You shouldn’t judge a bookstore by its cover. Or should you? Brier Books is located in the heart of the Chevy Chase district in Lexington, Kentucky where boutique shops and delicious eateries abound. Good–albeit, corporate–coffee and kitschy bars stand at the ready as well. The store itself occupies the first floor of a lovely cottage and shares some of the space with an art gallery. The inviting rainbow sign out front is hard to miss, and your GPS won’t have any trouble locating 319 S. Ashland Avenue in case you do happen to get distracted searching for parking. But there’s good news on that account too. Brier has a few spots out front and several more in its tidy parking lot around back.
When you step inside, you’ll find books from the big New York publishers as well as top indie and local presses tastefully arranged on bookcases that make it clear these titles were chosen and not spilled into a bin like the catch of the day. Owners Jay McCoy and Savannah Sipple are poets (each with several, wonderful publications), so asking for a book recommendation is always a great idea. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for on the shelf, they’re happy to track it down for you and have it delivered to the store.
Author events are also plentiful, so it’s never a bad idea to check their events calendar and time your visit to match a reading you’d want to go to even if you weren’t planning to buy a book: https://www.brierbooks.com/event
From the ambience to the offerings, Brier captures the essence of what an indie bookstore should be. If there were a guide to amazing indie bookstores, you’d dogear the page Brier Books is on and flip to it often.