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.  

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