Monday, May 9, 2016

Maria's Bookshop - Durango, CO

Maria's Bookshop - Durango, CO
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Could there be any nicer people than those found in Maria's Bookshop in Durango?  No wonder this bookstore has been around for 32 years if everyone employed there is a 10 on the nice scale.  Maybe the grumpy ones weren't working on the day of my visit!  Andrea and Peter, the owners, Suzy, the floor manager, Jeanne, the book buyer, Roger, events manger, Meghan, a bookseller, were all fantastic.  Even the customers were as nice as can be.  Seriously, I cannot imagine anyone not enjoying their visit to the store.  I felt like I was in a dream and visiting the dream town.  And of course, the dream town has a dream bookstore.

Maria's Bookshop is in a great location on Main Ave., on the main street of the business district through town.  The town is fiercely loyal to the bookstore as it is to all local businesses.  If this isn't the independent business capital of the country, it could be.  Jeanne does a great job curating the store's books, making sure that the inventory is compatible for their regular customers as well as tourists.  I thought the books of regional interests were particularly strong.  I especially liked the
I call this the flying bike!
store's interior which felt very much like being in southwest Colorado.  Lots of dark brown wooden shelves and floor, areas of brick, and a hanging bike.  Instead of large book cover posters like you see in some stores, Maria's has antique snow shoes and sleds.  There are an excellent variety of sidelines offered and thanks to Roger, I now have my own Maria's water bottle.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this entry, everyone at this store was the best.  Roger told me a lot about the store and the business as well as the community.  Like other successful indies, Maria's has deep community ties in a number of ways.  There is a very active events schedule and these are held in the store.  The events here feature mostly local and regional authors and the store is very welcoming to these people  What a great place to discover new books and new talent.  Andrea and Peter have been the owners here for 18 years and you can put this bookstore in the column of other indies who are enjoying a resurgence of success in local bookstores.  When I asked Roger if they were doing more than just getting by, his reply was, "without a doubt!"  Kudos to you Maria's Bookshop!

And while here I met another bookstore owner from another town.  Bobbi S. is the owner at Between The Covers in Telluride.  So on a day off from her bookstore she goes to visit another bookstore.  And now I'll add her indie to my journey.

I didn't have to visit the Durango Chamber of Commerce to find out about one of the best things here.  Check out this dream bookstore in this dream town.  I can guarantee you won't want to leave.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Readers Of Broken Wheel Recommend, Katarina Bivald.  Story takes place in a small Iowa town about a visitor from Sweden who comes to visit a pen pal but she dies before they can meet.  Does she stay and open a bookstore or return to Sweden?  Liked it, didn't love it.  A great premise.  It will also give you more book recommendations.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Devil In The Blue Dress, Walter Mosley.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  A Soldier Of The Great War, Mark Helprin.  A Strangeness In My Mind, Orhan Pamuk.  The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F*ck, Sarah Knight.

The shopping begins before you even walk through the front door.  

Great view looking through the store from the front entrance.  Alert readers may recognize the celebrity browsing one of the book displays.  Yes, that's my mom.  

A few of the sidelines located near the front door.  

On the wall behind the check out counter you'll see some wonderful art work displayed by local high school students.  

You'll find lots of great info to help you explore the area.  

Unique jewelry available here.  

On top of the table is a great book display and under the table is where you might find your child.  

Lots of books here with local interests and local authors.  

Always one of my favorite pictures in any bookstore.  Long aisle of bookshelves.  

Display of books that local book clubs are reading.  

If you see socks you like in an independent bookstore, get them.  They're hard to find anywhere else.  

Lots of snow shoes on the walls above the books.  

Kids are going to love this area.  

View from the back of the store looking toward the front entrance.  Trust me, it looks much better than this picture shows!  

I call this a teacher's nightmare!

Break your own geode.  Only at an independent bookstore.  In the mountains.  In Colorado.  

With Andrea on the left and Peter on the right, the fine owners at Maria's Bookshop.  

Part of the great team you'll meet at Maria's.  From L-R, Suzy, Andrea, Me, Peter, Jeanne.  Thanks all for a great visit.  

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