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Bizarre Bazaar houses FoCo’s hidden treasures

“If you come here looking to stumble into something, you will absolutely find it. Sometimes, it just finds you.”
Collegian+file+photo
Collegian file photo

Stacks of books tower over customers. Rows of records stretch across the store. Action figures guard the stories and wonders held within Bizarre Bazaar.

Directly across from Colorado State University sits Bizarre Bazaar Books & Music Store, located at 1014 S. College Ave.

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Bizarre Bazaar’s products don’t end at music and books; the store sells other forms of entertainment as well, including videos, stereo gear and action figures.

The store is divided into three sections. The front section of the store showcases audio equipment such as speakers, receivers, record players, CD players, cassette players and much more. If you need to play a piece of music, odds are Bizarre Bazaar has a device to do it. The impressive walls lined with speakers also add a nice backdrop for shoppers. However, that’s not all in the first section, as there are also DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and 45 rpm records. There are also a few comics displayed in the front, making it easy to find a little taste of everything.

If you are looking for literature, the second section of Bizarre Bazaar is a massive book collection. The perimeter of the wall in this section is the store’s fiction genre, which has a diverse selection hidden on its shelves. A large section of the shelf is filled entirely with Stephen King books, and it has copies in better condition than most used bookstores. The inside shelves include a wide variety of genres such as science fiction, fantasy, math, self-help and more. No matter what you’re trying to read, Bizarre Bazaar has numerous options to choose from. 

Kayleigh Lucero is an employee at Bizarre Bazaar who works with CDs and books and keeps the store clean and organized. She said her hope is that people will find things at Bizarre Bazaar that they can’t find anywhere else.

“We’ve gotten some crazy signed books,” Lucero said. “I’ve seen Ray Bradbury, we’ve had a Stephen King in the past (and) there was a Tolkien before me. … We’ve had crazy things come in.”

Lucero also spoke about how she enjoys the history behind collections brought into the store. Often, many will come with personal messages written in books or photo albums included with the collections that share a window into someone’s past.

One piece of advice Lucero offered was to pick up the tattered and rough-looking book, as it may just be your new favorite story.

“Pick up the weird broken cover,” Lucero said. “Read that book with the writing in it. That’s where you’re going to find a better connection with the book, and you’re not going to be reading the same book that everybody has read.”

The third and final section holds one of the world’s greatest gifts: music. With a wall full of CDs and cassette tapes to choose from as well as vinyl records, there isn’t much you won’t find in the music section. Rows of organized vinyl records stretch across the store, and many include protective covers on the sleeves.

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Not only are there classics and first pressings, but there are also newer pressings of the classics and new favorites. You may find an album’s first pressing from the ’60s with a newer anniversary pressing right next to it. Unlike many places that sell vinyl, the healthy mix of new and old that Bizarre Bazaar offers is refreshing. Of course, there are also many comic books next to the music section that hold some amazing visual stories at affordable prices.

Shoppers can also find a television playing classic movies and television shows in the third section.

Taite McGrady, the primary media buyer and pricer at Bizarre Bazaar, talked about the magic the store offers.

“If you come here looking to stumble into something, you will absolutely find it,” McGrady said. “Sometimes, it just finds you.”

McGrady recalled a special collection brought into the store and shared the story of a man who brought in a large collection of early U.K. Beatles albums as well a first pressing of Jimi Hendrix’s debut album, “Are You Experienced,” an extremely rare album to find.

Bizarre Bazaar also includes a 24-hour bookshelf people can use to check out or add books to. The shelf sits just outside the store and offers a large collection of books people can check in or out. All the books on this shelf are free, and the store encourages customers to go check it out.

Lucero also shared the story behind the unique name. The owners of Bizarre Bazaar moved to Fort Collins with nothing but a few of their favorite books and records packed up from their previous store in New York. Wanting to have a phonetic store name, they settled on Bizarre Bazaar with the idea in mind that the store could be a bazaar.

Whether you are buying, selling or donating, Bizarre Bazaar will help you find what you’re looking for. Maybe you need a new book to sit back and get lost in or an old familiar record you used to love. Either way, you are sure to find something of interest.

Reach Tyler Weatherwax at life@collegian.com or on Twitter @twwax7272.

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About the Contributor
Tyler Weatherwax, News Editor
Tyler Weatherwax is a second-year attending Colorado State University. He has lived in the state of Colorado for his entire life and grew up just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. He is currently majoring in journalism and media communication and is a news editor for The Collegian and assistant news director for KCSU. Weatherwax hopes to share some of the world with people through his reporting and experiences. His goal as a journalist is to bring information to others in the hopes that it inspires and educates them in their lives. He also tries to push himself into the unknown to cause some discomfort in his life and reporting. Weatherwax has been a DJ for 90.5 FM KCSU as well as 88.3 FM KFFR. Some things Weatherwax enjoys doing are playing bass guitar, reading, collecting records, going outside and spending time with his friends and family. Weatherwax hopes to become a journalist after he graduates and to see more of the world.

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