Bookstores Respond to the Coronavirus Emergency

Reading has always been solitary, but now more than ever.
Reading has always been solitary, but now more than ever. Pixabay

Social distancing and going into self-quarantine to avoid spreading coronavirus are the rules of the day — which means lots of time at home. And that, in turn, means lots of time to catch up on your reading. You know that stack of books by your bedside table that you’ve been meaning to crack open for a while? Now’s your chance.

But if you’re unprepared for the great reading binge of 2020 — or if you run through that stack of books too quickly — you may be tempted to head out into the city and buy something new at local bookstores. But can you? Are they open? Or do they do mail delivery?

Good questions. Here’s a list of the major bookstores in town and their status: Are they open or closed? Running on limited hours? Any other restrictions worth mentioning? We’ll update this list as things develop.

Tattered Cover
2526 East Colfax/various locations around Denver
All locations closed as of 6 p.m. Monday March 16; locations will remain closed for at least two weeks. But the store's website is still open for business, and any order over $10 will ship for free via media mail. Booksellers are also working on a system where customers may be able to pick up books curbside at select locations on a limited scale; stay tuned for more details on that.

4280 Tennyson Street
BookBar has “suspended in-store operations,” but is open for online ordering with free shipping and also offers alley-side pickup for pre-paid books. Email [email protected] for more information, or visit the website at the link above.

Boulder Book Store
1107 Pearl Street, Boulder
The Boulder Book Store, as of right now, is still open at its physical location from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (The shop is also open for online orders with free shipping.) The website reports that the store has installed hand-sanitizer stations at entrances and key locations; performs scheduled cleaning procedures of frequently touched surfaces; ensures that all employees who feel unwell stay at home; and is offering a free live-streamed informational session on COVID-19 at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 19. For more information visit the website.

Mutiny Information Cafe
2 South Broadway

Mutiny is closed to the public “until further notice,” but will open Wednesday for comic-book subscribers and by appointment for either shopping or pinball. The shop also has its online store up and running; you can check out what coolness is for sale at this link.

Capitol Hill Books
300 East Colfax Avenue
As of Monday afternoon, Capitol Hill Books was still operating under normal hours; however, it's worth giving the shop a call, 303-837-0700, before you head out, as this is subject to change.

2nd and Charles
1 West Flatiron Crossing Drive, Broomfield

This used bookstore (and a lot more), located just outside the Flatiron Mall in Broomfield, is operating under normal hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Keep an eye on the website for any changes to this status.

Barnes & Noble Bookstore
960 South Colorado Boulevard, Glendale
The Barnes & Noble store in Glendale has reduced its hours to 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is “taking it day by day” in terms of closing altogether on a temporary basis. Check the website for the most current information.

Amazon Books
2787 East 2nd Avenue
We're not talking about the website, which (for now) is still delivering. The Cherry Creek brick-and-mortar store is currently open and operating on a normal schedule. That is, “until further notice,” so make sure to consult the website for more information. Or, you know, order from the Internet juggernaut and have it delivered instead.

West Side Books
3434 West 32nd Avenue
West Side Books is open for mail-order only; the store will take phone orders at 303-480-0220 and mail books to customers. The plan is: “We’ll keep doing this until we can’t.”

Time Warp Comics and Games
3105 28th Street, Boulder
As of now, Time Warp is “open normal hours. For now…” The staff says it's working "to keep the store clean and germ-free” and is “considering things like curbside pickup and even home delivery if things continue to deteriorate.” For the most up-to-date info, call the store at 303-443-4500 or check out the Facebook page.

Do you have updates or additions for this list? Send the details to [email protected]
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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen