It may seem like independent bookstores have died out with the last video rental stores and the quickly dying CD shops. However, there are actually several thriving independent bookstores in Denver that are very much worth your time. The trick to keeping a successful independent shop going is specialty – when you drop by any of these stores, you will be greeted by specialty staff with in-depth knowledge of their products. Just try to get the same quality of service at any large bookstore. Chances are you won’t find service like that at any mass retailer. So put down your e-reader and pick up a real, physical book. Drop by these five great independent bookstores in Denver and remember why bookstores are one of the most magical places you can visit in the real world.
4315 E. Mississippi Ave.
Denver, CO 80246
This great children’s bookstore has been in operation for more than 30 years and has had two expansions and two different locations. Bookies is the best place in town to load up on children’s books, games, toys and teacher supplies. It even serves school districts as far away as Las Vegas, Minnesota and even New York. Bookies is owned by Sue Lubeck and she’s been providing the best environment for her huge inventory, making Bookies a haven for children, parents and teachers. If you are in the market for a good old-fashioned children’s bookstore, then Bookies should be your next stop.
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1628 Wynkoop St.
Denver, CO 80202
What began as a small bookshop with just 950 square feet of retail space in 1971 has now grown into one of the largest independent bookstores in the country, with three locations and a national reputation for excellence. Yes, The Tattered Cover Bookstore is owned by Joyce Meskis, and it has made its mark in Colorado (and the country) as being the premier independent bookstore in town. Whether you like New York Times Bestsellers or are looking for a hard-to-find, rare title, the Tattered Cover has you covered. Each of the three locations also feature plenty of great spots to curl up and read or study while enjoying a cup of coffee and free wi-fi. Also, be sure to check out the constantly rotating line-up of amazing authors that drop by this landmark store to sign, read and greet their readers.
Capitol Hill Books
300 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
If you are driving too quickly down Colfax, you may miss it. But if you take a moment to stop at Colfax and Grant, just east of the State Capitol, you’ll see Capitol Hill Books with its iconic lavender and teal sign. It’s been there for more than 30 years, bringing used books and low prices to the Capitol Hill neighborhood. It is a highly community-oriented store with a lot of outreach to local non-profits and discounts for teachers. Plus, with a huge online database of used books, this is a great place to go if you are searching for a hard-to-find title.
Murder By the Book
1574 S. Pearl St.
Denver, CO 80210
It may look like an inconspicuous home, but sitting quietly on Pearl Street in Denver is one of the best specialty bookstores in town. Murder By the Book has been selling only the best in new and used murder mystery and crime fiction since 1980. If you are a fan of mystery novels, this should be your next stop. One of the best ways to enjoy this store is to join a book club. It has three different book clubs that are very popular and provide a great way to get to read new titles and meet like-minded mystery fans. Or, just drop by the store and meet the amazing staff.
Kilgore Used Books and Comics
624 E. 13th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Another fantastic little shop in the Capitol Hill neighborhood is Kilgore Used Books and Comics. This bookshop was opened in 2008 by two friends – Luke Janes and Dan Stafford. If you are looking for some great science fiction or fantasy books, then this is a great place to stop. But what makes Kilgore’s shop really exciting is its collection of rare comics and even independently published comics including the “Blammo” series by Noah Van Scriver and “The Frantastic Four” by Sam Spina. If you are a comic collector or love stumbling upon rare gems, then you really must make a stop at Kilgore Used Books and Comics.
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