NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — One of Nashville’s independent bookstores is offering those in the city a place to “just be” and maybe cuddle a shop dog if they need it today.

Ann Patchett, owner of Parnassus Books, announced that the store would welcome with open arms anyone needing a safe place to go to mourn or hide following the deadly shooting at The Covenant School in the Green Hills neighborhood Monday morning.

“One of the many wonderful things about independent bookstores is that they give us a place to be,” she told News 2. “We celebrate at Parnassus, we dance, we launch wonderful books, we host story time readings. Today we mourn.”

Among the many prayer vigils planned throughout the week, Parnassus is offering a different kind of solace – a quiet place with a friendly shop dog, Sparky.

“Sometimes you need a place to go when you’re alone or with your family or wanting to meet friends. Sometimes you need a place to go when you want to hide, when you can’t imagine what could possibly make you feel better, when you don’t feel like being by yourself,” she said. “Sometimes you just need to hold a book or hold a dog.”

Purchasing a book is by no means required for anyone wanting to stop by the store today, though if immersing yourself in a book is the perfect getaway from the state of the world, Parnassus is also there for that.

“Sometimes you go to a bookstore because you’re looking for a particular book, and sometimes you go to a bookstore because it’s the only place you can think of that makes any sense,” Patchett said. “We love our community in joy and in sorrow. We just want you to know you’re welcome here, today and all the other days, at Parnassus and at all the other bookstores. I’m the spokesperson for independent bookstores so I feel comfortable saying this: no matter where you are, we want you here with us.”

Parnassus is located at 3900 Hillsboro Pike #14, Nashville, 37215.