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Franklin’s Landmark Booksellers: A First Timer’s Guide

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By Peggy

childrensroom.JPGWhen you enter Landmark Booksellers in downtown Franklin, TN, be prepared to experience the old world at its finest hour. The building itself, built in the 1820’s, is a beautiful reminder of Franklin’s impressive history, despite its ghost stories.

I passed Landmark Booksellers many times, appreciating the architecture and wondering what treasures it may hold, but never went in until last week.

If you have made the mistake I have, thinking that it isn’t your sort of place, I urge you to reconsider!  The collections of rare and antique books, art and warm atmosphere make it a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.

If you have not yet checked out Landmark Booksellers, here’s an inside look!


First Impressions

I was nervous, at first, because I had all 3 of my children with me — as usual!

I knew before going in that this was not your typical Barnes & Noble.

This particular bookstore is a dream come true for the avid book lover, but it had the potential to be a nightmare with a 2-year-old, 9-year-old, and 12-year-old in tow. However, we were welcomed warmly, all 4 of us (even the one already crying!), as soon as we walked through the door.

I began perusing the first books I came to in the store front and was fascinated by the sheer volume of first editions and leather bound books.  The topics in this first room vary from local authors to the Civil War.

Plush leather couches in the front room create the intimate feeling of walking through someone’s personal library.  Great literary authors are framed in black and whites above those couches.  Stand and try to guess who they are for long and you may meet Joel Tomlin, the owner of Landmark Booksellers.  While I was there, he had people guessing whom the portraits were of.

What’s Upstairs?

The oak staircase leads upstairs, which happens to be the preferred location of Landmark’s resident ghost.

Aside from the ghost, you can also find these collections upstairs:

  • Vintage cookbooks for the discerning chef or stay at home mom.
  • Books about collecting, antiques, and repairing.
  • An art gallery filled with works on music and the arts, architecture, photography, and Hollywood.
  • A hallway that is lined with books on literary authors.
  • And a room full of fiction novels, complete with a 2nd floor balcony.

The Best Part

My favorite part of Landmark Booksellers is the children’s room in the very back of the first floor.

This whimsical room is lined with classic children’s books that have been cherished by many throughout the years. You will find first editions in this room as well, so take care with your children.  Luckily, there are some toys in the middle of the room to keep them occupied, if you wish.

The books are balanced with a big chair that looks as though it is straight out of Alice in Wonderland.  There is also adorable artwork on the walls of the children’s room.

Landmark Booksellers should not be missed by anyone, whether you are a book collector or not!

If you visit, let me know what you think…

Landmark Booksellers
114 East Main Street
Franklin, Tennessee 37064
(615) 791-6400


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