1. The Bookies Bookstore
4315 E. Mississippi Ave., 303-759-1117, thebookies.com
Bookies is a large emporium of books for children of all ages. Sue Lubeck started this children’s and young-adult focused bookstore in her Denver basement more than 40 years ago. If you have a finicky reader of any age from kindergarten to the teens, go here. They offer 10–15% standing discounts on books.
2. Broadway Book Mall
200 S Broadway, Denver, (303) 744-2665, http://www.broadwaybookmall.com/
With many opportunities to hobnob with local authors, and excellent books in pristine condition (many signed), Broadway Book Mall is a must for local book lovers in the know. Formerly Denver Book Mall, Broadway Book Mall is out and running in its new location. Good sci-fi and fantasy selection. Farenheit’s Books also moved in recently down the road, so pay them a visit while you’re passing through (especially for used graphic novels!)
3. Capitol Hill Books
300 E. Colfax Ave., 303-837-0700, capitolhillbooks.com
With a view of the State Capitol, Capitol Hill Books offers a wide selection of fiction and nonfiction titles in a convenient location for tired wonks. Capitol Hill has some of the bells and whistles of the bigger chains, particularly their searchable online database of used books in Denver. You can search by title and author, get information about price, condition and binding, and reserve books for pickup before leaving home.
4. The Hermitage Bookshop
290 Fillmore St., 303-388-6811, hermitagebooks.com
Oriented toward non-mass-market literary and non-fiction books, the Hermitage also houses fine collectible and signed books, and has some nice first editions from popular authors that may have you fighting the urge to splurge. Specialties include Western Americana, children's books, literary first editions, military, illustrated books, hunting & fishing, and travel. This is a great place for a budding book dealer to learn.
5. Coyote Ridge Books
1505 W 1st Ave, Broomfield, (303) 438-1111
Coyote Ridge is a thoughtfully-curated book shop in Broomfield, offering used books in excellent condition, a liberal trade policy, and a customer reward program in which you get a $10 gift certificate with a purchase of $25. Bigger than it looks at first, keep walking and you’ll find new rooms packed with interesting titles. A fun kid’s room, and curated collection of affordable vintage books and maps, and records round out the offerings. Best of all, the knowledgeable staff is better at “If you like this, you’ll love…” than Amazon.
6. 50/50 Books
4425 Grape St, Park Hill, Northeast, (720) 600-6110
Pay what you can here in this innovate upstart (backed partly by Kickstarter). Want to support the store? Pay more. Want to read but doing the “starving artist”? Pay less. Either way, we fully support this effort in bridging class barriers via book love. 50/50 houses a wide variety of genres, so there’s something for everyone, both new and used (excellent) condition. There is also have a donation box outside, so you can empty your shelves as you get through your book list (quite a bit longer now you’ve visited 50/50).
7. Park Hill Community Books
4620 E 23rd Ave., Northeast Denver, (303) 355-8508
Park Hill has all the used bookstore staples—travel, sci-fi, cookbooks, mass-market fiction and literature, a selection of history & biography, sports, children's books. They also feature knick-knacks from local sellers (cards, puzzles, etc.). What makes Park Hill different is its co-op, volunteer-run model. This is actually a venerable tradition in the book world—the type of place that offers a respite for critical and artistic thought when we've needed it most. Don’t forget to go downstairs. Membership: $15/year optional for their book-trade program. Open 7 days.
8. West Side Books
3434 W 32nd Ave, Highland, Northwest Denver, (303) 480-0220, westsidebooks.com
The very embodiment of a community book store, West Side Books almost doubles as an antique store with an incredible selection of vintage reading materials. You can find classic collectibles, a climbing journal from the 70s, and a first edition Nancy Drew. There’s a well-curated selection of new books, too, for the shopper with a title in mind. For aimless browsing, there’s a large used-book section in back. We dare you not to lose an hour here.
4280 Tennyson St, Northwest Denver, 303-284-0194
Probably the most hipster selection here (wink), BookBar fuses bar and bookshop, keeping it elevated with a great variety of books, literary-themed snacks, and a knowledgeable sales staff. BookBar is a great spot for the book club meeting—with wine of course! The staff will suggest good selections based on your group’s reading habits. Upstairs, they host lucky book lovers in their book-themed AirBnB rental.
10. Tattered Cover Book Store
2526 E. Colfax Ave., 303-322-7727; 1628 16th St., 303-436-1070; 7301 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, 303-470-7050
The Tattered Cover is the Denver bookstore by which others are measured. Their flagship store on Colfax is surely worth a visit. Entering through the doors, it’s what you imagine a bookstore should look like—it could be in a museum of bookstores. Not for the bargain hunter, but the infrastructure and location could have told you that. Staff recommendations are on point.
11. Kilgore Books & Comics
624 E. 13th Ave., 303-815-1979, kilgorebooks.com
Located in between two Wax Trax storefronts, Kilgore’s indie comics and zine selection is the main draw for its loyal patrons. But they also have used books, including fiction, philosophy, history, science, sci-fi/fantasy, and local titles. Kilgore has a legacy connection with the comics publisher of the same name, and you’ll find their comics among the titles.
12. Mile High Comics
4600 Jason St., (303) 477-0042
A comic nerd’s wet dream—Mile High is officially the BIGGEST comic book store in the United States! An unassuming warehouse that might make you wonder if you’re in the right place, keep on and you’ll find no better selection of comics old, new, and collectible. They also sell toys, figurines, and memorabilia.
13. Shining Lotus Metaphysical Bookstore
2553 S Colorado Blvd, Denver, (303) 758-9113
What sets this new age store apart from others is their collection of used books! With about 7000 new books and 2000 used books to choose from, Shining Lotus has all your metaphysical book needs covered. (Honorable mention to Goddess Isis in Englewood for ambience and herbs.)