Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kelsey and Nicole here

After a hearty debate we decide that one more post was required to follow up our book/ movie musings.
Things We MOST hate about "Mooks" or movie/books

1. The Last Song
Perhaps the lamest excuse for a "mook" is when a book is written specifically to be made into a movie. We're not talking about screenplays. We're talking about actual books. We will go naming names since Nicholas Sparks seems to be the only human able to pull this off. Maybe some Nora Roberts books were written to become Lifetime movies, we're not sure. But to write a book specifically for Miley Cyrus so she can play the main character and beepbop the soundtrack in the movie makes us cringe. A lot.

2. Video games that have been turned into books
Assassin's Creed came across the trade counter the other day. I thought, hmm, Assassin's Creed... where do I know that from? It's a video game. They took the plot of a video game and put it into a mass market paperback. Maybe video game geeks need more things to read? I don't know. What's next? A World of Warcraft book that people can't stop reading?

3. Movies that have been made into books
It starts out innocent enough. Disney makes The Lion King into a little picture book for kids. But then there's the Transformers in a book and Cars the movie and even manga from anime. We have enough Star Wars and Star Trek and every thing else in the whole world. Noooooooooooooooooo. Please, media, stop.

That's all. We hope you had a great movie.
We mean weekend.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Winter is Coming

Kelsey's post, while legitimate, made me think of all the books I WISH were movies. Primarily, George R. R. Martin's A Series of Fire and Ice. It IS in the works to becoming an HBO series. Here is the official blog following that: WINTER IS COMING

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is being made into a movie starring Natalie Portman. Anything with Natalie Portman and Zombies has MY vote!

The Umbrella Academy may translate well.

But I do have to agree that most stories are better left on pages between two clever covers.

also, P.S. I would go to a movie about Marmaduke if it was 3-D.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Long Rambling Blog of Questions

This is a blog of questions. One question, really, because I'm just pretty confused at this point. That question being:
Why are all of my favorite books also movies??
I don't know, maybe you do. It's a trend I've noticed recently whenever someone asks me what book I'm reading the usual response is "Oh, I loved that movie!" So what does this say about my taste in books? Or my taste in movies? Or the film industry as a whole? The last book I finished was Little Children by Tom Perrota (movie made in 2006.) I'm currently reading American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (movie made in 2000.) Trainspotting, Jesus' Son, Watchmen, Shutter Island, Choke, Blindness, High Fidelity, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, The Road... and this list is just coming from the top shelf of my book case right now. I've even written a previous blog on my favorite book-to-movie adaptations. So what's the deal??
I'd like to start by blaming the film industry. I've long been frustrated by the amount of terrible movies coming out, mostly because of their lack of original plot. Every movie these days seems to be a sequel, or part of a series, or based on some video game/cartoon from my childhood. They're even making movies based on newspaper comic strips (Marmaduke is being made into a movie, for Christ's sake.... the one where they just show a dog running around a house and then some cute story a person sent in about their pet.) So of course, books are no exception. Instead of choosing an original script with a strange or risky plot, they choose a book that was already a best seller and just re-make that.
And no book is sacred. I've heard rumors of a movie based on Kerouac's On the Road. I may be a snob about this, but I had a very close connection to that book when I was in high school. I read it, all my friends read it, and we would talk endlessly about all of the crazy Kerouac-inspired adventures we wanted in life. It makes me sad to think that maybe the next generation won't read that book, they'll just see the movie. The movie won't get inside of them the way the book got inside of my friends and me because it'll be a two hour experience of sitting and watching, not a thought-bending lifelong experience. Of all the books I've read that are movies as well, I've maybe seen half of the film versions, but I always treasure the reading experience more.
So maybe it's the fault of the movie makers. Or maybe it's me. Or maybe both. There has to be something behind my choice, some subconscious memory of a movie I saw or wanted to see but didn't. Maybe that's it, but I really don't know. This blog has turned into a long rant about my book/movie confusion, but I think I just needed to get it out somewhere. I don't have answers to any of this, at this point I'm really just rambling. But like I said, this is a blog of questions. Let me know if you have any possible answers.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


We have a very busy, exciting month ahead of us! We promised to grow & expand in order to bring you the best things a great bookstore has to offer, and this upcoming month is no exception.

