A one horse town with FOUR bookstores…

People often ask me why I moved to Tryon — that’s a looooong story and I’ll spare you “all” the details and reasons. 

But…  ONE major  influencing factor was that while touring around town with my realtor, I noticed there were four bookstores in 1.5 square miles of the town center.  The Bookshellf, The Village Bookshoppe, Tryon Fine Books, and Noah’sArk Book Attic.  All of these bookstores.  All within walking distance of each other — all with its own little niche. 

Within that same 1.5 mile area, there is the Lanier Library on Chestnut Street, which is one of the only membership/subscritpion libraries still in operation in the United States.  The Polk County Public Library is approx 3 miles “up Lynn Road” and the Landrum Library is approx 4 miles over the South Carolina border.  Bookstores and libraries? OH MY!  These residents READ!!!  My kinda place.

Before visiting the town for the first time (living in a Chicago suburb), I cold-called one of the bookstore owners out of the blue and explained to them that independent booksellers are among the nicest and honest people in the world —- and could he/she tell me why or why not I should move to Tryon???   I will keep this person’s name anonymous (though locals could probably guess) because 1) I don’t want people harrassing said person if they don’t like me and 2) the person told me, “You can move here but you can’t tell anyone else.  It’s that special here.”  Well, now my dad, sister, mother-in-law, father-law, brother-in-law and my best friend from highschool (and her husband and two kids) have all relocated here.  Sorry about that, folks!!!

A “one horse town” is often referenced as a dull, small, rural, unimportant town (wikipedia can bite me!).  We have our celebrated town mascot  ”Morris the Horse” – and that suits us all just fine thank you very much.  A bookstore laden town = an educated town.  A bookstore town = fun, quirky spirted residents who are both very serious and also don’t take themselves too seriously.

Of course, our “one-horse-multi-bookstore-town” has much more to offer — Tryon is far from “dull.”  It may be quiet and things may close up for the night before 9:00 pm these days — but check out the Tryon Daily Bulletin to see what’s hot (and follow “EighttwoEight.com” of course).  Of course, there are the amazing things to do in Hendersonville, Asheville, Greenville (SC) and beyond.  I’ll stay close to “the horse” thank you very much.

And – people wonder why I moved here…. hmmmmmm.



  1. Chris Amato
    August 27, 2012 10:52

    Love it Tracey, Thanks.

  2. Allison O’steen
    August 27, 2012 22:07

    Hey, Tracy! One of my favorite things to ask folks when I met them was what brought them to Tryon.

    I can’t remember any particularly unusual answers, but I did get the bookstore remark once! When I moved here, my former spouse and I (and is THAT a story) bought the longtime home of Joy and Anson Merrick. We visited Tryon when my ex was offered the VP job at former Fairfield resort at Lake Lure and had to find a place to live close by.( Had a cousin here and had attended a wedding ). Bought first and only house we toured. Realtors wet dream.

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