Thursday, August 14, 2014

Explore Booksellers - Aspen, CO

Explore Booksellers - Aspen, CO

Do you remember the Mickey Rooney - Judy Garland movie where all the kids are going to get together and put on a show?  Well, readers, we're all going to get together and buy an independent bookstore!  We'll pool all our money (if you're in a can and bottle redemption state, cash them in; we're going to need it) to buy this great place in Aspen.  It has a great history, an absolutely wonderful staff who can handle all the work, super location in a vacation mecca, opportunities to meet the rich and famous, and finally our life long dream of carrying the burden of an independent bookstore.  Who's in?!  Oh, and I should probably mention we'll only need about 7 million to pull it off.

There are many indies out there who have gone out of business.  Here at Explore Booksellers, I don't think there will be anything to worry about .  Whoever acquires this business will be getting a business that has been around since 1975 located near the center of Aspen and housed in a very cool Victorian house.  Business is well supported locally and also by many visitors and tourists, including international travelers who come and support this store annually.  In fact, I don't think the local community will allow this store to fail.  Engagement with the community is obvious with the constant book events and author visits.  There are no book buy-backs here, only new books located on two levels throughout the store.  They also sell music CDs, books on CD, have a fantastic children's room, and a room in the rear on the main level devoted strictly to sidelines, those extras you find in many indies.  There are also a very small collection of rare and collectable books on the main floor.  Upstairs you'll find more books, including lots of travel books and guides which seems appropriate for Aspen.  Also, upstairs in the rear of the house is The Pyramid Bistro, a great little cafe that opens shortly before noon each day.  A great arrangement for the bookstore as they lease this space to The Bistro.

I didn't get to meet the manager, John Edwards, on this trip but what a wonderful group of staffers he has working here at Explore Booksellers.  Mark, Margaret, Kaaren, and Sandy could not have been nicer.  They were very informative about the house and the business and so patient to talk to me on my visit.  No wonder this place is so great to visit with people like this.  Again, this is really one of the things I'm enjoying most about my journey of visits to independent bookstores, such wonderful people to meet and visit with.

So readers, let me know how much I can put each of you down for as we begin to amass that 7 million we'll need to get this nifty little indie in the Rocky Mountains.  I'll have my reflective orange vest on as I pick up cans on the edge of the highway, reading my book as I go.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Vroman's Of Pasadena, Jane Apostol.  Great history about a legendary indie.  Love it.  Could this be a hint at a future post?!

CURRENTLY READING:  The Storied Life of A.J.Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin.  Loving it.  Story about an indie bookstore owner.  Appropriate considering my project.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  End of Days, James Swanson.  JFK assassination.  The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards, Kristopher Jansma.

Beautiful summer day in the Rocky Mountains to visit Explore Booksellers in Aspen.

Because many of you will have some interest, here's the contact info.  

Another exterior view.  Astute readers will notice a celebrity sighting of a customer entering the store.  Yes, that's my mom.  

View upon entering the store.  

Two chairs to sit and try out a book.  

Many of the sidelines available in this room on the main level.  

Great use of space!  Bookshelves underneath the staircase to the 2nd floor.  

Upstairs to The Bistro Cafe, and more books.  

Same staircase.  It was very cool.  

Looking into The Bistro.  Looks like a great place.  

Have a seat in these chairs upstairs and try out a book here.  

Lots of travel and guide books on these shelves upstairs.  

Looking upstairs to the loft level from the main floor.

Margaret & Mark here at Explore Booksellers.  

L-R, Margaret, Kaaren, & Mark.  These people were great!  Thanks for a wonderful visit.  

What book customer wouldn't enjoy being surrounded by these wonderful women??!!  L-R, Margaret, yours truly, Kaaren.  

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