This is one of the last pictures taken at The Eclectic Reader at 1031 S. Taft Hill Rd. in Fort Collins. The last weeks were chaotic with the Fort Collins Cat Rescue book sale and all the customers who came in for the final discount sales. The Coloradoan article, two weeks before closing, and a couple of big ads, had a huge impact. Unfortunately, many people had just discovered the store.
We had a major book packing party, followed by the big move on October 7 thanks to the wonderful crew of Billy Goat Moving Company. I cleared out the remainder of the stuff using my vintage Chevy pick-up, “Camel,” and gave the store a thorough vacuuming. Then the dream was over and the retail space was as empty as the day I moved in and began creating The Eclectic Reader, barely two years ago.
I sometimes can’t believe it is gone, all packed away in a storage unit, awaiting its fate. Yes, I AM negotiating on a potential lease for a new location within Fort Collins, and I’ve even been to a book sale to replenish some of the great books that were sold during the last weeks. I just can’t stop being a book collector and hunting for things I know my customers want (or should have).
Former Bookstore Cat Has New Residence
I wake up now with a 14 pound orange tabby cat named Monty licking my face, and for good measure, throwing his body across mine. Is he a dog, or what? He learned right away that I get up at 6 a.m. and his clock is now obstinately set for that. My 17 year old Annie-cat, who looks like Sylvester, is now tolerating Monty, with a few hisses thrown in. Monty is such a happy and congenial cat he cannot understand why the other cats don’t like him. When he first met Annie he went right up to sniff noses and was surprised by her reaction. When Milo smacked the Plexiglas that separated them, he was astonished. He just thinks since he likes everyone (people, dogs, cats) they should like him.
And Now for the Awards
I have always enjoyed reading the credits at the end of a book. Here’s my list for The Eclectic Reader:
- I guess we have to start first with Dr. Chris Cribari, surgeon extraordinaire, and Dr. Joshua Petit, radiation-oncologist, along with many many medical personnel, for helping me out of the forest of cancer. Without them I could not even have begun the journey.
- A special thanks to Carol Meyer, feng shui maven, for helpful critique of the placement of furniture, tons of encouragement, and later on for the creation of this fantastic website.
- Kudos to Larry Monesson, for building seven perfect bookcases and supplying the store with his homemade puzzles and wooden boxes for holiday gifts. He is one of our hero firefighters who battled the High Park Fire even after his own home and workshop burned down.
- A deep bow to Janeau, my first customer, crazy about books.
- The Lewis and Clark Book Scout Award to Steve Long and Laura Manuel, intrepid explorers of used book venues.
- The Golden Harp award to Michael Riversong, for bringing music to the store and gifting us with hours of harp music.
- The Worker Bee Prize (for collecting pollen) – to a long list of book donors: Steve Long, Gary Dick, Mickey R., Bob Maier, George Girard, Linda Myer, Ty, Ed and Briget Morris, Janeau Ritter and Shannon McKendrick, Carol Meyer, Walt Biederman, Joe Hutchinson, Morgan and Lee Williams, Laura Manuel, Judy Jackson, Mary Bartlett and Jamie, Lindsy Hebert, John Offerman, Adele DelSavio, Anne Petersen, Art Griffith, Rose Brinks, Laurie Thomsen, Steve Ruhl, Tanja Andreas, Lauren Springer, Kristen Levy, Janet Macpherson, Bob White, Karen Crawford, Beth Ann Bierer, Terry Tanner, Timothy Lawrence, Mike, The Bicycle Guy, “Anonymous,” and a few more whose names have slipped my feeble mind.
- TOO NUMEROUS TO MENTION ALL OF THEM: the book donors for the Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic who helped raise $2,946 to help care for the cats and support the real answer – spaying and neutering our pets. A few top donors: Patty Ringer, Will Evans, Michelle Thomas, Vince Rousseau, Christine Hamilton, Tanja Pliler, Connie and Gary Kimsey.
- Chief Scrounger Of Useful Objects, and Tech Support: Joe Hutchinson
- Hats off to all the PRESENTERS of workshop, lecture, and special event – Michael Riversong, Sam Mitchell, Galina Khmeleva, Camille Birck, Pat Hartman, Laura Pritchett, Libby James and Ann Ryan, Dona Stein, Kathleen Willard, Lori Juszak, Bob O’Rourke, Carl Woolhiser, The Humane Society and Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic – for an eclectic mix that kept things interesting at the bookstore.
- Gratitude to all my hard-working VOLUNTEERS: Judy Jackson, G. Wayne Peak, Star Seastone, Sandy Worth, Becky Slames, Adele DelSavio, Rigel Sestak-Hart, Patricia Flores, Cheryl Lynn, Walt Biederman, Lynn Phillips, Mickey R., Alyca Norris, Andrea Shulski and parents; and Keith Gilmartin the box man.
- TALK, TALK, AND MORE TALK Award to: Conversation Café participants for some genuine and engaging conversation.
Appreciation for jobs well-done:
- Photographer: Brendan Skinski for hundreds of photos
- Bookkeeper: Sheri Hofeling
- Employees: Brandy McWhirt, Ethan Foore, and the part-part-timers
- Best advertising: North Forty News – thanks to Mark Moody
- Best printing: Inkworks
- Best sign making: Paxton Signs
- Best partner in crime: Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic
- Heartfelt thanks to some of my best customers: Charles Williams, Kenneth Gage, Patricia and Bruce Cummings, Cindy and Steve Kestrel, Judy Jackson, Sandy Worth, Hugh McKay and Heather, Patti Kempner
- And then, “members of the clan” badges to: Judy Jackson, Sandy Worth, Steve Long, Walt Biederman, Cindy and Steve Kestrel, Nancy Frederick, Brandy McWhirt, Ethan Foore, Alex and Max, and young Dave (special friend to Monty).
- And last, but not least – Monty the cat, supreme ruler of the territory, the friendliest cat of all, who welcomed dogs, kittens and children to his domain, but a holy terror to mice. We never had any mice.
To all the friends, customers, volunteers, and support team: a big thanks for making these two years possible. Just goes to show it takes a community to make a bookstore.