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Before Barnes & Noble reigned supreme and Amazon became a virtual Library of Congress, Denver was rife with independent bookstores. These days, beyond the venerable Tattered Cover, old-fashioned bookworms have to search for a worthwhile indie bookshop. These three local favorites have not only weathered the point-and-click purchasing storm, but have also found a way to thrive among the chain Goliaths. Pop in for a couple hours of uninterrupted bliss.
Capitol Hill BooksFor more than 25 years, Capitol Hill Books has been a haven where you can leave your wallet at home and trade your old books for new (or rather, used) reads. Its shelves are packed with hard-to-find selections and classic collectibles. But don’t let the laid-back shtick fool you; owner Holly Brooks offers a computerized system that lets customers request out-of-stock titles. 300 E. Colfax Ave., 303-837-0700
Simon Says Read Family-friendly Simon Says Read is Denver’s mecca for forward-thinking kid-lit. Specializing in everything from stylish picture books to multi-cultural toddler stories and progressive young-adult texts, owner Jon Blessing embraces a global-village ideal. Need a worldly bedtime story? This little shop will have more than a few great titles to choose from. 7349 E. 29th Ave., 303-333-READ
The BookiesTucked in a sleepy strip mall off Colorado Boulevard is one of Denver’s best purveyors of educational and entertaining books, young adult reading, quirky gifts, and general-interest titles. Parents, teachers, and lit-lovers bustle about in the endearingly packed shop that started as local mom Sue Lubeck’s eclectic book collection more than 30 years ago. 4315 E. Mississippi Ave., 303-759-1117