As anyone who’s lived here or visited knows, Memphis is a city with a rich – and sometimes rugged – history. It seems any and every place in Memphis has a story of both beginnings and endings, births and rebirths, all while having a faithful following of Memphians trailing behind. Restaurants, shops, hotels – you name it, and Memphis probably has a generations-old, beloved icon of it.
One such place in Memphis, a favorite of many students attending nearby universities and book lovers alike, is Burke’s Book Store. And while there is certainly a wide variety of locally owned stores in the Memphis area, Burke’s is one of those classic Memphis gems that has become a staple in the Cooper-Young neighborhood as well as the broader community. Having occupied four different locations around the city since it opened it 1875, Burke’s Book Store has certainly seen its fair share of beginnings and endings and even close calls as brick and mortar book stores continue to be phased out by online retailers and e-book readers.
Well known for both its collectible books (signed copies, first editions, rare books, etc.) as well as its wide collection of many of the latest, most popular titles, Burke’s Book Store carries an impressive collection of Memphis-focused literature. From a strong collection of history books on the city of Memphis to recently published works authored by Memphians, Burke’s masterfully curates a literary reflection of the mid-south appealing to both newcomers and lifelong Memphians.
In 2018, the city of Memphis will observe and honor the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and in 2019, Memphis will celebrate its bicentennial. With those anniversaries on the horizon, now more than ever seems an appropriate time to consider reading up on the complex history of the Bluff City that brought us to this point in time.
Burke’s also hosts a variety of events, one of which recently included a conversation with international best-selling author John Grisham (who, in case you didn’t know, wrote a book about Memhis that was made into a movie that was later filmed in Memphis and starred Tom Cruise!). Of course, you’ll find the usual bookstore staples of postcards, notebooks, artisan book marks, and other knick knacks, all with a uniquely Memphis flair.
To embrace 2018, Memphis, and all that the road ahead may bring this riverside city, read up on our city’s history from a handful of perspectives you might not have considered before. And for even more information about Memphis’ best bookstores, check out this article by our partner, Choose901.