With all the changes in the book business including digital printing, print on demand and e-books with e-readers, the one thing that remains constant for book lovers is the comfort and welcome feeling that comes when one enters an independent bookstore. Independent booksellers are some of the most knowledgeable, helpful and passionate people. They work in one of the favorite places to frequent in our culture today. Here are some of the best.

The Bookies (credit: Young Kim)

The Bookies

4315 E. Mississippi Ave.
Denver, CO 80246
(303) 759-1117
Located just off Colorado Blvd. at Mississippi, The Bookies is one of Denver’s longtime treasures. A favorite among teachers, educators and parents they carry a fabulous selection of children’s books, games and toys along with educational resources from preschool to high school. The owner, Sue Lubeck, has maximized her small space. You can spend hours there and see only a fraction of her vast inventory. Entering the store brings an immediate desire to read and see every single book in stock.

(credit: bookwormofedwards.com)

Bookworm of Edwards

295 Main St., C101
Edwards, CO 81632
(970) 926-7323
This cozy bookstore in the Riverwalk District of Edwards has a coffee shop, free wi-fi, outdoor/patio seating and comfy couches, indoors, for lounging while you read. A meeting place for locals and visitors alike, The Bookworm hosts more than 50 events a year and is the center for informal meetings and gatherings among friends and colleagues. The passion and professionalism of the staff is contagious. Eagle County owners, Kristi Allio and Nicole Magistro, have recently renovated to include more café seating and an improved children’s section.

(credit: boulderbookstore.indiebound.com)

Boulder Book Store

1107 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 447-2074
Civic and community minded, Boulder Book Store is Boulder’s largest independent bookstore. With more than 170 author appearances a year, the Boulder community comes to Boulder Book Store to be inspired and entertained by some of today’s most influential authors. David Bolduc, owner of the Boulder Book Store, has been at the forefront of the “shop local” movement for over a decade. His staff, like most local bookstores, is a wealth of information is very helpful, with the passion and love for books that makes a visit to Boulder Book Store an experience for booklovers and shoppers alike. Despite its size (20,000 sq. feet and over 100,000 titles on three floors) Boulder Bookstore has the feel of that around-the-corner gathering place that is a favorite to frequent, linger, read, visit and shop. Authors who have visited over the years include: Christopher Moore, Joyce Carol Oates, Deepak Chopra, Garrison Keillor, Jon Krakauer, Mitch Albom, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Gilbert, Terry Prachett, and Sherman Alexie.

(credit: hearthfirebooks.com)

HearthFire Books of Evergreen

1254 Bergen Parkway
Evergreen, 80439
(303) 670-4549
Appropriately named, this cozy retreat features a rock-walled hearth with comfy chairs beckoning shoppers to sit and read by the fire. The staff, of course, is well read and most familiar with the inventory. An inviting wall of best sellers and a current-events section arranged atop a wooden sleigh greets shoppers upon their arrival giving them the welcome feeling of a comfortable and gracious host. Special features include a seasonal book display and staff recommendations that sit beneath a sign encouraging readers to “Judge a Book by its Lover.” The store is adjacent to camp grounds and a coffee shop with gorgeous mountain views.

(credit: mariasbookshop.com)

Maria’s Bookshop

960 Main Avenue
Durango, CO 81301
(970) 247-1438
Established in 1984, Maria’s Bookshop, in historic downtown Durango, is an independently owned and operated bookstore committed to serving its community and the Four Corners Region. Owners Andrea Avantaggio and Peter Schertz and their entire staff are dedicated to maintaining a vital, thriving, welcoming establishment that gives the people of Durango and the Four Corners region a comfortable, friendly and engaging, place to visit, relax and shop. Staffed by 14 well-read, knowledgeable booksellers they love helping customers find just the right book. They provide an abundance of great reading recommendations and information about upcoming events. Maria’s is a comfortable, charming jewel in the world of bookstores.

Old Firehouse Books

232 Walnut Street
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 484-7898
Named for the historic building that houses the store, Old Firehouse Books is a local, independent bookstore in Fort Collins. They take pride in being a part of the Fort Collins community and the staff is well read, and knowledgeable in multiple genres such as science fiction, literature, and mystery. They love books. They love to help customers pick the perfect one. They sell both new and used books, which gives them the best selection of titles in Ft. Collins. Special orders of new books receive an additional 10% off. Old Firehouse Books encourages you to bring in your used books for trade credit. The atmosphere is friendly and engaging and welcomes you to spend some time browsing and reading.

The Tattered Cover (credit: CBS)

Tattered Cover

Various locations
The Tattered Cover is one of the best known, highly regarded, not only independently owned bookstores, but independently owned businesses, in the country. All three of its stores are staffed and stocked with excellence in every sense of the word. Civic-minded owner Joyce Meskis has been fighting for First Amendment rights, with regard to censorship and freedom of speech and how they relate to books and bookstores, for a very long time.
RELATED LINK: CBSDenver.com Guide To The Tattered Cover

– Nancy Mills is Colorado children’s picture book author. You can see some of her work at PieintheSkyPublishing.com. Follow her on Twitter @AbFabKidLit.

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