I have now been a book dealer in Fort Collins longer than anyone else, having opened Toad Hall Books on Oak Street Plaza in 1983. The old matriarch of all bookstores – The Old Corner Book Shop, run by Jane Tester for over 30 years, closed a few years back.
I have moved my bookstore seven times. (Quoth the raven: “Nevermore.”) The last major move was with professional help. I had 500 boxes and a jumble of bookcases to sort out and set up in Cimarron Plaza in 2014. I have had five “brick and mortar” locations, one flea market booth, sold online and operated out of my house. This is my final resting place.
A significant number of books are waiting at home to be brought into the store. I need more space! Hence: a clearance sale! I am offering this unusual incentive that will hopefully unearth artifacts from Fort Collins’ bookstore history: BRING ME A BOOKMARK (“bring me the broomstick…”) from any Northern Colorado or Wyoming bookstore – past or present – and I will give you 15% off a one-time purchase (except for rare books). This offer will be good through May Day – the first of May 2018.
Here are some deceased bookstores to choose from:
Adams and Adams Booksellers/Laramie, Wyoming
Anthology, Loveland, Colorado
The Book Cat/Estes Park, Colorado
Book Ends, Fort Collins, Colorado
Book Rack – Laramie?, Loveland, Greeley, or Fort Collins
Bounty Book Hunter/Fort Collins, Colorado
Cheyenne Books and Music/Cheyenne,Wyoming
Chiefly Books/Cheyenne, Wyoming
C & L Hutton Fine Books, Fort Collins, Colorado
The Coyote’s Den/Loveland, Colorado
Fine Old Books/Estes Park, Colorado
Footnote Book Store/Loveland, Colorado
Happenstance/Fort Collins, Colorado
House of Paper Ships/Greeley and then Fort Collins, Colorado
Jade Creek Books, Fort Collins, Colorado
Loveland Book Exchange, Loveland, Colorado
Mad Jack’s Recycled Lit/Fort Collins, Colorado
Middle Earth Rare Books, Livermore,Colorado
Mt. Falcon Books/Greeley, Colorado
The Novel, Novel Bookstore/Fort Collins, Colorado
Old Corner Book Shop/Fort Collins, Colorado
Paperback Heaven/Fort Collins, Colorado
Prairie Reader Bookstore/Greeley, Colorado
Read It Again, Fort Collins, Colorado
Stagehouse II/Boulder, Colorado
Sun Circle Books/Fort Collins, Colorado
Toad Hall Books/Fort Collins, Colorado
Train of Thought/Fort Collins, Colorado
EXISTING BOOKSTORES TO CHOOSE FROM: Cheyenne: The Book Rack, Constant Reader Books, Phoenix Books and Music
Fort Collins: Bizarre Bazaar, Booklovers, The Eclectic Reader, Indigo Rose, Old Firehouse
Loveland: Book Haven, Dicken’s Alley, Whampus
Laramie: Night Heron Books, Second Story Books
Boulder: Beat Book Shop, The Bookworm, Boulder Bookstore, Happenstance, Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Cafe, The Lighthouse Bookstore, Red Letter Books, Secondhand Books, Trident
My god, what a body count! Too many shops gone. The death of any book store is lamentable. Your comprehensive list of casualties provides a distressing reminder of what’s been lost.
And, as if that weren’t enough to corrode a reader’s heart, I would include City News in Loveland. This was something of a community institution that offered an impressive selection of new books, the latest print news media, coffee, and fine tobacco products. Just a delightful place.
And, I’m pleased that you’ve set the record straight having to do with your longevity in the book business. Your position in our local book community deserves proper acknowledgment.
Cynthia, I’ve been examining the photograph of you in your “natural environment.” Your expression reveals an abundance of quiet wisdom– mysterious in a way. This is the face of a woman who possesses the power of extensive knowledge, often arcane, and who will gladly share it with others. If you will forgive me, a “Wise Woman” in the language of times long past.