Novelist Ann Patchett loves dogs almost as much as she loves books. In 2011 she and best friend, Karen Hayes opened Parnassus Books in their hometown of Nashville, TN. The little shop is a throwback to the way bookstores once were before they were swallowed up by super-sellers like Barnes & Noble. Parnassus is quaint, quirky, and of course, dog friendly!
Patchett and Hayes named their shop for beloved book, Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley. It tells the tale of a horse-drawn book-selling carriage. The pair dreamed of having their own bookmobile right from the start, so when Karen saw a used one listed on eBay they began the process of turning their dream into a reality.
They purchased the van for $10,000 and spent another $20,000 transforming it into their vision. Pegasus, or Peggy for short, is bright blue and emblazoned with a winged horse on the side. The back features a serving window similar to what you’d see on a food truck. In fact, food trucks were a big inspiration for Patchett and Hayes. The popular trend is hugely successful in Nashville, and a great opportunity for Parnassus Books to bring their business directly to their customers.
The launch party for “Peggy” was held last week, and now the crew is taking to the streets. Apart from food truck rallies, they also plan to visit farmer’s markets, and outdoor restaurants. Patchett feels it’s important to visit the smaller suburbs of Nashville where quality book shops are harder to come by.
As exciting as having the freedom to roam the open road is for these entrepreneurs, no one likes to travel alone. Luckily Pegasus comes equipped with up to four travel-sized sales-pups! Opie, Belle, Sparky, and Mary Todd Lincoln (yep, that’s her name!) love to climb aboard the bookmobile and set out on an adventure.
Opie is a distinguished looking Mixed Breed pup who takes his position as Shop Manager of Parnassus Books very seriously. It’s only when he climbs aboard Pegasus that his doggy grin breaks free.
Sparky is Ann’s adorable fluffy pup, and a full-time shop dog. Sparky generously offered her services as pilot of the bookmobile, but Patchett and Hayes politely declined.
Belle is a red haired beauty content to enjoy the wind in her fur as she sprawls across one of the van’s cozy blue benches.
And we certainly can’t leave out Miss Mary Todd Lincoln! She’s a long-haired Dachshund, and therefore, vertically challenged. To make sure the customers get the chance to bask in her beauty, she prefers to climb right up into the service window!
With a winning combination like great books and huggable pups, Parnassus Books’ latest endeavor is sure to be a success. If you are lucky enough to live in or visit the Nashville area you can catch up with “Peggy” and the crew by checking this dedicated Twitter feed to see where they’ll be next! Happy reading!
H/T to NY Times
Featured Image via parnassusmusing.net