This month for my Independent bookstore spotlight I’ve reached out to Boulder Bookstore in Colorado. I spent time interviewing Arsen a bookseller there and wanted to share his responses with you. Right now bookstores are facing many challenges and I hope to bring some light to them during this time by sharing with all of you what it looks like to run an independent bookstore.
Do you specialize in a certain genre or section in the store?
We are a full-service bookstore that carries all genres both fiction and nonfiction. We have especially strong collections in fiction, psychology, Buddhism, and science.
Do you have regular customers, and if so, what is that like?
We have a lot of regular customers. It’s absolutely wonderful. There are a couple in particular that I think of as friends. We’ve been talking about books for over 20 years now. All the staff members face light up when they walk into the store. We accept our regulars for who they are and they accept us for who we are.
How does your store fit into your community?
We are at the very heart of the downtown walking mall. We do several events a week. We work very closely with the school district. Our goal is to be as tight with the community as we possibly can and to provide the community with whatever it needs.
What’s your favorite time of year to read?
I like winter. When I’m not skiing, I like drinking hot chocolate with my wool socks on and reading a great novel.
If you had just one book that you had to sell to everyone who walked in the door, what would it be?
Right now that book is Sabrina and Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine. She’s a Colorado writer and she’s written a beautiful collection of stories about Latina women in Colorado. She’s shined a light on people who are often invisible to the majority culture. They are great stories and illuminate Colorado in a way that few books do.