Event: Open Book Club
When: April 4, 1pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Info: (970) 484-7898, 
This month’s selection is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. This award-winning book describes the adventures of an autistic teenage boy as he attempts to solve the mystery of the death of his neighbor’s poodle.  Written in first-person perspective and including drawings and diagrams, you’ll be drawn into the mind of an incredibly intelligent, creative, unique character. This book is 20% off at Old Firehouse Books for the month of April.

Event: Strange Worlds Sci-Fi Book Club
When: April 8, 6pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Info: (970) 484-7898, 
Sail the skies in an airship and explore an alien world with this month’s selection, Sun of Suns by Karl Schroeder. This excellent entry into the steampunk genre showcases the author’s talent for world-building. He uses the laws of physics to explain airbikes and an artificial sun that powers the world with mind-bending imagination.

Event: Untitled Book Club
When: April 12, 6:30pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Info: (970) 484-7898,

Join us for a discussion of The Sister by Poppy Adams. This book features two sisters, one of whom stayed in their crumbling old English home, the other who escaped into the world, but is now returning. The otherworldly atmosphere and eerie, gothic tone make this book a must-read. This book is 20% off at Old Firehouse Books for the month of April.

Event: Traps & Trenchcoats Mystery Book Club
When: April 19, 6pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Info: (970) 484-7898,
Since the well-known Wyoming mystery author C.J. Box will be appearing at the store on May 1, we’re preparing by reading his first novel, Open Season.  This fast-paced outdoors mystery introduces Joe Pickett, a game warden who is cursed by the need to do the right thing instead of the easy thing. You’ll feel like you’re in Saddle String, Wyoming, riding Joe’s patrol with him and trying to solve the mystery of a dead poacher that a lot of people don’t want solved. This book will be 20% off at Old Firehouse Books for the month of April. 

Event: Cooking the Books Cookbook Book Club
When: April 22, 6pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Info: (970) 484-7898, 
Pick up your tickets now for our special event with Happy Lucky Teahouse! We will be featuring Tea and Crumpets for our cookbook, which showcases dishes served at an English high tea. Happy Lucky Teahouse will also do a tea tasting and tea pairing with foods.  This meeting will be both entertaining and delicious. Samples from Tea and Crumpets will be provided, along with teas to taste. Tickets to this event are $5. Tea and Crumpets will be 20% off during the month of April at Old Firehouse Books.

Event: Gardens at Spring Creek Presents Favorite Gardening Books
When: April 10, 12pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Info: (970) 484-7898,
Join us as the Gardens of Spring Creek visit to discuss the staff’s favorite gardening books!
We’ll also have a short demonstration of planting.  Spring is coming, and gardening weather is almost here. This is a perfect way to get the resources you need for a successful summer garden.
Event: Author signing with Greg Campbell, author of Blood Diamonds and Flawless
then: April 17, 12pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Info: (970) 484-7898,
Come hear a local, world-renowned diamond expert’s fascinating chronicle of the $108 million theft at the Antwerp Diamond Center on February 15, 2003. If you love reconstructing and deconstructing crimes or want to hear about the inside of one of the world’s most lucrative industries, you are in for a treat. Greg Campbell is an award-winning journalist who pursues this story through contradictory explanations and deceptions. Like a finely cut gem, this well-polished, multifaceted book sparkles. 

Event: Talk-Back at Open Stage Theater for Is He Dead? by Mark Twain
When: April 24, 8pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Info: (970) 484-7898,
In this newly discovered Mark Twain comedy and recent Broadway hit, the original master of American humor dishes out a sly critique of the art world with acerbic wit and social commentary well ahead of his time. Cleverly adapted for modern audiences by David Ives, Is He Dead? is a fast-paced play about a struggling artist who stages his own death to drive up the price of his paintings. As the riotous scheme unfolds, Twain poses daring questions about fame, greed and the value of art, and pokes his signature, mischievous fun at everyone involved. Stay after the show for a talk-back to the audience featuring Jacqie Hasan, the manager of Old Firehouse Books.

