Things about the store, that you might not know.

You may be a frequent visitor, but what you might not know about our little bookstore might surprise you. Here is a list of little facts.

 

1. The firehouse was built between 1881-1882

Once a firehouse to serve the community of Fort Collins this bulding is now 133 years old. With the extention on the east side dating to 1901, or 113 years old. The firehouse originally used horse-drawn fire wagons, with our children’s room serving as a stable. The firemen used the upstairs as living quarters, and used the fire pole that is now part of Happy Lucky’s.

http://history.fcgov.com/archive/legends/images/h02185.jpg.

2. The town jail was right next door.

You can still see the bars on the windows of what was once the jail of Fort Collins. It now serves as a back room to Happy Lucky’s. At one time there was a tunnel under the buildings, leading to what is now the Silver Grill, so as to bring food back and forth between the jail. At one point a prisoner tried to escape through this tunnel and was shot and killed. It is rumored his ghost still haunts us today.

3. Mainstreet Disneyland is modeled on us

The firehouse on mainstreet disney is based on our beloved building. Note the red brick, spindles and tower.

http://www.justdisney.com/images/Disneyland/Main_Street/firestation.jpg

4. We’ve been here since 2009

 In April we celebrated our fifth anniversary in the firehouse. Before then we were known as the Book Rack, and our owners, Susan Wilmer and Richard Sommerfield, have had bookstores in this area and Southern Wyoming for over 25 years!

5. We want your books

Wonder how we get used books in? We get them from our great customers! We take in used books for our shelves while giving our customers credit. This credit works like a coupon to get great deals on books, 50% off our used book price (which is like getting them at 75% off retail) and 10% off new books!

6. You get 5% back on everything

Every purchase you make goes to what we call a “$5 reward”. Which means that every $100 you spend in our store, you get $5 to spend on anything you would like. All that’s requred is your name and a phone number in our account system. It’s our way of thanking customers for coming back.

7. We want you to find the books you want

We really pride ourselves in helping you find the book you want, even if we don’t have it in stock. Enquire anytime and we’ll give you tips and answers to track down what you want. We can also put a hold on books for when a used copy comes in.

8. We love to hear what you have to say

In the spirit of free speech and interactions with customers we love to hear about what you’re reading, what you think of our shop, what you want to see more of and what events you want to come to. We can’t always promise a solution but we love to listen. If you send us book reviews sometimes we’ll share them here!

9. Our events help us meet the community

We love holding events for our loyal readers. From khaled hosseini to Margaret Coel we always are trying to bring in great writers for our customers and the community.

10. You can order on our website

Yep. Just head on over to oldfirehousebooks.com and check it out. Search thousands of titles we don’t have on our shelves, that we can easily order in for you at little or no extra cost for in store pickup.

Happy Reading and Shopping!

~Rebecca Robinson

Let Your Geekdom Shine

We all have loves and passions that we may share with the world, and some of us hide it from the world. We are sometimes unsure of how other will recieve our fandom, or obsession, or that weird thing you do in the middle of the night (role play games, video games, painting hearts on everything).

For me most visible claim to fandom is the Harry Potter tattoo I sport on my left leg. I share the same design with my two younger sisters. They are of the 3 stars on the book pages in Harry Potter, 3 stars, 3 sisters, 3 tattoos all got together before they moved away for college. It reminds me of them when I miss them, and it reminds me of our childhood together reading and sharing Harry Potter (and also fighting over who got to read it first when a new book came out). It reminds me of summers reading stacks of books on our family ranch in Wyoming. Of the Harry Potter sheets and halloween costumes and going to movie premiers.

Now if you go to my house you’ll see the signs of geekdom. Which means Charlie Chaplin posters, books everywhere, a Star Wars poster, a crocheted Totoro and Hobbes. If you go through my costumes from past Halloweens you’ll find complete outfits for the Princess Bride, Hogwarts Gryffindor Uniform, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, and in progress costumes for Lord of the Rings.

Of course I am maybe not as avid as others, but the idea is that if you love something and you want to do extreme things out of respect or admiration of that thing, then go for it!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Cosplay as a favorite book/movie character

Have a theme wedding around your favorite books/series/movie

Having a Snape character officiate was Meredith’s favorite major detail.

Have a book themed birthday with a beautiful cake!

Bookish Cake...best cake ever

Embrace your love of teen books this next Halloween, rock your inner Katniss.

Or even live in your favorite story

Real-life Houses That Look Like They Belong in the Shire

Make jewelry from your favorite book covers, then you can take it with you everywhere.

Happy Reading and geeking!

~Rebecca Robinson

Literary Crushes

As avid readers we tend to love certain characters in books. Sometimes our adoration becomes a little bit more and they turn to full blown crushes. Below are some of those characters I fell a little in love with.

