Friday, August 26, 2022

Mountain Shire Books & Gifts - Winter Park, CO

Mountain Shire Books & Gifts, Winter Park, CO

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My trip to visit this bookstore was not an easy one.  If you're not used to mountain driving (not easy for me!) this bookstore visit will be challenging.  You'll first have to deal with bumper to bumper driving on I-70 no matter which direction you come from.  Then you'll exit for Winter Park and begin a climb that includes hair pin turns, frightening but beautiful views over guard rails down sheer cliffs, and occasionally following a line of cars behind a semi going 25 mph.  If you decide to come in the winter the difficulty increases significantly.  BUT dear readers, you will be rewarded for your brave efforts when you meet owner Miriam R. and experience Mountain Shire Books & Gifts, a tiny little bookstore with a big personality that really sparkles.

When the pandemic began its decline Mountain Shire began its lift-off, opening a little over a year ago last July.  And lift off it did as that first month of business was outstanding.  Since then the store has shown positive growth and I'm really impressed at all that is offered in this 587 square foot space.  You'll find all new books and a handful of used for the bargain hunters.  The sidelines are numerous including greeting cards, stickers ( I haven't been to a store yet that these aren't selling.  If you aren't stocking these indie owners, start), bookstore candles, coffee, and more.  This is one place where the puzzles sell well because of the winter skiing season at the nearby resort.  You would think it would feel crowded with all that in this space but I was perfectly comfortable.  Even though the store enjoys heavy tourist traffic, they also have local regulars and a bookstore book club.

I know what you're saying.  "Indie Bob, this sounds like a hip Rocky Mountain bookstore but I just don't think I can get there.  What should I do?"  You're right, it is hip and you can still get a book from them online at  A great way to support this indie and many others.

Mountain Shire, has a great location in the Copper Creek Square, a retail area with many other fun businesses.  But none as fun as this cute little bookstore filling a void long missing in this Colorado resort town.  Congratulations Miriam!  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  In Praise Of Good Bookstores, Jeff Deutsch.  The author offers a work in praise of bookstores, the browsing experience, and what makes a good bookstore.  The author grew up in Brooklyn, owns a bookstore in Chicago, and only references a few bookstores.  Unfortunately, the ones he mentioned are all in big cities, with nowhere near the challenges most bookstores face.  One of the life blood necessities of many indies are the sidelines and he is not a proponent of this.  Honestly, I felt like I could make the case for many indies I've been to located in much smaller communities that provide outstanding bookstore service to their populations.  I didn't think he articulated his argument clearly and in a way that most could understand.  Disappointing. 

CURRENTLY READING:  Miss Benson's Beetle, Rachel Joyce. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Damnation Spring, Ash Davidson.  


Nice view looking down to the courtyard from the bookstore. 
View of the bookstore on the 2nd level of Copper Creek Square. 


View looking into the store from the front entrance. 


Looking to the right from the front entrance. 

Go to the left after entering and start your browsing with the some of the non-fiction. 

Overview of the front room. 


You can find bargain buys at almost all bookstores. 


Attractive table display of new releases. 


Bookstore candles are popular items at many indies. 


Keep up to date with Mountain Shire events. 


Walk ten steps into the store and look to the left. 


A few of the greeting cards offered. 


Overview of the delightful children's area. 


Every indie has stickers unique to its community. 


If you can't ski, you might as well work a puzzle. 


Various guides to the region, a must for any tourist. 

Body butters, sprays and miscellaneous beauty products available here but I love the company name best of all, Spinster Sisters Co. 


Yes, sit here and try out a book. 


Mountain Shire frisbees.  I love it!


When the mountain snows fly, you're going to need some coffee to go with your book. 

Attractive display in the children's section.

Overview of the store looking from the back of the store toward the front entrance.

A few of the book recommendations from Miriam and Mountain Shire. 

With Miriam, the fine owner at Mountain Shire Books & Gifts.  Thanks for a great visit. 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Salida Books - Salida, CO

Salida Books, Salida, CO

 (Like The Indie Bob Spot on Facebook and follow The Indie Bob Spot on Twitter)

First things first.  To clear up any confusion about the name of this terrific bookstore, it is not The Book Haven.  It is Salida's own, Salida Books, located downtown on F St surrounded by many unique small businesses.  As owner John C. told me, when he took over this business in Feb 2020 as the 4th owner, he wanted to change the name and wanted to go with something simple so Salida Books it was.  And as with everything Salida, it has a very cool and hip Rocky Mountain vibe making the bookstore and the town a fantastic destination.  

Salida Books is in its 17th year of business and offers new and used books.  For the most part, new books on the left used on the right, and new on the display tables.  They offer a nice complement of sidelines like stickers, postcards, and journals to name a few.  They also offer art by local artists and receive a consignment fee for those sales.  You can even buy unique mugs made by Missy, one of the booksellers.  In addition to new and used books, they offer collectible editions, something John may expand on in time.  Can't visit the store in person?  Support this store online via, a great tool for many indies.  

Salida is a very touristy town and although they enjoy this year round, their busiest time is Memorial Day to Labor Day.  John estimates business during that time of year as 90% tourists.  The store is well-stocked with travel guides, activity guides of all kinds, books by local authors, and recent paperback releases which all sell well to tourists.  

As with so many other bookstore owners, John comes to this business from a totally different background in construction and journalism.  He only knew he wanted to own his own business and now says he could be happy selling books all day long.  Nicely done, John.

Salida is a town you can plan to visit any time of the year for a variety of outdoor activities.  But sooner or later you'll need a break and that's when you must pay a visit to Salida Books, a long-running successful business in the beautiful mountains of Salida, CO.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Power Of The Dog, Thomas Savage.  Set in the rural American West of the early 20th century, two adult brothers, both single, continue to manage their parents' homestead with a large cattle operation that involves a large number of hired hands.  But their dynamics change when one of the brothers, George, takes up with a local widow and they get married.  They live at the ranch, along with the widow's teenage son which changes everything. 

CURRENTLY READING:  In Praise Of Good Bookstores, Jeff Deutsch. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Heartbreak Kennel, Cary Unkelbach.  


Before going to the bookstore consider enjoying this spectacular view. 

Ample display window space with an unavoidable glare on a beautiful Colorado day. 

View looking into the store from the front entrance. 

Looking directly to the right inside the front door you'll see just a few of the artworks displayed and available for purchase, all created by talented local artists. 

Looking to the left after entering and the uniquely displayed staff picks. 

Who says you have to put gumballs in a gumball machine?!  Nicely done. 

Table display of notebooks, journals, and art materials. 

The store does a great job of providing tourist-popular items. 

Just a few of the greeting cards offered. 

Lots of valuable guides for tourists. 

Nice display of new non-fiction. 

Table display of popular releases. 

Behind all these displayed books of local interest is an antique printing press. 

Keep your eyes open for sales.  

Much to browse along this wall. 

I really enjoyed seeing all of the Salida and Colorado themed books. 

Overview of the children's section. 

Bring your little reader to the store with you and read them a book. 

The ladder display of books. 

See the next picture.  It's not what you think. 


But they are kept in a refrigerator!

Check out the popular Sasquatch series by a local author. 

Overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance. 

Some of the stores' collectable editions. 

So many indies feature artwork by local artists I'm almost surprised when I don't see it on my store visits. 

Ask bookseller Missy about her unique, one-of-kind mugs.

Stickers are selling well here. 

There is no end to the unique party games I find in independent bookstores. 

With John on the left, the fine owner at Salida Books.  Thanks for a great visit.