Book lovers in Greene County now have a new local option for buying and trading books.
Tall Tales Bookshop offers a selection of mostly used books of a wide range of genres as well as movies and audiobooks.
The store opened in early April in the former Bee Creative space at the end of the Boulevard Plaza shopping center on Tusculum Boulevard, and the husband and wife duo behind it said their love of books and frequent out-of-county trips for them led to their new business venture.
“We got tired of going to Johnson City all the time for books, so here we are,” Travis said. “We were going once every two weeks at least.”
Mr. K’s Used Books, Music and More and Books-A-Million in Johnson City have been frequent stops for the Swifts, and K.C. added they would also frequently travel to White Pine to visit another used book store there.
The Swifts accumulated a sizable collection of books “between reading a lot and finding stuff we want to read,” Travis said.
True crime, crime fiction, mysteries and thrillers are among Travis’ favorite genres, and he said he has a particular interest in John F. Kennedy.
“I’ve read a lot about Kennedy. It’s kind of my obsession,” Travis said.
K.C. said she particularly enjoys thrillers and young adult novels. Lisa Gardner and John Grisham are among her favorite authors, she said.
“We like to collect books and read when we can,” K.C. said. “It can be hard sometimes with two small kids, but it’s also just a comfort thing to be around books.”
The Swifts are parents to 3-year-old Oakley and 1-year-old Scarlett.
Travis said the inventory to open the store began with some of the Swifts’ personal collection, and a well-timed opportunity to purchase books from a recently sold library added to it.
“We went all over east Tennessee for books in bulk,” Travis said. “We’re trying to have a little something here for everyone.”
Books are sorted according to genres including fiction, crime, history, religion and special interest. There is also a designated space in the store for textbooks.
“One of our goals is to keep textbooks here that Walters State and Tusculum students can use,” Travis said. “We’re trying to keep current ones, and we will do buy backs.”
Before opening Tall Tales, K.C. was a stay-at-home mom, but she said she has been looking forward to returning to the workforce while she also attends Walters State for paralegal studies.
“This is a good thing for me because it’s like a meeting of the best two jobs — being a mom and running a bookstore,” she said.
Travis works full time as a corrections officer for the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.
“This is something we both wanted to do, and we were thinking about doing it when we’re older, but I’m glad we didn’t wait,” Travis said.
The Swifts said they decided to start slow, but they hope to build their business.
“We are hoping to stay a while. This has always been a dream,” K.C. said.
Tall Tales is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays.
Books, DVDs and audiobooks can be brought to the store for same-day-issued credit any time during open hours. Credit is given on a paper slip that can be used at the store any time.
Discounts are given to first responders, teachers, students and military, the Swifts said.
Tall Tales Bookshop is at 554 Tusculum Blvd. For more information, call 609-7949.