HARRY POTTER

Probably my first crush on a book character.

potter

Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series

Something about the goofy British man going about the universe in a bath robe and towel that was too much to resist

dent

Outside of my world of characters, others have reported those below.

Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle

howl

Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice

darcy

Ella and Prince Charmont, Ella Enchanted

ella

Katniss and Peeta, The Hunger Games

 hungergames

Gale, The Hunger Games

gale

Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, Harry Potter Series

hermioneron

Princess Ozma, Wizard of Oz

ozma

HAPPY READING!

~Rebecca Robinson

Little Pieces

Sometimes books are best in smaller pieces. Such as short stories and essays, even as small as vignettes. Little pieces that make up a whole, smaller chunks to flesh out the story. Recently I have been reading a few of these kind of stories, and have found them the most comforting in the midst of a busy summer at the bookstore along with other hobbies and activities. Whether it is Eduardo Galeano, or Augusten Burroughs they all have something distinct in the way they are written into sections and or chapters dealing with specific stories and ideas.

Below are a list of short story collections and vignette collections I hold dear, they are the perfect summer companion for the doctor’s office or lakeside and even before bed.

Children of the Days, Eduardo Galeano

galeano

This beautiful collection of stories goes along the calendar of the year, a story a day, an event a day, an existence a day, perfectly crafted in one page or less.

 Memory of Fire Trilogy, Eduardo Galeano

genesis

  facesandmasks

centuryofthewind 

This trilogy explores the complex history of Latin America, from native legends to modernization each story is broken into elegant vignettes, telling each story with care and grace.

The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros

mango

One of my all time favorites, this book explores the dynamics of a large family living in Chicago. Full of magnificent imagery and emotional details this book is heartwarming, thought provoking and moving and works its way deep into the heart.

This is How, Augusten Burroughs

This_Is_How_lo_res

I just started this work and so far it is witty, bright, snarky and thought provoking. EVERYTHING Augusten Burroughs excels at in his writing. For some great advice on anything haunting you on a daily basis this is a great reference.

Dubliners, James Joyce

dubliners

Arguably the most important short story collection of the last century, this great volume is revered by scholars and literary figures alike and is lived by many generations and cultures. A must read, and a set of stories one will return to for years to come.

Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh

hyperbole

Love books? Want a scream of a good laugh from an excellent blogger? DO THIS!

Happy Reading!

~Rebecca Robinson

Why Moleskines are the BESTEST EVER

Here at the bookstore we not only devour books but many of us are into the process of writing them as well, along with doodling, writing poetry, thoughts, ideas, or budgeting out our money. Which sounds weird until we let you in on the little secret that Moleskines rock, and they become the perfect tool for all creative and intelligent ventures. They also were supposedly used by Van Gogh and Picasso (this is up for debate). And no moles are harmed in the process of making them, they’re just boring old oil cloth.

Uses include but are not limited to:

  • Writing poetry
  • Writing stories
  • Writing a diary
  • doodling
  • making an art book
  • designing logos
  • using as a travel journal
  • using to keep track of purchases
  • fashion design
  • idea book
  • journal of daily activities
  • baby book notes
  • shopping lists
  • take class notes

What is great is that moleskines come in many sizes to suit your needs, and are well made so they can stand up to months or even years of ware (I’ve had mine 2 years and it has survived traveling through Europe for 2.5 months and daily school use and looks great!)

They also come in a wide array of colors to suit any taste.

Oh and the paper is as functional, thick and perfect as you want, along with feeling great to the touch!

here are some examples of art and animation that has been done on moleskines.

tumblr_n63pbtClMS1qe9xojo1_500 tumblr_mzw6pbk0yt1ruwhgbo1_500 tumblr_n5jgudCj2G1qav2p9o2_r1_500

moleskinenotebook tumblr_n8vpqjXIuH1qbvyrlo1_500

HAPPY CREATING!

~Rebecca Robinson

Book Club Recommendations

Book Club Recommendations 2014

Benediction

haruf
Kent Haruf
9780307950420 $15.00 257 pages
Following the earlier novels Plainsong and Eventide, Holt, Colorado, a small town on the Eastern Plains, is again the home for a cast of characters exquisitely rendered by Haruf. Dad Lewis is dying, and as he grows weaker his life story unfolds, one of hard work, heartbreak, grave errors, and lasting love. Woven through are memorable characters, each deeply human and written with great respect for the human condition. Haruf’s prose is as deliberate as poetry and is stunning in its power.

