Bookstore gives customers local experience


The current Morris Book Shop is located on E. High Street. The independent bookstore prides itself on giving its customers access to local authors’ works.

McKenna Horsley

For one Lexington bookstore, providing customers an experience with local color is a priority.

Morris Bookshop is an independent bookstore that prides itself on giving its customers access to local authors’ works. In the front of the store, a “Kentucky” section is displayed on several bookshelves. The bookstore also hosts signings with local authors in the store and around Lexington.

“It’s always been a big, big thing for us and honestly being the small, scrappy independent (store), a lot of authors have come to us for events,” Wyn Morris, Morris Book Shop owner, said.

Morris said the current location on 882 E. High St. is not the original store. In the 1930’s, the first Morris Bookshop was opened by the son-in-law of UK President Frank McVey.

The Morris Book shop changed owners a few more times and other locations around Lexington were opened but all eventually closed in 1978. Morris said he is not related to the original Morris family, but met with the last owner before opening his Morris Bookshop in 2008. 

“I had kind of known about it. It had been in the periphery for a long time, but it had been closed for 30 years,” Morris said. “Once we started talking about opening this store … I thought it would be kind of interesting and fun to reestablish the Morris Book Shop.”

In the second era of the bookstore, Morris said he first opened the store on Southland Drive but moved the Morris Book Shop to High Street five years ago in 2011.

Morris said the move has been beneficial to the store because the location is close to UK and downtown Lexington. “What independent (bookstores) are finding is that they need to just provide an interesting place to go,” Morris said.

The bookstore regularly hosts events such as book signings in the store, launch parties for local authors’ book and a monthly open-mic poetry event called Teen Howl, for those 21 and under to share pieces.

Upcoming events at the Morris Book Shop are:

–       James C. Nicholson will discuss and sign his book, “The Notorious John Morrissey: How a a Bare-Knuckle Brawler Became a Congressman and Founded Saratoga Race Course,” on Saturday, May 14, at 2 p.m.

–       Carrie Mullins will read from and sign her book, “Night Garden,” on Sunday, May 29, at 2 p.m.

–       Teen Howl takes place the first Thursday of each month at 6 p.m.

–       Every Saturday in May, June and July, the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, the Lexington Farmers Market and the Morris Book Shop sponsor “Homegrown Authors,” a program that allows two local authors to sign books at the Lexington Farmers Market.

The Morris Book Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The store’s website can be found here.