Thousands of dragons glitter and glimmer within the Dragon Dreams Museum. So many, in fact, that the museum owner is working on her entry in the Guinness Word Records book for—you guessed it—the biggest collection of dragons on earth. One-of-a-kind antiques and handcrafted figurines made from silver, jade, and ivory highlight the expansive collection. The on-site gift shop can help you start your own collection as well as purchase other items such as jewelry, magnets, ornaments, and posters.
At The Book Gallery's two Nashville-area locations, savvy staff members point readers toward fiction, comics, and nonfiction titles available in hardcover and paperback at discounted prices. Thousands of kids' and young-adult fiction selections provide more educational entertainment for moppets than playing video games or rearranging PB&J sandwiches into alphabetical order.
Southerland Station has always nurtured budding creativity. Founded in 1958 as a blueprint- and drafting-supply store, the shop has since grown in size and scope, gearing its inventory of imagination fuel—which now numbers 40,000 different items—toward a younger audience. Oil paints and canvases offer outlets for artistic talents, which can also be honed in one of the shop’s art classes. Lego sets and model trains appeal to both the imaginative and the literal-minded, replicating reality through brightly colored bricks or 1:220 scale trains that are accurate down to their Union Pacific livery. And, though it now represents a smaller portion of the business, the drafting-supplies section is still there, giving mechanically inclined kids materials for blueprinting their next treehouse or battery of anti-cooties missiles.
Giving gifts is its own reward, but at The Gifted Ferret, get-well cards, trinkets and candles accompany a robust collection of boutique wines so gift-givers can reward themselves as well. The shop's wine racks brim with vino crafted by vintners who treat winemaking not just as a business but also as a passion as well as the best way to teach grapes a lesson. During onsite wine classes, industry experts regale attendees with information while pouring samples from among the shop's dozens of varietals. For those seeking an intoxicant-free fix, the staff brews Newman's Own coffee and Green Mountain Naturals apple cider. In the gift area, patrons peruse handmade cards and Arthur Court pewter home-decor items alongside gift bags and an expanded array of gourmet food items.
Customers choose their own adventures as they peruse the aisles of Book Browser, a literary goldmine where books by classic and contemporary authors open up new pathways for the imagination to wander. The shop’s mission to maintain a quality collection of used books results in a conspicuous lack of torn covers and dog-eared pages among the fiction and nonfiction offerings. Books by local authors highlight the selection of fresh-off-the-presses books, which share their shelves with handcrafted necklaces, Hot Shades reading glasses, and children put to sleep while flipping through the pages of Goodnight Moon.
At Mr. K’s Used Books, Music, and More’s five locations, funny money is the currency of choice. In exchange for bringing in good-quality books, CDs, and DVDs, customers receive store-issued dollars that they can use toward the purchase of other items. Some in-demand items, such as school textbooks, modern literature, video games, or sports almanacs from the future, may warrant a cash exchange instead. The shop’s friendly staffers, meanwhile, remain at the ready to help customers locate an item amid the many shelves, organized by genre and number of vowels in the title.