Event: Slide Presentation by wilderness mapmaker Raymond Ave
When: April 28, 6:30pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St. 
Contact Info: (970) 484-7898, 
Join us for an evening with Raymond Ave, a local outdoorsman who has made trail maps for Lory State Park and Horsetooth, the Rawah Wilderness, Mount Zirkel Wilderness, and Rocky Mountain National Park. He will present slides of some of the different hikes that he has mapped. You’ll leave with some great new ideas for fresh hikes out in the high country.

Now, we know this last one is technically in May, but we're so excited for this author signing that we had to start talking about it right now!

Event: Author signing with C.J. Box
When: May 1, 1pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Info: (970) 484-7898, 
We are very excited to have this award-winning mystery author visit our store for a signing. C.J. Box will appear to talk about and sign his new Joe Pickett mystery, Nowhere to Run. This fast-paced novel features the beautiful Wyoming wilderness and sinister elements that it may conceal. C. J. Box is a master of thrillers that pit man against the wilderness as much as against human killers. This event is a treat that is not to be missed!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Coolest Shoes Award! Weekly winners!

Hello there, dedicated fans! Bonner here. As of today, I have decided to give a store coupon to whichever customer wins the Coolest Shoes award each week! "How does one enter said contest?", you might ask. Just come into the store wearing your coolest shoes! I will judge any and all contestants' awesome shoes based on these attributes: Colors, Design, Radity, Boldness, and such.

So, remember to rock your mostest awesomest kicks, and you could win yourself a coupon good on either new OR used books!! Books and Shoes! Who would have thought?

Until next time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Postcards from a Dead Girl

When a relationship ends, how long does it take for you to really "get over it"? In Postcards from a Dead Girl, Colorado author Kirk Faber's debut novel he introduces us to Sid Higgins. Sid has been receiving mysterious postcards from his ex-girlfriend Zoe. Sid may or may not have a tumor. Sid has an overly peppy boss at the travel agency. In short, Sid is having more than his share of issues. In an attempt to cope, he builds his own mudbath, befriends a few strangers and converses with his dog Zero. However the postcards keep coming and throwing him off kilter.

Postcards from a Dead Girl is an interesting and darkly humorous book that I couldn't put down.
At times Sid's introspective musings were easy to relate to and at other times I could empathize with him. Farber writes with a mix of Chuck Palahniuck and Nick Hornby that I think many people will enjoy like I did.

Kirk Faber will be in the store this Saturday (March 20th) to sign and discuss his book at 12pm so come say hi!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Yesterday, I had a customer come into the store to buy a used copy of a best-selling book that we had held back for her, after calling and informing her that we had found it. She was happy enough with that bargain, especially after she brought in a book to trade in order to bring the total price to $5.07. The book, brand new, would have cost $15.00 Yay! Then she asked about "The Tattooed Lady" by Swenson. Fortunately, I knew that she was actually looking for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Larsson. (Would Amazon have found it for her based on her data? Maybe?) That book happens to be number 1 on the bestseller list, and has been for some time. She wondered why we didn't have any used copies. Well, we do get them in, but there is a wait list for them, much like the waitlist on which we put her to find the book she just purchased. I also explained that we'd love to have a used copy for her, because we make more money on used books than new ones.

