By: Doug Romig

There was something different about the place when I walked in. Perhaps it was the sight of books that ranged from used paperbacks to new hardback classics with fancy covers. Perhaps it was the smell of coffee and old paper. Maybe it was the sound of laughter in a bookstore. Since most bookstores have a corporate, antiseptic feel, it was a pleasure to walk into a locally owned bookstore that felt like a home.


Southland Books in Maryville, TN, has been in business since 1992.  It began as a little 850 square foot store than has grown into more than four times that size. Co-owner Lisa Misosky says they have over 65,000 books of all varieties. Of particular interest was the table dedicated to local authors.

Southland Books also keeps a variety of rare books on its Ebay store. The store’s record collection  is spectacular. I would have bought the classic Genesis album  (circa Peter Gabriel) if I had a turntable. A good selection of comic books is also available. There is even a small room dedicated to a collection of bound copies of the New York Times from back in the first half of the Twentieth Century.

Todd Steed and Bob Deck performing at Southland Books.

The store’s coffee shop has its own sense of purpose and style. The eclectic furnishings flow with the cozy feel of the bookstore. Board games are available to play while you enjoy your coffee (and the regular brew is excellent). The items on the menu are standard coffee shop fare named after popular authors and literary characters.


Southland Books also hosts live entertainment on the weekends. From local bands to open mic, there is just no telling what you will discover at one of their mini-concerts. Add to that, all the local authors who come in for book signings, and you begin to  feel a sense of freindship and community.


Todd Steed and Bob Deck perform at Southland Books.

The next time you are in Maryville, you need to stop in a say “howdy” to Lisa. Ask her about the southern writers section. It has  a special place in her heart.

Southland Books

1519 E. Broadway Ave.

Maryville, TN 37804

(865) 984-4847

Mon. – Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Sun. 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Follow Southland Books on Facebook.

© Doug Romig, 2014.

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