It doesn’t take long in the Village to realize Nashville is a special town. Unlike most other small towns with populations around the 1000 mark, there’s no shortage of things to do. From eclectic boutiques and galleries to beautiful scenery and outdoor adventure, the town of Nashville (and Brown County in general) is a great place to be. In fact, it was recently named one of America’s 20 best small towns by Smithsonian Magazine!
However, one thing seems to be missing. Ask Carey Spain what every town needs and he’s quick to tell you…it’s a bookstore! Which is exactly why he now owns Fallen Leaf Books, a new and unique bookstore in the Village of Nashville.
When the Book Loft moved out of their store on 45 S. Jefferson Street, Spain moved in. Opening June 1, Fallen Leaf Books not only is the new kid on the block, but it’s also one of the more unique bookstores you will find. In addition to being a full-service, general bookstore, Fallen Leaf Books also has a section of rare and collectible books that you won’t see anywhere else.
Wanting to check it out for myself, I hit the pavement and made my way there. Once inside, I was quickly greeted by Spain, who was busy organizing books to be put on the shelves. He explained that the bookstore is constantly growing, as he continues to bring in new books daily.
Looking around, it was easy to see that this bookstore had a little bit of everything. “We have books from $2 all the way up to $4000,” said Spain. “We’ve got mystery, art, fiction, literature, kids, Native American sections and more. We’ve even got a spot for books about Indiana and Brown County.”
You name it, Fallen Leaf Books probably has it. If they don’t, they will happily try to find it for you. Spain explained that his bookstore is all about meeting its customers’ needs. “We cater to tourists in some ways as far as the material they are most likely to be looking for,” he said, “but we’re also here for the local community too.”
Spain said the longer he’s in Nashville, the more he hopes to get involved in the local life and stock the books that people want most. “I’d love to tailor the bookstore to the community,” explained Spain. “I want to learn more about the Brown County community and do what I can to meet their needs.” Sounds like the kind of bookstore I’d want in my town for sure!
Of course, while I was there, I had to take a peek at Fallen Leaf’s rare and signed book collection too. I’m definitely glad I did because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! A book given to Queen Charlotte of England in 1765, a signed copy of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, signed books by Stephen King, and more. Spain even had a book dating all the way back to the early 1500s! Wow…talk about something worth checking out.
“I want Fallen Leaf Books to become a destination bookstore,” said Spain. “One where people come to Nashville just to see the store itself.” Spain not only sees books as a form of entertainment, he also views them as a work of art. “There are a lot of art and craft shops here and I look at books as being an art form too,” explained Spain. “The bookstore stands out in town because it’s a different and unique type of art store that everyone should see.”
There’s even a cool clock that Spain made using books hanging on the back wall of the store in the kids section. Each hour is marked by a different book whose name fits perfectly. Think One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, A Tale of Two Cities, The Three Musketeers, Four Past Midnight…you get the picture. How creative, and a must see when you are in the store!
While a bookstore in Nashville may be a fairly new undertaking, books are not a new interest for Spain by any means, but rather a lifelong passion. “I’ve always read and had my own personal collection,” he said. “In fact, there are probably more books in my house than there are in here!”
From Methodist minister to radio announcer and even working in the oil fields of Texas, Spain has held his fair share of odds and ends jobs throughout the years. However, he’s always been drawn back to books and finally settled on making it his profession nearly 20 years ago.
“I was in grad school for Theology when I started working in a bookstore,” explained Spain. “And I just never left.” After working in the same store for 17 years and eventually serving as co-owner, Spain left New Jersey and his bookstore behind when his wife took a job in Indianapolis.
While Spain continued to sell books online for the past two years, it just wasn’t the same. “I missed the people, the atmosphere, everything about it,” he said. That’s when he decided it was time to open up his own store and was led to Nashville. After looking around the Greenwood and Columbus areas, Spain stumbled upon the vacant shop in Nashville when he was visiting this past March for the National Maple Syrup Festival. And the rest is history!
So, the next time you are in town, be sure to stop by and say hello to book aficionado and new shop owner, Carey Spain…and get lost in the wonderful world of books at Fallen Leaf!
Fallen Leaf Books:
45 S. Jefferson Street, Nashville, IN 47448
812.988.0202 / www.fallenleafbookstore.com
Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.