Friday, May 26, 2023

The Read Queen - Lafayette, CO

The Read Queen, Lafayette, CO

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When I first discovered this bookstore and began reading about it I had to figure out how to pronounce it.  It wasn't totally clear to me at first whether to pronounce it "red" or "reed."  But since they offer used books (along with new) it made sense that it is the The Read Queen, pronounced "red."  The Read Queen is a beautiful building inside and out in a mostly residential area.  This indie is almost three years old meaning its beginning coincided with the onset of the pandemic.  As bookseller Emma told me, her understanding was that things were a little slow when they opened then things gradually took off and they now see MANY regulars frequenting the store.  Great news for The Read Queen and the Lafayette community.

This historic building of over 100 years offers new and used books, all shelved together.  Look for the gold stars on the spines to identify the used books.  Customers who bring in their books can receive store credit in return.  The cafe is a huge and important part of the business offering a variety of coffee drinks and baked items.  After you make purchase you'll have all sorts of options for seating including inside the bookstore, the front patio, the long patio on the side of the store, or The Queen's Lounge, a separate building and space behind the store which is essentially a large living room with plentiful seating and a very calming atmosphere.  Regular visitors to the cafe can use a punch card that when filled out will earn them a free drink and the title of Loyal Knave.  You'll find many sidelines scattered throughout the store including stickers (selling great), greeting cards, locally sourced candles, one of a kind hand made handbags created locally, reading glasses, jewelry, games, and so much more. 

I didn't get to meet co-owners Barbra H. or Deirdre A. on this day but boy did they leave the store in good hands.  Emma was very busy this day but was so kind to take time to visit with me and tell me a bit about the store.  If you meet her during your visit she'll be able to take care of your cafe order AND look up books for you.  A talent welcomed at ANY bookstore.

If you live in Lafayette or are traveling through on vacation, be sure to pay a visit to this super bookstore with a little bit of everything.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Reckoning, John Grisham. 


Works for me. 

The Read Queen is a big building.  This is the back of the store. 

A great covered patio area along one side of the store. 

View looking into the store from the front entrance. 

Looking to the right from the front entrance.  I love this seating area. 

Looking to the left from the front entrance.  Some readers may recognize The Indie Bob Spot director of logistics Michelle T. 

A super place to sit, sip, and read. 

Table display of various sidelines. 

The greeting cards offered are numerous. 

Handcrafted candles produced locally. 

An assortment of puzzles. 

Unique hand made purses and totes, created locally. 

View of the cafe counter. 

I love the blind date with a book promotions found at many bookstores. 

Just a portion of the jewelry available. 

Some nice bookstore swag. 

Looking for games?  They've got you covered. 

If you're on a budget look for the bargain book shelves. 

View across the back of the store.

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

Head to this room in the back of the store for non-fiction and children's books. 

Another view of what you'll see in the back room. 

Or ask a tall person to get that book from the top shelf. 

Nancy Drew fans should pay a visit. 

Your guide to finding the used books. 

I found the Red Queen at The Read Queen!

I'm always happy to see these in bookstores since I break mine often. 

A frequent buyer cafe card.  You could become a Loyal Knave!  If you're a regular you must have this.  I love it. 

I see many reasons to visit the cafe. 

Another part of the store is The Queen's Lounge located in another building behind the store.  A great place for groups and quiet. 

View looking into The Queen's Lounge.  I could get comfy here. 


With Emma, one of the fine booksellers at The Read Queen.  Thanks for a great visit.

Monday, May 22, 2023

The Wandering Jellyfish Bookshop - Niwot, CO

The Wandering Jellyfish Bookshop, Niwot, CO

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Readers, you know there are a few themes I mention over and over hoping to hammer them into the heads of the uninformed.  One of those themes is how you really can't have a bookstore experience buying a book online.  Let me tell you about The Wandering Jellyfish.  My experience was so good here I felt guilty that I didn't have to pay a cover charge.  We were all laughing so hard I don't know how I didn't pee my pants.  Carissa M. and Jerilyn P. are the enthusiastic and fun owners at this bookstore that has a focus on young readers, located perfectly in the historic downtown in the Niwot (pronounced NYE-watt) Tribune building.  Anyone in Niwot who hasn't discovered this gem yet needs to visit and see what all the fun's about.  

