Bulger's Beat: Hits and hardbacks for local bookstore owner - WSMV News 4

Bulger's Beat: Hits and hardbacks for local bookstore owner

Posted: Updated:

Writing made him one of Nashville's most successful songwriters. But it's now reading that makes bookstore owner Fred Koller a hit for anyone who likes hard to find books.

Great writers always have a good reason for the words they choose, which is certainly the case for Fred Koller.

His two used bookstores are called Rhino Books. Rhino, because in his mind, like the animal, old bookstores are an endangered species. And you better be thick-skinned if you want to run one.

The shelves of Fred Koller's bookstores are not reserved for the elite, just the enthusiastic.

"For every 500 books I look at, I may take 10," Koller said.

Passion has to be in the pages, but no Harlequin is allowed.

"No, it's easy," he said. "If Fabio is on the cover I don't buy it."

Much to the contrary, he says.

"A book has to be written by someone who loves the topic, or is shining a new light on the topic," he said.

And the aisles are filled with surprises.

"It's a Civil War Bible. It's been re-backed. Oh my, it's from the period. Still very readable," he said.

For Fred, it was reading that led to writing.

He has 40 years of success as a Nashville songwriter. And in his songs, words mattered most.

"I've always loved words. That brought me to Nashville after all those years as a writer. I thought I have a house full of guitars and books," he said.

There was enough to fill up two bookstores, where dark-and-stormy-night fiction can be found right next to what is usually unfindable.

"If you want a signed Ernest Hemingway, I have one. But I also have the same title in a dollar paperback if you just want to read the man's writings," he said.

It's at the shop named Rhino, where in a world of "just do it," the motto is "just read it."

"It's just hard to say 'no' to a good book," he said.

There are two locations for Fred Koller's bookstores. One is in West Nashville at 49th and Charlotte Pike, while the other is across from Lipscomb University on Granny White Pike. They shouldn't be too hard to find - just look for the rhino.

Copyright WSMV 2011. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, WSMV; Nashville, TN. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.