Union Avenue Books: Where Knoxville comes to shop for books of all types


Kids U reporter Samantha Abrams-Cohen interviews Bunnie Prutt at Union Avenues Books in downtown Knoxville.

By Anuya Jain, Samantha Abrams-Cohen and Avery Parish

The first thing you see when you enter a normal bookstore is the bookshelves lining the walls. Everywhere you look, there are books, and they vary the farther back you go.

But we’re not talking about just any old bookstore, we’re talking about Union Avenue Books in downtown Knoxville! Union Avenue Books is local bookstore, and it has some cool secrets behind it. Keep reading to find out more.

Union Avenue Books contains several fascinating books. If you’re a fiction lover, then the fiction section is for you. If you enjoy books by local East Tennessee authors, then you should visit the Regional section. If you are looking for the more advanced books, take a peek in the Intermediate section.

In the back left corner of the store are kids books  If you are a parent that needs a children’s book, look there. However, all of the sections will capture your attention, we guarantee that!

We interviewed two of the employees currently working for the bookstore. They were quite pleasant to talk to, and they answered all of our questions. Here are some of the questions we asked them, and the answers they gave us.

“What are your names?”

“Richard Prutt and Bunnie Presswood.”

“How long has this bookstore been open?”

“5 years.”

“What are your most popular genres?”

“Fiction, fantasy, regional, children’s, nonfiction.”

“Are there any other locations?”

“No. This is the only one.”

“What’s your favorite book?”

‘’All books are great, I don’t have a favorite.’’

“How are chain bookstores and independent bookstores different?”

“Independent bookstores rely on the community to stay open. We become friends with our customers and know what type of books they like.’’

Union Avenue Books is only local, which means that they have only one location, and that one location is in Knoxville, Tennessee. But don’t worry, you can order books online and have them mailed directly to your home. But being local also means that if you’re the type of person that likes a cozy spot, this is the place for you!

Union Avenue Books has a section all about Knoxville. We only briefly got a chance to look at the shelves, but from what we saw, the books were almost like guides for people who are new to Knoxville. Some of the books were also like informational picture books.


Also, Union Avenue Books is the creator of Where’s Waldo? Knoxville, which is really fun to play whenever you’re in downtown Knoxville. Where’s Waldo? is a neat picture book created by Martin Handford.

Basically you have to find Waldo mixed in with a bunch of different other people, so it gets really confusing! Where’s Waldo? Knoxville, is when any store (who participates), has a sign that says Waldo is in the store somewhere, and then you have to find Waldo in the store.

Where’s Waldo? Only lasts for one month, July, so live up your month finding Waldo!

We asked store owner Bunnie Presswood, to tell us how Where’s Waldo? got started, this was what she said.

“(Someone) asked us if we wanted to host it for Knoxville, and we said sure. So they gave us a starter kit and we started asking shops if they wanted to do it with us. There were only a couple that said no.”

Where’s Waldo? Knoxville has certainly had a big impact on Knoxville these two years, and we sure hope it does from now on!

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