During our cross-country indie bookstore road trip, we happened upon Indigo Bridge Books located in the Creamery Building on P Street in Lincoln, Nebraska, a little bookstore with a mighty spirit. As the name suggests, the bookstore endeavors to help “bridge” divisions of neighborhoods, social classes, political ambitions, religious beliefs, ethnicity, national borders, and even languages. In the Lincoln community, Indigo Bridge is a voice for tolerance, inclusion and positive regard for fellow human beings and the planet. Their dynamic book clubofferings include themes such as human rights and graphic novels.
The staff at Indigo Bridge loves to put thoughtful books into your hands. Their recent picks include three of my favorites, AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, WHAT IS NOT YOURS IS NOT YOURS by Helen Oyeyemi and THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt. They also offer an eclectic assortment of zines and books by local authors.
A cozy reading area offers a living room like feeling with rustic wooden tables, a bookshelf and piano. A delightful children’s section is graced by a tree sculpture made of hand-dyed canvas and jute twine designed by artist Toby Thomas. More of Thomas’s work can be found at http://tobythomas.com/.
Having studied creative writing at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln years ago with the wonderful Marly Swick,I wish Indigo Bridge had been around back then. The warm, personable staff sent us on our way with delicious mocha lattes from the café (all coffee proceeds go to good local causes). Indigo Bridge, a haven for all those seeking wise words and open hearts, is a bookstore with a mission.
Our cross country bookstore odyssey landed us on the shores of the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver. After losing each other among the multi-tiered landscape of this indie bookstore, each turn revealing yet another hidden alcove adorned with a wingback chair, antique fainting couch or rustic church pew, my daughter and I stumbled upon each other and simultaneously mouthed the same words, “I could live here!”
One of four Tattered Cover sites in Denver, the Colfax store resides in the historic Bonfils/Lowenstein Theater and retains the venue’s original charm, including travertine tiles, polished wood paneling and unique glass windows with cartouche designs. But the inviting ambiance of this place comes not only from its vaulted ceiling and vintage chandeliers. A distinct glow of warmth comes from the book-loving experts who work here, many of whom have been part of the Tattered Cover family for upwards of twenty years. Apparently we aren’t the only ones who, upon entering these doors, felt compelled to stay. These literary Sherpas stand ready and able to guide customers to their next reading adventure. Their book club and staff picks,sprinkled throughout the store as well as showcased in a special section, are backed up with personalized notes on why you might love a particular read. Along with new titles, staff favorites include books that were published years or decades ago, including two of my favorites, THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien and INTO THE WILD by Jon Krakauer. We purchased THE LUMINARIES by Eleanor Catton at an excellent discount price.
While we did not have time to visit all four locations in Denver, each has a reputation for expert staff and distinct flavor. Together, the venues host more than 500 events each year, including storytimesfor kids (the children’s section was teeming) and readings by literary titans such as Amy Tan and Oliver Sacks. As if all this weren’t enough, baristas at the Tattered Cover Caféare ready to cap off your visit with a selection of pastries, coffee and tea. We would have liked to set up camp among the old theater seats and reading lamps of this famous bookstore, but alas, the road calls. Tattered Cover, we shall return one day!
Our cross country bookstore road trip brought us to Next Page Books & Nosh in Frisco, Colorado, where we enjoyed vibrant ambiance, terrific book selection and delicious panini from the cafe.Located on “the Main Street of the Rockies,” this indie bookstore has an appealing display of books on Colorado nature, wildlife and hiking as well as a solid collection of fiction and nonfiction. We purchased a crossword puzzle book, fun socks and a Colorado mountain range deck of cards. The knowledgeable staff offers a thoughtful selection of book club picks. Current staff favorites include THE FLOOD GIRLS by Richard Fifield and COMMONWEALTH by Ann Patchett. We thank the friendly Next Page staff for a wonderful visit.
Today our cross country bookstore odyssey included the Bookworm of Edwards Colorado, part of the busy Riverwalk shopping center, which offers readers excellent book club and staff pickselections. Of these offerings, we purchased a First Edition signed copy of Roxane Gay’s compelling new memoir, HUNGER.
This little dynamo of an indie bookstore, founded in 1996, came from humble beginnings. It started in a retro-fitted van that traveled between coffee shops selling new books to “down-valley” readers. In 1997, a 700-square-foot store opened in Edwards Village Center. In 2002, Nicole Magistro was hired as a part-time bookseller, and, in 2005, she bought out one of the original owners. In 2007, the Bookworm moved to its current Riverwalk location (and opened the cafe), and it expanded again in 2010! Read the full story (with more details on store founders Kathy Westover and Neda Jansen, and cafe founder Kristi Allio) here.
Muse-Feed is embarking on an 8-day cross country odyssey into the land of bookstores. Each day we will offer staff picks from some of the nation’s finest, most curated and eclectic booksellers. Our only frustration in planning this odyssey is that there are so many more wonderful bookstores we cannot reach in 8 short days. We may have to make it an annual event! Stay tuned.
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