Say It Isn't So

Lexington, Kentucky, has not been kind to Memphis recently. First, the state university lured away Tiger basketball coach John Calipari.  Now the fate of a city treasure — Davis-Kidd Booksellers — lies in the hands of a bankruptcy court judge in Lexington.

Davis-Kidd's parent company is The Joseph-Beth Group, which filed bankruptcy last year. But the East Memphis store has performed so well that Joseph-Beth's president, Neil Van Uum, not only never closed it (unlike several others in its chain)  but intended to buy it back at the April 20th auction in Cincinnati.  Instead he lost the bid to Gordon Brothers liquidation, which is among the companies selling  off Borders bookstores.

The Davis-Kidd bid still awaits a judge's approval. That will happen at a hearing on April 27th in Lexington.

A Memphis landmark since 1985, Davis-Kidd is more than a bookstore. For many Memphians — as well as their out-of-town guests — it's a destination in itself, an escape for bibliophiles, a meeting hub for friends, a happy place for kids, and  a second home to some 40 employees who are surely among the best in the  business.

We here at Memphis magazine are especially fond of Davis-Kidd for its unfailing support. It has cosponsored our fiction contest for two decades, held book-signings for staff writers such as Vance Lauderdale and John Branston, and sold more of our magazines than any other retailer in town. What's not to love?

For now, the bookstore's future is uncertain. What is certain is that Memphis cannot afford to lose this civic jewel, which has made Memphis a better place for a quarter of a century. Dare we hope for a second chance from the Lexington judge next week?

As one employee said, "We're going about business as usual and waiting to see what happens Wednesday. Fingers crossed."








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“901” is the current affairs blog compiled by the staff of Memphis magazine, where readers can find breaking-news tidbits relating to all facets of life in the Bluff City. 

Edited by Shara Clark, Contemporary Media’s special projects editor, this blog’s regular participants include long-time Memphis editors such as Michael Finger, Jackson Baker, Frank Murtaugh, and Kenneth Neill. “901” also includes regular contributions from Inside Memphis Business staffers Richard Alley and Eileen Townsend, as well as the staff of the Memphis Flyer.

Every Thursday our Calendar Editor, Julie Ray, posts her picks for the weekend's events and activities.

“901” is the place where Memphis readers can “dial in” to find fresh reporting of recent developments in our city’s political, economic, and cultural life.

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