davis kidd

I have to admit, I find the lamentations regarding the demise of Davis Kidd bookstore a little disingenuous. Someone on twitter said it well: “If you want to shop at Davis Kidd so bad…..why haven’t you been shopping at Davis Kidd?” Granted, the shutdown came because its conglomerate owner filed for bankruptcy, so it was not necessarily a failure of the store itself, but still. I really, really doubt that 99% of the people decrying its shutdown have even been there in the last year. And why would they? It was a hollow shell of its former self, in a horrible, inaccessible anchor corner of the Green Hills Mall – ground zero for Nashville’s vapid, consumerist upper middle class.

For years, the store filled a hole in our public consciousness that we all felt we needed: a cool, locally-owned independent bookstore – an oasis apart from the megacorporate Borders and Barnes & Nobles of the world. Except it wasn’t that, and it hasn’t really been for a long time. Yet it persisted, staying in business and commanding a sort of weird hushed reverence, even though no one actually shopped there. I don’t doubt that the store made an effort to continue its support of local publications to some degree, but let’s not pretend there was any yawning gap of differentiation between the recent incarnation of Davis-Kidd at the mall and the Borders a few miles away.

Towards the end, I doubt that Davis-Kidd served any meaningful role for most people in the area beyond a place they could pretend they stopped at on their way to spend $300 at Whole Foods. So, in a weird way, with the demise of Davis-Kidd, we have a continuation of the only role it’s really served for people in the last few years: feigned patronage and pretentiousness. Don’t cry for Davis-Kidd – it died years ago. Go get a Kindle e-reader and move on.