Fort Collins’ Top 5 Indie-pendant Bookstores
Anyone who’s met me for more than 10 minutes knows that I love books and the places you can procure them. This is true whether I need to fork over any amount of cash for my reading material, or just flash a little piece of plastic that promises I’ll bring them back. But given that bookstores are one of my natural habitats, this means that I tend to spend a lot of time at Barnes and Noble, travelling to Barnes and Noble, or thinking about when I’m next going to Barnes and Noble.
I know. I need to branch out more, or else I’m going to become very broke, very quickly.
Luckily, FoCo’s got plenty of other independent book options, all with plenty of wares to browse and some whimsy to boot.
1) Old Firehouse Books
First, one of my go-to bookstore locations for when I’m feeling not feeling B&N is Old Firehouse Books, which is located at 232 Walnut St. You’ve probably walked past this book boutique on your way to the Blind Pig or Beau Jo’s, but it’s definitely worth the visit if you want to support a local business or are looking for a solid offering of fiction, nonfiction, kids books, and assorted literary-themed gifts. Plus, the store’s connected to Happy Lucky’s Tea House, so if you have no self-control, like me, you can take your purchase into the tea shop and get started with a nice cuppa in hand.
2) Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House
Another quietly bookish gem is the Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House, which you can find at 315 Willow St. This place is particularly good if you’re feeling your fedora and cardigan (no matter the weather), because you can get your hipster on with in-house published books, newsletters, and a variety of prints and quirky art which are unique to Fort Collins. Besides their in-house publications, Wolverine Farm also has a small, locally-curated bookstore that they run in conjunction with the publishing house. You never know what you’re going to find there, and you can enjoy your new friend on their patio while you watch the sunset. Trust me, the aesthetic factor is high.
3) Indigo Rose Books
However, if sitting out in the open air isn’t as much your style (which is completely valid), I’d recommend giving Indigo Rose Books a look. At the Indigo Rose, you’ll venture up a narrow staircase at 216 Linden St and find yourself in the kind of books-stacked-on-books establishment that feels like it just popped out of a novel itself. If you go, they’ve got you covered with a solid selection of used books ranging across a number of subjects, and browsing them is actually part of the adventure. Also, the place barely a hop, skip, and a jump from any number of great restaurants and pubs. Just saying.
4) The Bizarre Bazaar
But let’s say you’re a music connoisseur as well as a bookworm. Never fear, we’ve got something for you, too. The Bizarre Bazaar, which you can find at 1014 S College Avenue, has got a little something for almost every kind of nerd, from antique books and comics to vinyl’s, old sheet music, and VHS tapes. It’s like walking into Mary Poppins' carpetbag, because you never know what you’re going to get. In addition, the Bizarre Bazaar will also buy or trade any of the aforementioned items, so you can still get new stuff without cluttering your living room (well, more than it already is).
5) The Eclectic Reader
Finally, we’ve got The Eclectic Reader, which is exactly what it says on the tin. Located at 1119 West Drake Rd, their shelves are overflowing with books on just about every topic you can think of, and they also keep a collection of rare or out-of-print materials. Oh, and did I mention the cat? Among this bookshop’s many charms is a fluffy orange feline named Monty, who reigns over his bookish domain with a firm han—paw. He’s always happy to help visitors search for what you’re looking for in exchange for some scritches, and he won’t even mind if you were petting some OTHER cat before your arrival.
So, there you have it. Barnes and Noble’s got a lot going for it, but if you’re looking for a new hangout or book-browsing space that’s off the beaten track, you've got plenty of options.