I think customers have a hard time understanding this, but it's true. Used books cost nothing except staff time to process them and the credit the customer gets. For new books, we have to pay about 55% TO 60% of the cover price just to get the book into the store, where it's a gamble that it will be bought at all. If not, then we spend money paying staff to find that book and spend money on freight to return it, for no book can stay in our store forever without selling. We need that shelf space!However, I think some customers feel that new books are a scam that we pull, charging outlandish full prices because we get every cent of that profit. Well, no. We get about 40% off that profit if we're lucky, and out of that comes rent, payroll, utilities, office supplies, fees to credit cards (a LOT!!!) etc, etc. After all, if Walmart can have low prices, why can't we? To answer this question, please look up "loss leader" and then apply to how Walmart sells books.

Anyway, I told this particular customer that since "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", alias "Tattooed Lady", was a bestseller, it was discounted 15%. This did pique her interest enough that she looked at the book. However, it was the smaller, cheaper mass market size, not the larger trade size. This was unacceptable to her. I, perhaps injudiciously, ventured the opinion that she seemed more likely to have preferred the cheap version anyway.

We love to have your book for you. If no one turns it in used (and we have NO control over this) we can either have it new (often at a discount) or not at all. We choose the option of having the new book for the customer to take, should they choose. This is not a scam; it's customer service. We are very sorry that we can't have every book dirt cheap, but selling at a loss means we won't be around very long, and we like it here.

I have seen customers come in, get all the information on a book from us, and then leave without purchasing. I'm pretty sure they're heading straight to Amazon for the best deal in the world. But see my post below for exactly how much Amazon cares about Colorado. Sometimes the bottom line isn't the last word, when making a decision. It's hard to have customers avail themselves of our customer service and leave without ever paying for that service. But that's the nature of the business; besides, we love talking about books anyway. Do think about it, though, before going to Amazon with all the information and help we just gave away for free. Whether you're after "Tattooed Lady" or "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", or "that book about the woman in Scotland", we can figure it out. And help you buy the book, if you like.

Here we go again...

So a watered-down version of the online retail sales tax bill did pass in Colorado. This bill required Amazon, among others, to ask its in-state affiliates to report and pay sales tax. Note: Amazon itself does NOT have to pay a dime. However, even this toe-in-the-water version of the bill was enough to have Amazon remove itself in a huff from Colorado, leaving its affiliates high and dry with no warning whatsoever.
I am sorry for the affiliates who had the rug yanked out from under them. I find Amazon's actions to be greedy and selfish. Amazon does have a history of doing a scorched earth policy during disagreements with publishers, so I guess I'm not surprised.
When I visit our newspaper online forums, I see many posters who are pretty libertarian/anarchist in their views, at least from the comfort of their homes. They are against ANY taxes, ANY government, and feel it's every man for himself. I find this point of view to be laughable, immature, selfish, and sad. These people are welcome to go off the grid, make their own power, cut themselves off from roads, grow their own food, weave their own clothes,and educate their poor children in the privacy of their own homes, I suppose.
But it does make me sad. The customers who come to our store come because they want to be part of a community, and understand that doing business with us helps us to remain a center for readers, writers, and anyone who wants to hang out with books. You can't browse aimlessly on Amazon. You can't pick up an unexpected find and walk out with a treasure. You can't talk to staff who will give you honest opinions about what NOT to buy, if it comes to that. You can't get authors like Sandi Ault, C.J. Box, and Margaret Coel to come and talk to you in person, smile at you, and sign your book.
Communities understand that society benefits from schools, roads, police, parks, and arts and culture. These things are all worth something, and everyone pays their share.
Some of our staff have spent time in countries that don't have the benefit of stable government or help for those in need. If you look at the Indian slums, sub-Saharan African civil wars, or post-earthquake Haiti, you can see what happens if there is no government or leadership.
Distrust of government and anti-tax cries have become the rallying point of those who are short-sighted enough not to see where this could end. Sure, there's government waste. There's waste in private companies too, that never account to share-holders. Inefficiency is part of the human condition, just like entropy. We still need someone to be there to fight fires, teach kids, and care for our natural resources.
I guess this is really just a long way of saying: look, I pay my taxes. Gladly. I know what we get from them, and don't begrudge the money for needed work and help to the needy. Amazon is not Robin Hood- quite the opposite. They deserve boos, not cheers, for abandoning their affiliates.
And thank you all, who choose to spend here when you could get it cheaper somewhere else (at least short-term; we have incentive programs that do give you money back). We're glad you're here and will do our best to earn your money.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

