Monday, September 30, 2019

Next Page Books & Nosh - Frisco, CO

Next Page Books & Nosh, Frisco, CO
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It would seem to me that the busy tourist seasons for this area would be summers and winters.  So when I decided to visit here after Labor Day, I thought, perfect.  This would be between tourist seasons and it will be a down time to visit, fine by me.  If my weekday visit to New Page Books & Nosh is any indication though, this isn't the down time!  Or maybe its just everyone knows what a great placer this is?  After my visit, my preferred observation is this is just a great place.

New Page was a bustle this afternoon with customers, tourists, students, a knitting club, and Dickens the wandering bookstore dog (he's one of four bookstore dogs on staff).  Lisa H. has been the owner here for about three years and this place is happening.  She and former owner Karen both told me things are going great and I can see why.  A medium-sized space with adjacent rooms and two separate exterior entrances.  Basically, one side is the books and the other is the nosh.  Lisa confirmed to me that the nosh, or sidelines, is huge for the business.  A small cafe offering beverages and light food items is in this nosh room.  The number and variety of gift items were outstanding.  Additionally, you'll find jigsaw puzzles, wooly socks, greeting cards, journals, and Colorado-themed items.  I thought the inventory of new books was well-curated.  New Page has multiple knitting clubs and book clubs.  They also offer an active events schedule and are introducing events for community workshops and involvement.  This is so indie!

Not only did I get to meet Lisa but I also enjoyed meeting Karen, the founder and original owner of New Page.  The store opened in 2007 in a perfect location in downtown Frisco on Main St.  Both of these ladies couldn't have been nicer to talk to and learn a bit about the store.  And I'm sure Lisa appreciates having Karen and her experience on staff.  

With their local customers and tourist season customers, I see nothing but blue skies ahead for this charming bookstore.  On your next visit through the Rockies, make this one of your stops right off I-70.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt.

One of the attractive window displays.  Notice the quote in the sidewalk.  If you look around, you'll see others.  

A perfect setting to relax with your book.  

Looking into the bookstore from the main entrance.  If you walk straight ahead and turn right, you'll be in the adjacent room where you'll find a cafe and endless gift ideas.  You can also enter the room on the right through its own outside entrance.  

Looking to the left from the main entrance.  

No argument here.  

Very neat display of new fiction.  How many have you read?

Just a few of the items of local and regional interest.  

An extensive variety of wooly socks.  

One of the most original displays I've seen.  This is right in the middle of the store.  An antique toy car that has been re-fashioned into a book display.  The creativity of bookstore people is evident in every store I visit.  

This is the other side.  

Just a few of the greeting cards available.  

Partial view of the children's section.  

Some creative artistic decor in the children's section.  

Children's books in Spanish.  

Partial view of the cafe.  Meticulous readers undoubtedly will recognize the lustrous white hair of the celebrity in the foreground.  Yes, that's my mom.  

A great seating area in the cafe room.  

The cafe has numerous options. 

A good section of travel guides and maps.  

An overview looking from the back toward the front entrance.  

Dickens, the wandering bookstore dog but not wandering at the moment!

Attractive jewelry available.  

Since I break reading glasses merely by using them, this is a welcome display.  

The attention to the store's interior decor is outstanding.  

With Lisa, the fine owner at Next Page Books & Nosh.  Thanks for a great visit.  

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ole Man Berkins - Breckenridge, CO

Ole Man Berkins, Breckenridge, CO
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Readers, the fun for me, and I know many of you, is the "hunt" when you visit a used book store.  Their organization can range from none at all to impeccable.  I'm not bothered either way because I can enjoy my visit regardless.  Here at Ole Man Berkins in Breckenridge the arrangement is somewhere between the two.  But you'll be able to find your genre category and then for me, I enjoy the treasure hunt of finding those older gems that you just don't see in the bookstores that carry new books.  Or better yet, discovering something you didn't know you needed but just happened upon.  An experience you can't duplicate on the internet.

Ole Man Berkins is located in downtown Breckenridge surrounded by many retail small businesses.  Owner Justin S. opened this bookstore a little over 15 years ago in a space hardly bigger than a utility closet, 485 square feet.  From those humble beginnings he has now expanded to a spacious 2300 square feet that accommodates an inventory of approximately 100,000 used books.  And as if that isn't enough space they have a storage room full of books in the back of the store.  In addition to the books, you'll find vintage and collectable editions, DVDs, CDs, music on vinyl, foreign language books, and magazines.  I thought they had an impressive collection of National Geographics that dated back to the 1940s.

I didn't get to meet Justin but he was kind enough to correspond with me via emails several times and tell me a lot about the store.  So, it was kind of like I met him!  On the day of my visit I enjoyed meeting Rose, the store manager, and booksellers Peter and Jackson (this one has a bright future).
I'm a softie for booksellers like this guy, Jackson.  His bookselling strategy?  He won't say a word but will easily charm you to pieces with his presence and happy tail.  
Rose filled me in about the arrangements they make with customers for the books they bring in, offering store credit.  But many times books are simply donated.  They just took in a large donation of books from the library sale of the ones that went unsold.  She also told me about the incredible tourism here, 3 million tourists annually.  What bookstore wouldn't enjoy this customer base to go along with their strong core of local regulars?!

Clearly, this indie is mostly about the books.  You'll easily be able to spend hours here searching the shelves for the elusive title you've been looking for.  Enjoy a visit to a long-running, successful local business and the terrific people who work there.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt.  

Exterior view.  The store sits back from its Main Street address.  

For the books in the outside sale wagon, leave your money here if it is after hours.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

Looking to the left just inside the front door.  

Looking to the right inside the front door.  

Just inside the store you'll see shelves of staff picks.  

A small sampling of the DVDs available.  

Just a few of the many children's books available.  

Entering the store and then proceeding to the left will take you to one of the main book rooms.  

A variety of games.  

Outlander fans are covered here.  

A great way to shelve special books (I guess these would be the "cool" ones?).

A chair, a lamp, and a room full of books straight back from the main entrance.  What more could you want?

Just a few of the collectibles offered, near the check-out counter.  

If you have a skiing accident and can't return to the slopes, a game of chess is in order!

Some of the vintage editions.  

An overview of the room to the right after entering the store.   

Consider an audio book for the long drive back after your vacation.  

See picture below.  

The store offers an extensive collection of National Geographics.  

A bookshelf with snow skis.  Perfect!

Original and locally created greeting cards.  

If you thought the main part of the store was packed with books, the storeroom in the back has many more waiting to be shelved.  

Jackson welcoming the customers.  Proficient readers might recognize a glimpse of a celebrity in the background.  Yes, that's my mom.  

With Rose and Jackson, two of the wonderful Breckenridge spirits you'll meet at Ole Man Berkins.  Thanks for a great visit.