Old Firehouse Books emphasizes community, literacy

Darby Osborne

One word to describe Old Fire House Books: red.

The vibrant color is a theme throughout the store. Embracing their historic background as a firehouse, the store has taken the color for its own trademark, spraying it across every surface. Though some of the foundation is worn out from use, the vintage look remains true and adds to the local bookstore’s overall charm.

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Old Firehouse Books is located in the in the heart of Old Town, brimming with bookshelves. With various bookstores spread thickly over Fort Collins, Old Firehouse Books stands out with its large, unique space that has an assortment of literary classics and novels written by new authors.

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Jessica Neal and Kayla Sapakoff browse the "Indie Bestseller" shelf inside Old Firehouse Books. Photo credit: Darby Osborne

Jessica Neal, a sophomore at CSU, has a good review after her first time visiting the bookstore.

“The atmosphere was very laid back and had home type feel,” Neal said.

Inside, customers can find all types of books from science fiction to history, marked by signs overhead. The store has novels from classic authors like Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë, but newer writers like Stephen King and George R.R. Martin also grace the shelves.

In addition to books, the store also sells art, posters, table side “knick knacks,” t-shirts and “The Great Wall of Socks.” These small, inexpensive items works well in capturing the attention of all possible customers rather than just book lovers.

CSU sophomore Kayla Spakoff is a frequent customer at Old Firehouse Books.

“Every time I go there, I can find an amazing book to read and so much more,” Spakoff said. “I love all of the artwork and the fun book t-shirts they sell too.”

Old Firehouse Books has a friendly, smart staff that adds to the experience of the store. The employee interaction with customers is a huge part of the bookstore’s appeal.

Along the walls of books there are notes hanging from shelves. Knowledgeable employees supply these small messages that give personal insight and references for customers.

“No matter what you’re looking for, you can come in and be able to get a couple recommendations for what to read,” said Renee Becher, event coordinator at Old Firehouse Books. “We work very hard to have that diversity.”

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This store emphasizes the importance of keeping people in touch with everything literary. Book clubs, special events and readings by authors are all offered by the store to encourage active reading and involvement within the literary community.

These events shape the Old Firehouse Books community. Fort Collins residents are known for supporting the community and local businesses.

Though Old Firehouse Books prides itself on being a local, independent bookstore, this niche can provide setbacks. When books are out of stock, the amount of time for a re-stock can double coupled with the factor of other readers wanting the same copy. The store encourages customers to reserve books ahead of time.

Nevertheless, Old Firehouse Books has been the top character in the Fort Collins book scene for over 40 years, and it does not look like they are going anywhere. Vintage with a healthy dash of old school novel-hunting seems to be the perfect plot for this store. All book lovers, or hipsters looking for good candids, should check out this classic page mark in Old Town.

Collegian reporter Darby Osborne can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @_darbs_.