Bookstore Spiffed Up

In case you haven’t been by the Park Hill Community Bookstore in the past half year or so, you’ll notice the old gal has undergone a makeover. New interior paint job. Better lighting. More efficient heating system. And air conditioning! Brace yourselves for more enhancements to come, perhaps including new carpeting or flooring. All of this without sacrificing the store’s funky ambiance.

How is this possible, given the conventional wisdom that the independent bookstore is an endangered species? Much of it is due to our conversion, about two years ago, to a completely volunteer operation, with no paid staff. The reduction in expenses has allowed the store to pursue the physical upgrades and significantly expand its selection of new books, books by local authors, and children’s literature. The result is what marketing gurus would call a more satisfying shopping experience.

The store, launched in 1971 (the same year as The Tattered Cover) as the Park Hill Cooperative Bookstore, is the oldest not-for-profit bookstore in Denver, and perhaps in the entire region. Offering new and used books, as well as jewelry, cards and calendars, the store has a unique membership program through which members accumulate credits toward used book purchases and receive a 15% discount on all purchases. In addition, members may bring in books to exchange for credits. There are several levels of annual membership. Seniors and students pay $15 per year, individuals $20 and families $25. Bookstore volunteers receive a 20% discount on all purchases.

Currently, there are about 500 bookstore members. Members and non-members donate thousands of books every year to the store, many of which are in turn donated to local charities, including the Salvation Army and ARC, and schools.

Come and see us soon!

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