In their short 1 1/2 year existence, they are really establishing a innovative and unique model for other bookstores.  This perfectly charming indie is focused on children's books up through young adult offering all new books and various sidelines.  There was also a good assortment of adult books, but that's not the store focal point.  Sidelines include puzzles, scented puzzle erasers, book earrings made by Alison, the store manager, buttons, stickers, and my personal favorite, fart bombs (As Jerilyn said, anything poop related flies out of the store.  My 10-year old self is pleased).  The store also hosts a weekly story time, no surprise to me.  

Best of all, they have a great relationship with the local schools.  Even better, it was the schools who seeked them out.  Now they know the school librarians and are able to offer book fairs.  I wish EVERY indie were this fortunate.

Something else offered here that I haven't seen very often is bookstore memberships.  There are different levels of membership for an annual fee which allows members to enjoy different bookstore perks, gifts, and discounts.  Another great way to support your local business.

This is Arnold.  I don't think he's particularly cuddly. 

Sadly, The Wandering Jellyfish does not have a bookstore cat or dog.  But they have something I've never seen in over 500 bookstore visits.  It doesn't bite, make me sneeze, is very quiet, and probably somewhat shy.  Maybe when you visit this terrific bookstore, you too can meet Arnold the vacuum.  Enjoy Arnold, Squish the Jellyfish and the charismatic owners for a 5-star bookstore experience.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Essex Dogs, Dan Jones.  Historical fiction at its finest.  Based on a portion of the 100-years war, this novel takes place in July 1346 with the English invasion and siege of France as they marched from the Normandy Beaches inland ending in Crécy.  The story focuses on the Essex Dogs, a rogue group of fighters alongside all the other soldiers.  Lots of gore, filthy language, and unimaginable hygiene of course.  This is the first book of a trilogy.  I really liked this one.  Recommended. 

CURRENTLY READING:  The Reckoning, John Grisham. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED: The Three Pigs, David Weisner.  Fart Bombs. 

This is the beautiful historical building that was once the home of the Niwot Tribune.  That sign remains but rest assured it is now the home of The Wandering Jellyfish. 

Display windows left of the entrance. 

I love all the display window space and the windows in the doors that allow an abundance of natural light into the store. 

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  Carissa was working on a mural in the back of the store and you can see that completed work when you visit. 

Wonderful wall of books on the left side of the store. 

Head to the right side of the store for middle grade books. 

Attractive table display in the front of the store.

Table display with adult interests. 

Behind the checkout counter and to the right for these offerings. 

If the book club is reading it you should check it out. 

If the wifi fails, this antique cash register will still work. 

I can find bargains in every bookstore I visit. 

Grab a comfy seat and sample a book. 

I love these bookstore earrings made by Alison who works right in the store. 

I couldn't figure out what these were and discovered these are the bookstore mascot, Squish the jellyfish. 

I always say if you see it in a bookstore and like it, get it.  You probably won't find Unicorn Donuts elsewhere. 

I see banned book displays in almost every bookstore. 

The creative mural Carissa was working on when I entered the store. 

Very talented work of a local artist. 

Jerilyn proudly holding the store mascot, Squish the Jellyfish. 

Overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance.  Alert readers will not only see Jerilyn and Carissa, but may recognize Michelle T., The Indie Bob Spot director of logistics. 

So many times I'm at a bookstore when the new books arrive!

The 10-year old me always celebrates this stuff.  

There is a fantastic coffee shop down the street, The Old Oak Coffeehouse.  Sip your coffee and enjoy a book provided by The Wandering Jellyfish. 

A rare in-action photo of Indie Bob at work with his new Jellyfish pen.

With Jerilyn in the middle and Carissa on the right, the two fine co-owners at The Wandering Jellyfish.  Thanks for a great visit.