The Boys in the Boat:Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin

boys in the boat

Olympics
Daniel James Brown
9780143125471 $17.00 404 pages
In the early 1930s, nine young University of Washington students were part of the rowing crew striving to become the final team picked to represent the USA at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, even as Hitler was brazenly building his Third Reich. This is the emotional story of the crew and those who put their trust in them. Fiercely determined by the hard times of the Great Depression, they poured their hearts into sculpting a victorious team. A most impressive story, expertly told.

Gone Girl

gone

Gillian Flynn

9780307588371 $15.00 422 pages

Gone Girl is a wonderfully paced, dazzlingly written story about a married couple whose lives unravel on their fifth wedding anniversary when Amy goes missing and feckless Nick becomes the prime suspect. Alternating between Nick’s account of the present day murder investigation and Amy’s journal entries from their courtship and marriage, this isn’t as much of a ‘whodunnit’ but rather more of a psychological ‘whydunnit’ that keeps readers hooked to the very last page.

Burial Rites

Burial-Rites

Hannah Kent

9780316243926 $15.00 311 pages

Kent’s debut explores what happens when a condemned woman is sent to board with a local family while she awaits the day of her execution. Set in Iceland in 1829, the stark and rugged landscape is counterpoint to the complex moral and emotional negotiations between the condemned woman, Agnes, the priest sent to rescue her soul, and the family that takes her in. Kent’s prose ranges from spare to lyrical and perfectly captures the mood and feeling of this unique place and time.

The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, an American Legend

heart of everything

 

Bob Drury & Tom Clavin

9781451654684 $17.00 09/02/14 CSU Fall Library Series 2014

This fiery narrative, fueled by contemporary diaries and journals, newspaper reporst, eyewitness accounts, and myriad first-hand sourcing, is the definitive story of the conflict between an expanding white civilization and the Plains Indians who stood in its way. The Heart of Everything That Is not only places the reader at the center of this stirring epoch, but finally gives the great warrior-chief Red Cloud the modern-day recognition he deserves.

Smarter Than You Think

cover-styt

Clive Thompson

9780143125822 $17.00 08/26/14 CSU Fall Library Series 2014

A revelatory and timely look at how technology boosts our cognitive abilities–making us smarter, more productive, and more creative than ever
It’s undeniable–technology is changing the way we think. But is it for the better? Amid a chorus of doomsayers, Clive Thompson delivers a resounding “yes.” In “Smarter Than You Think, “Thompson shows that every technological innovation–from the written word to the printing press to the telegraph–has provoked the very same anxieties that plague us today. We panic that life will never be the same, that our attentions are eroding, that culture is being trivialized. But, as in the past, we adapt–learning to use the new and retaining what is good of the old.” Smarter Than You Think “embraces and extols this transformation, presenting an exciting vision of the present and the future.

Let The Great World Spin

mccann_custom-6a6946b2d49c830b99c53f4e11dd450b3db34d2d-s6-c30

Colum McCann

9780812973990 $15.00 375 pages 2014 Fort Collins Reads Selection Nov 9th tickets for sale after Labor Day

McCann’s powerful allegory comes alive in the unforgettable voices of the city’s people, unexpectedly drawn together by hope, beauty, and the “artistic crime of the century.” A sweeping and radical social novel, Let the Great World Spin captures the spirit of America in a time of transition, extraordinary promise, and, in hindsight, heartbreaking innocence. Hailed as a “fiercely original talent” (San Francisco Chronicle), award-winning novelist McCann has delivered a triumphantly American masterpiece that awakens in us a sense of what the novel can achieve, confront, and even heal.

Mrs Queen Takes The Train

Mrs-Queen-Takes-The-Train

William Kuhn

9780062208293 $14.99 374 pages

Mrs Queen Takes the Train wittily imagines the kerfuffle that transpires when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun, leaving behind a desperate team of courtiers who must find the missing Windsor before a national scandal erupts. Reminiscent of Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader, this lively, wonderfully inventive romp takes readers into the mind of the grand matriarch of Britain’s Royal Family, bringing us an endearing runaway Queen Elizabeth on the town—and leading us behind the Buckingham Palace walls and into the upstairs/downstairs spaces of England’s monarchy.

The Aviator’s Wife

aviators wife

Melanie Benjamin

978034528681 $15.00 434 pages

We know Charles Lindbergh as the hero who was the first to fly solo across the Atlantic, and his wife, Anne, as a poet and writer. In The Aviator’s Wife, Benjamin offers a vivid portrait of the private side of the man and his family. The story is told from Anne’s point of view and portrays a life where the family’s every move is monitored by the press and fed to the public. From Anne’s growing self-confidence as Charles’ co-pilot in exploration to the tragic kidnapping of their firstborn son to Lindbergh’s extra-marital affairs, we share the joys and sadness of the aviator’s wife in this poignant novel.

