Top Local Bookstores In Denver

June 23, 2014 6:00 AM

(credit: Black and Read) (credit: Black and Read)

Before the days of iPads, Kindles and Nooks, there were these magical things filled with paper. On that paper was ink that was printed into words, and you could actually hold them in your hand, turn the pages and enjoy the aroma of fresh ink. Those things were called books, and there are many people today that prefer a physical book to an electronic one, though it seems those days are dwindling. Show your support of books and literature by spending the weekend at any of these wonderful local bookstores in Denver. You’ll be reminded just why bookstores are so special and why it’s so important that everyone works to keep this crucial art form alive.

The Tattered Cover
2525 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 322-7727

Since 1971, The Tattered Cover has been one of the best independent booksellers in the country and it’s still going strong. This Denver institution is the best place in town to visit for books of all kinds. The kids will love spending an hour or two browsing the children’s department or enjoying a story time while mom and dad can peruse the other floors of this huge bookstore. With lots of book clubs to join, a new reading or signing just about every week and a huge selection of truly local, independent authors, The Tattered Cover remains one of the best and brightest stars in the Denver book scene.

The Bookies
4315 E. Mississippi Ave.
Denver, CO 80246
(303) 759-1117

The Bookies is the only independent bookseller in town that specializes in children’s books. From the classics to all of the latest and greatest childhood authors, The Bookies keeps its shelves well-stocked with plenty for your kids to enjoy. There are also lots of fun games, stuffed animals, craft kits, science kits and other educational toys and other fun stuff for the kids to check out, plus The Bookies has a great program for teachers and offers a lot of support for local schools. You’ll also find a very carefully curated adult section and a nice discount program that includes 30-percent off all New York Times best sellers. If you’ve never been to The Bookies before, then make sure to check this place out. It’s one of the best places in town to let your inner-child come alive through the magic of reading.

Related: Top Independent Bookstores In Denver

4280 Tennyson St.
Denver, CO 80212
(720) 443-2227

If The Bookies is the bookstore for children, then BookBar is the bookstore for grownups. It’s a fantastic indie bookshop in the Tennyson Street Arts District where you can pick out a book or two and cozy up with a glass of wine or beer and some yummy small plate bites and desserts. Sure, there are a few other bars in town with a few shelves of books to check out or purchase, but BookBar has more than 3,000 titles to choose from, with a large focus on books that encourage group discussions. There is always a book club meeting at BookBar for you to join, or you can bring in your own, as BookBar is the perfect place for you to enjoy a stimulating discussion about your favorite new book over a glass of Merlot.

Black and Read
7821 Wadsworth Blvd.
Arvada, CO 80003
(303) 467-3236

Black and Read has been supporting the indie scene in Arvada for more than 17 years with its huge selection of books, games, DVDs and toys. Most of the books are used, meaning they are half-price or even lower, and there is a nice selection of rare books and other specialty items. If you have a few extra books lying around that you don’t plan on reading again, bring them in to Black and Read for cash or store credit. Black and Read also purchases other items like role playing games, board games and other gaming items and even video and computer games, so there is a lot to check out and enjoy at this fun destination. There is always something fun and interesting to check out at Black and Read so head up to Arvada and see why this store has been doing so well for so many years.

Related: Top Specialty Bookstores In Denver

Murder By The Book
1574 S. Pearl St.
Denver, CO 80210
(303) 871-9401

As another specialty bookseller in Denver, Murder By The Book has found its niche and it serves mystery-lovers well. Since 1980, Murder By The Book has been the best place in town for fans of mystery to find all of the best books, both new and used, while conversing with other people with similar interests. Plus, due to Murder By The Books’ impressive history, it’s a popular stop for many mystery authors, meaning you are very likely to meet your favorite author, get a book signed or pick up a coveted first edition. Plus, whenever an author visits for a signing, Murder By The Book has a special cake made up to look just like the cover of that author’s book, making for a fun and tasty tradition. If you are a mystery fan, then you probably already know why this bookstore is so wonderful to visit.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at