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1920s-inspired bookstore Blurred Words set to open in FoCo

Collegian | Trin Bonner

Fort Collins will soon have a new bookstore to add to its catalog, but this isn’t any ordinary bookstore — it’s also a speakeasy. Blurred Words is taking aesthetic inspiration from the 1920s Prohibition era as well as the 2013 movie “The Great Gatsby.”

Owner Elizabeth Sanders currently plans to open Blurred Words within the next few months at 1205 W. Elizabeth St. 


“This has been a long, drawn-out process,” Sanders said. “We had to do extensive renovations to get the site up to code, and the city took a while to give me my permits before we could start that. … We started in January, so this is coming to the close of the second month, so we’re almost there.”

“I’ve always worked in the literary field, and so books are my passion. I’ve worked in several bookstores myself, and just, my own bookstore would be the dream.” –Elizabeth Sanders, Blurred Words owner

With the looming fear of bookstores becoming less relevant today, Sanders combats that fear by creating a specific hook for Fort Collins locals: incorporating a bar in the store. The front of the building displays a traditional bookstore, and the bar is near the back.

Owning a bookstore is not that far of a jump for an experienced teacher and writer. 

“I’ve always worked in the literary field, and so books are my passion,” Sanders said. “I’ve worked in several bookstores myself, and just, my own bookstore would be the dream.” 

The name of the store came at an unexpected time, when Sanders and her husband were out looking at real estate for the shop and coming up empty. Sanders said that after a Chili’s margarita, her vision got blurry, and she had a hard time making out words. Thus, Blurred Words became the name. 

Sanders’ employment plan is straightforward: Sanders will operate the bookstore in the front and will be hiring bartenders for the bar.

Future business is always difficult to predict, but Sanders is optimistic. 

“I hope I have really great business,” Sanders said. “So far, just word of mouth, it sounds like a lot of people are interested. … I’m hoping that means I’ll get a good customer base.”

Megan Murray, owner of Bookstore On The Square in Old Town, discussed the opening of Blurred Words. 


“Blurred Words sounds like an exciting addition to the Fort Collins literary scene,” Murray said. “Having a unique element to the store will hopefully bring customers into the Campus West area.” 

Murray also discussed the literary locale of Fort Collins in general. 

“Fort Collins is a great city for readers,” Murray said. “With the wonderful programming through the local library system and organizations like Fort Collins Reads, the love of books is strong in Fort Collins.”

As a new bookstore itself, Bookstore On The Square has some experience with the community and support.

“Bookstore On The Square has been overwhelmed with support from the Old Town business community and patrons in welcoming us to the area,” Murray said. “There are many avid readers that return to our store as well as visitors from out of town who discover us every week.”

Reach Aubree Miller at or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.

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About the Contributor
Trin Bonner
Trin Bonner, Illustration Director
Trin Bonner is the illustration director for The Collegian newspaper. This will be her third year in this position, and she loves being a part of the creative and amazing design team at The Collegian. As the illustration director, Bonner provides creative insight and ideas that bring the newspaper the best graphics and illustrations possible. She loves working with artists to develop fun and unique illustrations every week for the readers. Bonner is a fourth-year at Colorado State University studying electronic arts. She loves illustrating and comic making and has recently found enjoyment in experimental video, pottery and graphic design. Outside of illustration and electronic art, Bonner spends her free time crocheting and bead making. She is usually working on a blanket or making jewelry when she is not drawing, illustrating or brainstorming.

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