Remembering A Long-Lived Bookseller, Charles Elder


Here's a nice remembrance of Charles Elder, who died recently at the age of 100 at his home in Nashville.

Elder was born in 1907 on a farm in East Tennessee. Unlike his six brothers and three sisters, "he gravitated toward the world of books," said his son, Randy. During the Depression, Charles Elder opened bookstores in Chattanooga and Knoxville, as well as Nashville, but they didn't last long. He eventually took a job with the U.S. Postal Service.

"He was a grouch and irascible post office clerk," said Egerton, whose books include Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South.

Mr. Elder "made a bad post office clerk," Egerton said, "but he made a great bookstore owner." Here's the website of Elder's Bookstore still open Monday through Saturday on Elliston Place in Nashville.

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