When they heard that a popular used bookstore was closing in Rivergate, Kelly Pratt and Tiffany Phillips saw the opportunity to bring something similar to the White House area. The Oxford Comma Bookstore opened in mid-January.
The name of the store comes from the grammatical practice of adding a comma before the coordinating conjunction and final item in a list of three or more items. This practice is still popular with English teachers and often debated in modern writing styles.
Phillips had been a high school English teacher for 14 years. Pratt was a freelance illustrator. Both had retail experience and together they shared a love of books.
Pratt enjoys sports and collecting sports-related trading cards of all price ranges. These are available for purchase and trade at the new shop.
“We wanted to share things that are important to us,” she explained.
They offer books and gift items for people who love all things literary.
As a professional artist, “It is also my goal to be the provider of the largest selection of Bob Ross memorabilia. I love Bob Ross and anytime I see something, I add it to the store,” Pratt explained. Books and bobble heads and even Chia pets of the beloved painter are for sale.
The Oxford Comma Bookstore takes used books as trade-in for store credit. With over 1,200 titles already on the shelves, the selection grows daily. Sections of the store are dedicated to topics such as classic literature, mysteries, thrillers, self-help, science fiction, fantasy, nature and outdoors, sports, history, and religion. They also have a large children’s book section. Special orders can be placed at the store for delivery through online suppliers.
Trades are accepted for current titles and both new and antique books. They also accept donations but cannot accept textbooks, workbooks, magazines or music at this time.
Some special events are planned for the bookstore including a Grand Opening Celebration in early March and Independent Bookstore Day in April. Pratt and Phillips also hope to establish regular Book clubs to meet in the store and discuss shared interests.
“We want people to feel welcomed, relaxed,” Pratt explained. “We want this to be a comfortable space to sit down and read a sample.”
Phillips said of the recent upswing in the bookstore industry, “People want to buy and hold something with their hands. They are tired of online.”
Pratt added, “A lot of parents prefer their children to read a book as opposed to digital activities.”
The Oxford Comma bookstore is open Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, the hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Special sales and events are shared on their Facebook page, The Oxford Comma Bookstore.
It is located at 115 TN-76 in the shopping strip at the corner of 31W and highway 76 just behind Doug's BP.