|Old Firehouse Books - Ft. Collins, CO
Regular readers know that my goal is to visit all the bookstores featured in My Bookstore, by Ron Rice. Regular readers also know that I'm visiting MANY more than just the 81 indies represented in that book. I repeatedly and frequently visit bookstores that are certainly as worthy as those featured in My Bookstore. Old Firehouse Books is definitely one of the worthy! Located in the old town section of Ft. Collins, this one-level indie has everything you want in your local independent bookstore. An extensive inventory of new and used books all attractively displayed, a good variety of sidelines (including socks and t-shirts which are two of the best-sellers), author events, free parking, and a wonderful location in an old historic firehouse. Everything adds up to a successful, long-running independent bookstore.
This store has been in business since 1980 but in this location now for 7 years. I had a great talk with Matt G., the floor manager, who told me business is going very well here as it is in Ft. Collins in general. There is a great core of local customers and the store is seeing continued growth in tourists. One of the draws to Ft. Collins is bicycling and micro-breweries, something that helps bring customers to Old Firehouse. The store also brings customers in thanks to frequent author events (held in the store or off-site depending on the anticipated crowd), several bookclubs, a children's story time, and people who wander in from Happy Lucky's Teahouse, attached to Old Firehouse on the inside. Happy Lucky Teahouse is a great partnership for the bookstore and both businesses benefit. You can also visit the store with your good used books and trade them for store credit.
Dick and Susie have owned Old Firehouse Books since 2000 and even though I didn't get to meet them, they clearly have done a terrific job here. I did get to meet Matt and Kelsey M., the events coordinator, and had a great time talking to them and other staffers. I keep thinking that sooner or later on these visits I'm going to meet a grumpmuffin but it just doesn't happen. These two couldn't have been nicer while I was here. And if you're a sci-fi fan, this store is well-stocked and Kelsey is the one who will help you pick out a good one.
I'm not sure why anyone wouldn't enjoy a visit to Ft. Collins. Beautiful scenery, outdoor activities, lots of unique shops, bicycling and micro-breweries, AND a fabulous independent bookstore. For crying out loud people, what more do you want?! Enjoy a great visit to one of our country's long-standing bookstores. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
CURRENTLY READING: The Orenda, Joseph Boyden.
|Front window display. Apologies for the blur. I was too anxious to get in the store!
|View looking straight through the store from the front entrance. To the right of the greeting cards is Happy Lucky's Teahouse. To the left is more bookstore.
|Looking through the main portion of the bookstore. Meticulous readers may recognize the celebrity browsing while I was there. Yes, that's my mom.
|See what the bookclubs are reading.
|Old Firehouse has an active events schedule.
|An attractive display of used books. You can find used books throughout the store shelved alongside new ones.
|A nice display of staff picks. Apologies again for the blur.
|Poster sized book covers for sale. I love these.
|The Great Wall Of Socks! One of the best-selling sidelines at Old Firehouse Books. If you see a pair you like, get them. Only found at independent bookstores!
|These t-shirts are also selling well.
|I think you'll need some chocolate to go along with that book you bought. Available at the check-out counter.
|A few of the greeting cards available.
|You saw The Great Wall Of Socks? I call this the great bookshelves of books!
|View from the back of the store looking toward the front.
|A portion of the children's section.
|Bring in your good used books.
|This poster should be displayed in every independent bookstore. If you have friends who do this, educate them!
|Some of the bookstores I've visited feature some great art sculpted out of books.
|With Matt on the left and Kelsey in the middle. Thanks for a great visit.