telling you about as much as you do hearing it. i only stayed for 20 minutes, i could have easily been there longer.

perhaps my description places the store firmly in the realm of your most idealistic version of the neighborhood store, but i don't think that is a bad thing. though the book eddy on chapman has been around for years, it's nice to have an eclectic library downtown. also, don't let my talk of first editions and nostalgia scare you, they keep plenty of 'regular' paperbacks in stock as well. tim said that a few ut students have already come to him for their modern literature. he can't keep salinger and kerouac in stock.

so if it isn't already clear from my kind words above, i'm a big fan of woodward's. go by and have a look around. i give it 10 wigs.


Chrissy Johnson said...

Hot dang a bookstore in the Old City again! ...although to be a technical library geek we did have an eclectic library downtown...it's called the...uh, library. Just sayin'.

The Modern Gal said...


Yes, I just said coolness.

ck said...

the best thing about the library is that the books are for free! just give them a fake address and bam! those suckers are yours forever, no charge. woodward's will have a hard time beating that price.

it fills me with much happiness that two of my favorite things will be on the same block: old books and cigars. i just realized how that sounded; i must be an old-curmudgeon-in-training .

Chrissy Johnson said...

Dear CK,

Every time you steal from the library a puppy dies.

will cote said...

it looks like you were stalking it

ck said...

that place is COOL. i went in yesterday afternoon and ended up talking to tim for an hour. then i went back last night and bought a new edition of on the road based on the original manuscript. on top of that, he gave me a book about cigars that he had found, just because we had talked about it that afternoon. everyone needs to patronize this cool local business.

stan said...

will--i WAS stalking the place. running late on my way back from lunch, i didn't want to go in. but then i saw him going in while i was taking the picture, so i also didn't want to be the random freak taking a picture out front and not going in--which i was anyway.

ck--glad to hear you too had a positive experience.

max said...

i just stopped by. tim is the man. we talked about dylan thomas for about 20 minutes. he even looked through a couple of books to find a poem referenced in a rodney dangerfield movie that he recently watched. looks like i'm heading to blockbuster.

seriously though. i'm happy that there is not only a bookstore, but a great bookstore, downtown. from talking to tim, it sounds like the wigshop publicity and the sense of community support in the downtown area has made a positive impact on his business. it is definitely worth 10 wigs. i'll be back to buy that first edition of "Under Milk Wood" soon...