Local bookstores serve as a community hub, a place to share ideas and information, and a peaceful oasis amid a bustling outside world. Supporting local bookstores means learning more about the regional character and supporting town residents. We’ve put together this list of the best bookstores in Colorado so you can get a taste of local culture and discover the heart of the Rocky Mountains.
Colorado has an outstanding selection of independent, locally-owned bookstores. Many of them become community centers that help you really understand the soul of the place.
When you shop at a local bookstore versus an online retailer or big box store, you’re investing in a more personalized experience, supporting the local economy, and reducing your carbon footprint with less packaging and freight.
Here are some of the best independent bookstores in Colorado.
More Than Just Best Bookstores in Denver
Bookstores in Colorado offer a taste of local culture for those who take the time to stop and enjoy the ambiance. Get a feel for the true mountain spirit by exploring the colorful bookstores that Colorado natives treasure. Many lists focus on the capital city, but we know firsthand that Colorado culture stretches across the state.
Focus on Best Independent Bookstores in Colorado
While there are many great chain bookshops in Colorado, we assume you already know about those. For that reason, we’ve decided to focus on the best independent bookstores in Colorado. You won’t regret supporting these local gems.
Tattered Cover Book Store
Tattered Cover Book Store has earned its place as one of the best bookstores in Denver since opening its doors in 1971. You’ll find a wide selection of new and used books at each of their eight locations, including the new Colorado Springs store that opened in July 2022.
As a longstanding pillar of community and culture in Denver, Tattered Cover hosts a wide variety of in-person and online events throughout the year. Check their events calendar for the latest book signings, author interviews, and more.
BookBar is one of the best Denver bookstores for wine lovers with a literary taste. From their weekly patio storytime hours to book clubs, signings, and children’s events, the BookBar is a place to savor the good things in life and find a peaceful moment amid the daily hustle.
You’ll find more than just terrific books paired with fabulous wine at BookBar. Stop in and enjoy a handcrafted experience that seamlessly blends a locally-sourced menu with an expertly curated book collection and retail shop.
If you’re looking for the best bookstores in Denver, The Bookies should be at the top of your list. From its humble beginnings 50 years ago in the owner Sue Lubeck’s basement, The Bookies has grown into Denver’s ultimate book emporium.
The Bookies stocks more than just books for all ages. They also offer:
Free gift wrapping
They also regularly host events like book signings, author talks, and weekly storytimes.
Mutiny Information Cafe
Mutiny Information Cafe is more than just one of the best independent bookstores in Colorado. The shop also features an onsite coffee bar, an analog photo booth, and pinball machines. With a selection of vinyl records alongside a vast collection of new and used books, there’s something for everyone. You’ll also find an entire section dedicated to comic books and graphic novels. Check their events calendar for the latest book signings, author meet-and-greets, concerts, comedy shows, film screenings, and more at their two locations in Denver and Trinidad.
Since opening its doors in 1975, Poor Richard’s has earned a reputation as one of the finest bookstores in Colorado Springs. With an onsite pizzeria, cafe, and wine bar, Poor Richard’s is much more than just a new and used bookstore. They also feature an adjacent gift shop and toy store. As part of their dedication to positively impacting the community, Poor Richard’s uses solar power, stocks local and Colorado-made products, serves organic and locally-sourced food, and operates an extensive composting and recycling program in their cafe and restaurant.
Glen Eyrie Bookstore
The Glen Eyrie Bookstore is one of the most unique bookstores in Colorado Springs. Located in the historic Glen Eyrie Castle, they offer a wide selection of historical books and Christian literature. The shop also sells art, gifts, souvenirs, and tea and has an onsite cafe. You’ll need an advance reservation to explore the castle and nearby hiking trails.
The Hermitage Bookshop
Specializing in antiquarian and historical books, The Hermitage Bookshop is one of the best independent bookstores in Colorado. Since opening in 1973, The Hermitage Bookshop has become well-known for having an impressive collection. You’ll find a wide selection of genres, including:
Travels & Voyages
Hunting & Fishing
Literary first editions
Sets & Fine Binding
Along with the antique collectible books, they regularly bring in fresh titles for all ages and price ranges. There’s something at the Hermitage Bookshop for every reader.
Boulder Book Store
Founded in 1973, Boulder Book Store is the largest independent bookstore in Boulder. A true locals’ favorite, they’ve earned the title of “Best in Boulder” every year since 1987. In addition to their impressive collection of new titles, they also buy and sell used books. The Boulder Book Store frequently hosts author events, book and poetry clubs, and workshops in their historic Ballroom.
The Bookworm is one of the best used bookstores in Colorado. It has also grown to become the largest used bookstore in Boulder since opening in 1984. The Bookworm boasts an extensive selection of books in all genres. If you need to clear out some storage space at home, bring in your used books to trade for store credit. They also pay cash for rare and antiquarian books.
Old Firehouse Books
Since its beginnings in 1980 as a used paperback store, Old Firehouse Books in Fort Collins has become one of the best bookstores in Colorado. They sell new and used books, cards, shirts, and other “bookish gifts.” As part of their commitment to the local community, Old Firehouse Books features a section dedicated to authors from Northern Colorado. They regularly host events like author signings, book club meetings, and more.
Find the Best Bookstores in Colorado
Rekindle your love of literature while exploring the best bookstores in Colorado. When you shop at a local bookstore, you’ll benefit from the expertise of the friendly, knowledgeable staff and feel good about supporting a locally-owned business.
Support Other Local Colorado Businesses
Now that you have your book needs settled, why not check out these other local businesses: