Chances are pretty good that you've got nothing much going on for the next couple of weeks, right? Just whiling away the hours, sitting around your house, wishing there were something — anything — happening around town or in your life or with family and friends to fill the empty winter hours. So you pick up a good book and a cup of something spiked with whiskey (it's not wrong because it's cold outside, which is why everyone loves December), and you find a chair by someone's fireplace and you start reading. Because that's what good people do.
Oh, you can also do all of the above if you're out-of-your-head busy with parties, presents and all the seasonal paraphernalia. Maybe especially then. Here are five ways to clear your head, and finish out the year in literary style.
Holiday Reading with Jamie Horton
7 p.m., Monday, December 18
2526 East Colfax Avenue
Acclaimed actor, director and writer Jamie Horton joins Tattered Cover for the nineteenth year running for a literary celebration of the season. Horton will read from several holiday favorites while guests enjoy cider, hot chocolate, cookies and the company of other community lit-lovers. The event is free and open to all, but Tattered Cover encourages everyone to bring a new or gently used book to donate to its annual Children’s Book Drive, to benefit Reach Out and Read Colorado. And to eat plenty of cookies.
Colorado Authors' League Bookfair
10 a.m. to 6p.m., Tuesday, December 19
Barnes & Noble
960 South Colorado Boulevard
Join the Colorado Authors' League at Barnes & Noble for a full day of Colorado authors, who'll be shaking hands and signing books, just in time for holiday gift giving. The schedule: 10 a.m. to noon, Anna Blanc author Jennifer Kincheloe (The Woman in the Camphor Trunk); noon to 2 p.m., noted Denver sports cartoonist Drew Litton; 2 to 4 p.m., Mary Taylor Young (Rocky Mountain Park: The First 100 Years) and Holly Arnold Kinney (Sissy Bear at the Fort); and 4 to 6 p.m., Rachel Kodanz (Living With Loss) and Michelle Morris (Tasting Colorado).
Santa Story Hour
4 p.m. Thursday, December 21
4280 Tennyson Street
You'd better watch out, you’d better not cry. you’d better not pout, I’m telling you why: The folks behind BookBar’s bar don’t really put up with that sort of crap. (Especially Catherine.) But they do love Santa! Which is why they’ve invited him to Happier Hour, with half-off wine and kids’ meals, plus classic storytime with Santa. Cookies and holiday treats included; buy some books to read later when you’re Santa-less.
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Last-Minute Used-Book Shopping
Now through December 24
Small Bookstores Throughout the City
Have you put off buying a gift for someone — or maybe everyone — until the eleventh hour? You’re not alone —and thanks to the awesome used-book retailers throughout Denver, you’re not without options, either. Personal gifts are always best, and everyone loves old books chosen just for them. Want a ’60s-era Conan paperback for that fantasy fan? A first-edition copy of Gone Girl for that aspiring crazy person you know? An old issue of Mad magazine for that weirdo in your life who sort of looks like Alfred E. Neuman? Check out Kilgore Books & Comics on East 13th Avenue, Cap Hill Books on East Colfax, West Side Books on West 32nd Street, Fahrenheit’s on South Broadway, Hermitage on Fillmore, or any of the other amazing sellers in town. Finding a thoughtful gift and supporting local bookstores? Win-win, holiday-style.
Book Mall Soup Day
Broadway Book Mall
11 a.m. Monday, January 1
200 South Broadway
Do you like soup? Of course you like soup; everyone likes soup. And on New Year's Day, the Broadway Book Mall will continue its tradition of marking the calendar change with the sharing of canned goods for charity and sharing delicious soups with customers. It’s like a family reunion, only with beautiful West African Chicken and other homemade deliciousness, enjoyed alongside people with whom you actually want to hang out. Bring a dish to share — dessert, some bread, even some crockpot goodness of your own concoction — and don’t forget canned goods for donation to a local food bank. Ah, soup and books: There are just some things that go together. Like peanut butter and chocolate. Wine and cheese. January and broken resolutions. Happy New Year!