In the spirit of ink

We love tattoos at Old Firehouse Books! Okay, some of us love tattoos. But we all love books. And I think we can agree that tattoos about books are pretty neat. Here are some images I yanked off of the world wide web to share with you of incredible tattoos about incredible books. And... I suppose I can show a picture of my new tattoo... which is what prompted all of this. It says "read books" right on my arm. Go Books! Come in and show us your literary tattoo for some serious reppin in your hood.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Another book review!

I just read (I know, I am on a good streak!) another excellent book. It's full of interesting points and ideas and it's a bit controversial-which is why I picked it up of course. The book is called Marry Him; The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb.

I first heard of this book because my boyfriend sent me a review on it and it looked super intriguing! The premise of the book is that most women are too picky. See? It's controversial already!!! Her point though is that she knows a number of single women in their 30's and 40's that want a family and marriage but are breaking up with wonderful and seemingly perfect men for ridiculous reasons. And she's one of the women doing this. Her book follows her through meetings with match makers to talk about this problem (of women not finding their perfect mates) and to see if she can work on her own dating dilemmas. Lori also meets with a dating coach, goes through speed dating events, online dating, and talks with Rabbis and counselors. By the end the book can be boiled down to the point of: don't look for Mr. Perfect (at the beginning of the relationship) because you are not Mrs. Perfect. And being good enough can truly be Good Enough. It can even turn into Perfect.

I liked reading this book and highly recommend it to any woman. (I also recommend He's Just Not That Into You which is a completely different issue!) I think that Lori has some excellent points and while it may not be the answer or solution for everyone it's good to understand them.
It's a great way to re-evaluate how you view relationships, how your girlfriends view relationships and even in many ways how to change that a little bit!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I read a book!!!

I actually read 2 of them! My last entry (and oddly enough the last blog on here-fellow book sellers what are you doing?) was mostly me whining about not reading enough or at all lately due to school work and such. Well let me tell you, blogging about it inspired me and I went out and read like crazy over the weekend. I somehow found the time once I had committed to reading to read! And it was wonderful. I read while brushing my teeth, while getting dressed (although the process did take a little longer than usual), as I walked around my house. I read while eating breakfast, cooking (tricky cause I tended to make more of a mess than normal), and cleaning!

Now to tell you about the books I read: I read Left To Tell; Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust and The Art Of Eating In.

Left to Tell is about Immaculee Ilibagiza and her escape from the Rwandan genocide. She is one of 7 women that hid in a small bathroom when the killing started. The Tutsi women hid for 3 months in a neighboring pastor's house(he was a Hutu). One thing that amazed me was how through the whole ordeal they could hear everything that was happening in the outside world. Immaculee heard people she had grown up with calling her name, looking for her to kill her. She heard so many people die and when they finally escaped the bathroom and made it to a French base she found out that every member of her family had been murdered. What struck me about her story and what she does now is the forgiveness and peace she has found. She speaks about Rwanda and how true peace will be found when they can love and forgive the people who committed the genocide.

The Art of Eating In by Cathy Erway is Cathy's account of her two year stint of not eating out while living in New York City. She realizes as she goes about her daily life how often she eats out and how much she is spending on it so she takes an eating out vacation. She decides to learn to cook and shop for no decided period of time while committing to not eating food from restaurants (she does have a few stipulations that allow for breaking the rules). The book is mostly just a story of how her life shaped up, the sharing of her struggles and joys throughout the project and at the end of each chapter she shares the recipes talked about. It's a light and easy read I thought, full of interesting facts and recipes.

I am so excited to have made it through both books! (granted, I had very little homework over the weekend and I kinda neglected everything else in my life...) I hope this inspires or encourages you to pick up a book you have meant to read for a while and just haven't found the time.