Burke's continues to offer newly published titles, as well as new fiction, southern literature, Memphis history, and paperback classics. And we still sell textbooks to five local schools.
In the last 25 years it has played host to a wide range of writers, honored scriveners of the modern, plumbers of the collective unconscious, including John Grisham, Richard Ford, Ann Beattie, Anne Rice, Bobbie Ann Mason, Kaye Gibbons, Peter Guralnick, Peter Carey, Lee Smith, Ralph Abernathy, Archie Manning, Rick Barthelme, Charles Baxter, Robert Olen Butler, Bill Wyman, and many others.
Visitors/shoppers to the store over the years have included Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, Courtney Love, Gene Hackman, Mary Louise Parker, Benecio Del Toro, Adrian Belew, Carla Thomas, REM, and Matt Dillon.
Today, muddling toward the future, the Meslers keep the old flame burning, still cognizant of their role in the community, re-energizing the store's once semi-active publishing arm, still remembering the signed W. C. Handy autobiography, the book bound in skin, the first edition Uncle Tom's Cabin. It's a heady business, a calling, a place of sympathetic magic.
Used and Rare Books
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you sell used books?
The bulk of our inventory consists of used books, typically in the under-$10 range.
Do you sell new books?
We stock a carefully curated selection of new hardcover and paperback releases plus a large selection of classics in the literary fiction, mystery, science fiction, philosophy, Southern literature, local history, and children’s categories.
Do you sell rare books?
We sell rare books, concentrating on modern first editions, signed editions, and an esoteric mix of other rare titles.
How can I find the price of a book?
Our used and rare books are priced with a price in pencil on the first page of the book. Our new books have an inventory card in each with the cover price indicated.
Are your used and new books mixed together on the shelves?
In most areas we shelve new and used books side-by-side so that you can easily compare prices. Certain areas are new or used only. We stock our rare books in the front “Living Room” area and our new release sections are typically only new titles.
Do you sell your books online?
The bulk of our new and used titles are listed online and our site is updated on a daily basis. Visit burkesbooks.com to browse.
Do you special order books?
We can special order new books from our distributor, with delivery typically within a few business days.
What’s with the typewriters?
This is our personal collection of typewriters. It began with bringing in some our own and grew as friends and customers added to it. They are not for sale. Please handle with care.