A House in the Sky

house in the sky

Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett

9781451645613 $16.00 373 pages

As a child, Amanda escaped from her bleak, impoverished surroundings by immersing herself in the wonders and exotic locales in old National Geographic magazines. As a young adult, she found that she could make good money as a cocktail waitress and take herself to those same faraway places. Fearless, curious, hungry for experience and adventure, Amanda traveled the world. It was when she went to Somalia that her hunger for adventure took her too far. Amanda and her friend Nigel were kidnapped for ransom and held for more than a year. Sometimes difficult to read, this is ultimately a story beautifully told, with a happy outcome.

Life After Life

lifeafterlife

Kate Atkinson

9780316176491 $18.00 525 pages

There are not enough superlatives to describe Life After Life. The many lives of Ursula Todd combine to present a stunning exposition of the complexity, fragility, and utter randomness of human existence. Atkinson has produced a wry, observant, and provocative novel suffused with a subtle humor that simultaneously entertains and challenges the reader. It is a towering achievement!

The Astronaut Wives Club

astronaut-wives-club

Lily Koppel

9781455503247 $17.00 320 pages

The Astronaut Wives Club is a clever and engaging book celebrating a group of women who, today, are often overlooked — if not forgotten. It is reasonable to claim that these women held the space program together in its early years. Koppel pays tribute to their emotional stamina in a sympathetic yet unburdened manner. The Astronaut Wives Club will most definitely be embraced in the celebrity-thirsty world that we still live in today; its universal appeal is guaranteed to span generations and demographics of readers.

The Age of Miracles

age-of-miracles

Karen Thompson Walker

9780812982947 $15.00 284 pages

Spellbinding, haunting, The Age of Miracles is a beautiful novel of catastrophe and survival, growth and change, the story of Julia and her family as they struggle to live in an extraordinary time. On an ordinary Saturday, Julia awakes to discover that something has happened to the rotation of the earth. The days and nights are growing longer and longer, gravity is affected, the birds, the tides, human behavior and cosmic rhythms are thrown into disarray. In a world of danger and loss, Julia faces surprising developments in herself, and her personal world—divisions widening between her parents, strange behavior by Hannah and other friends, the vulnerability of first love, a sense of isolation, and a rebellious new strength. With crystalline prose and the indelible magic of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker gives us a breathtaking story of people finding ways to go on, in an ever-evolving world.

The Martian

the martian

Andy Weir

9780553418026 $15.00 400 pages

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive–and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills–and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit–he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next.

The Dinner

thedinner

Herman Koch

9780385346856 $14.00 310 pages

It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.
Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy.

Big Brother

big-brother_custom
Lionel Shriver

9780061458606 $15.99 373 pages

Big Brother is a striking novel about siblings, marriage, and obesity from Lionel Shriver, the acclaimed author the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin. For Pandora, cooking is a form of love. Alas, her husband, Fletcher, a self-employed high-end cabinetmaker, now spurns the “toxic” dishes that he’d savored through their courtship, and spends hours each day to manic cycling. Then, when Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at the airport, she doesn’t recognize him. In the years since they’ve seen one another, the once slim, hip New York jazz pianist has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened? After Edison has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: It’s him or me. Rich with Shriver’s distinctive wit and ferocious energy, Big Brother is about fat: an issue both social and excruciatingly personal. It asks just how much sacrifice we’ll make to save single members of our families, and whether it’s ever possible to save loved ones from themselves.

On The Horizon

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands Chirs Bohjalian $25.55

Station Eleven Emily St John Mandel $24.95

My Real Children Jo Walton $25.99

Goldfinch Donna Tartt $30.00

The Invention of Wings Sue Monk Kidd $27.95

The Painter Peter Heller $24.95

Didn’t Make The List, But Should Be Considered

The Signature of All Things Elizabeth Gilbert $17.00

And The Mountains Echoed Khaled Hosseini $16.00

The Silver Star Jeanette Walls $16.00

Booky Nerdy Thingies

We all love to wear our book loving pride at the bookstore. Whether in a t-shirt (today it’s Hogwarts for me) or a new iphone case (we have Alice in Wonderland).

Here are some ideas to spunk up your wardrobe, nails, gadgets and what-nots. .

Make awesome NAIL ART!

nail-pages

Paint an ELEPHANT MURAL on a stack of books!

elephant mural

Make 3D book art!

3dwestern

Make a book waterfall, arch-thing!

bookarch

Make adorable Owl Bookmarks!

owl bookmark

Make your own book!

bookart

Make Gifs of your favorite book cover

harry potter gif

Get a great shirt! This Waldo one is interactive!

waldo

Have an awesome Map dress! (LOTR sytle)

lordofthe rings

BECAUSE!

johngreen

AND

imagination

Happy reading, crafting, living and having a great summer!

~Rebecca Robinson