Sunday, May 23, 2010

Reading is Sexy

Photo by Kylee Bristol Photography,
Buttons available at Old Firehouse Books

My idea of the perfect date: We walk barefoot along the beach reading snippets of poetry to each other. We dine on bagels and coffee at a small cafe attached to a locally owned bookstore and gaze longingly into each others' eyes. He makes jokes with subtle references to our favorite classic novels. He is wearing a shirt with a meaningful quote from his favorite author and I'm wearing my black apron that Old Firehouse Books lovingly gives me to wear at work. He is also Garth Stein, author of Fort Collins' Book of the Year The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Okay, so that might be an exaggeration. Especially since Garth Stein is a little too old for me and really not my type (sorry, Garth.) Plus he's married. In fact, I'm starting to feel a little creepy for even writing that... so just forget it. My "ideal date" is a bit over the top, but I do strongly believe that reading is one of the sexiest things a guy can do.

This weekend was a good example. Thursday night my boyfriend and I took a trip down to Broomfield where we met up with some of his family to celebrate his younger brother's graduation from high school. Anyone who has been in that situation before knows that it is pretty damn stressful, no matter what the circumstances. To soothe my frazzled nerves, he took me to bookstores. Three bookstores, in fact, in 24 hours. We went to The Boulder Bookstore, the Tattered Cover on the 16th St Mall, and Black & Read (pronounced like "red") in Arvada. (Black & Read was the best, recommended especially to lovers of both books and music!) It was a great weekend, meeting his family went well, and in our spare time he took me to do something I really love, no matter how nerdy that makes me!

Reading is sexy because it's a shared passion. He and I can geek out together over an awesome selection of used books or over a new novel weren't even aware of.

Reading is sexy because I know we will always have something to talk about. There is always some new story to discuss or some favorite passage to share.

Reading is sexy because it means he has an open mind and is eager to know more.

Reading is just obviously, incredibly, undeniably sexy. Something about a cute guy holding a good book makes him even more attractive. (It works the same way for girls, too!) So come into the bookstore, buy a book, and go strut your stuff! Remember, a book will never make your butt look fat.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Extra! Extra! Awesome book alert!

Here at Old Firehouse Books we sometimes develop little book favorites. It's just like in elementary school with teacher's pets. The teacher knows its not ideal but can't help herself cause the kid is so darn cute/wonderful/creative/smart/etc. Well, truth be told, I think the store has a little bookstore pet in The Aldo Zelnick Comic Novels by Karla Oceanak and Kendra Spanjer. The first book in the series is called Artsy Fartsy and everyone here loves it. We love the events that the talented author and illustrator do, their fun vibe when they come in the store and the adorable book series they are creating. This series is along the same vein as Diary of a Wimpy Kid but WAY BETTER!!!
Aldo Zelnick is a ten year old boy who was given a sketch book by his grandma and is now creating a sketch comic/diary and he is accompanied throughout his adventures by members of his family (both parents have positive influence and are encouraging to read about) and his good friends, Jack and Bee. This book series is appropriate for almost any reading age, with the illustrations and large printed words most readers will dive right in no matter what their level or age. It's also attractive to both boys and girls. And there is no questionable material, rather throughout the books Aldo uses words he is learning and puts fun definitions in the back of each book to help his readers learn big new interesting words!
I am super excited to announce that the next book in the series is coming out in June! Titled Bogus (there's an alphabetical theme to each book) is about a diamond ring that was found and then lost and the chase that follows. It has interesting history and rock information throughout and lots and lots of B words. (I learned new ones myself and laughed at Aldo's awesome definitions!)
If you haven't already checked out Artsy Fartsy come on in and look it over. It's a great gift for any kid whether they are big readers or not! And keep a lookout for Bogus coming in JUNE!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

June Events where? What? OLD FIREHOUSE BOOKS!

Event:  A Dog’s Purpose Charity Promotion
When:  June 2010
Where:  Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Information:  970-484-7898,

Award-winning humor columnist W. Bruce Cameron is also very active in animal rescue charity.  Old Firehouse Books is partnering with him to celebrate the release of his new book, A Dog’s Purpose, by helping animals in need in Fort Collins.  By pre-ordering A Dog’s Purpose from Old Firehouse Books, you give 10% of the book’s proceeds to Fort Collins Cat Rescue.  You can call the store at 484-7898 or order the book from  Pre-orders will be taken through July 3; the book’s release date is July 6. ( See documents attached to this email for further information about the book.)

Event:  Signing with Maggie Sefton
When: June 9, 6:30pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Information: 970-484-7898,

Come meet Maggie Sefton, Fort Collins’ favorite mystery author, for a signing of the newest book in her Knitting Mystery series.  Skein of the Crime is her eighth Fort Connor mystery starring Kelly Flynn.  When a university student is found dead on the river trail near Kelly’s house, it’s up to Kelly to unravel the twisted knots of deception and murder.

Event:  Book Release Party for The Secret to Lying by Todd Mitchell
When: June 18, 7pm
Where: Everyday Joe’s, 144 S Mason St.
Contact Information: 970-484-7898,

Help us celebrate Fort Collins author Todd Mitchell’s new book, The Secret to Lying. A teenage boy’s self-reinvention gets out of control in a sharp, funny, poignant, and compulsively readable novel.  This book examines the consequences that can come from hiding or exaggerating who you are.

Event:  Signing with Craig Johnson
When: June 19, 4:30pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Information: 970-484-7898,

Wyoming author Craig Johnson's award-winning Walt Longmire mysteries continue to find new fans, and Junkyard Dogs is sure to create many more devotees. The sixth book in the series is filled with Johnson's signature blend of wisecracks, Western justice, and page-turning plot twists as the beloved sheriff finds himself deep in the darker aspects of human nature, in a story of love, laughs, death, and derelict automobiles.

Event: Open Book Club
When: June 6, 1pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Information:  970-484-7898,

This month we’ll be discussing Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein.  This polemic sheds light on shady political dealings and gives several recent examples of how government control expands in times of chaos.  This controversial book should stimulate some fascinating discussion.

Event: Untitled Book Club
When: June 8, 6:30pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Information:  970-484-7898,

What’s the best book you’ve read lately that no one has heard of yet?   Bring your ideas to our next meeting- we’ll be choosing our next selections.  This club isn’t afraid to go to the edge, so bring your classic subversive books or your new next-big-thing writers.

Event:  Strange Worlds Science Fiction Book Club
When:  June 10, 6pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Information:  970-484-7898,

Black Sun Rising by C. S. Friedman is science fiction that reads like fantasy.  It’s got one of the best anti-hero characters ever written, and takes on the concept of vampires in a whole new way.  Join us for a great discussion on magic vs. science, and the value of sacrifice.

Event:  Traps and Trenchcoats Mystery Book Club
When:  June 21, 6pm
Where:  Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Information:  970-484-7898,

This month, we’ll be reading and discussing Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer.  This book was written by one of the great 20th century mystery writers of the country house murder.  Witty and caustic, the book is great fun.  Join us for amusement and mystery solving.

Event:  Anniversary Party!!!
When: June 25, 6pm-9pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Information:  970-484-7898,

This is a big year for Old Firehouse Books.  It is our 30th year as a business, our 10th year with the current owners, Susie Wilmer and Dick Sommerfeld, and our first full year as Old Firehouse Books downtown!  To celebrate, we invite you to a party at the store.  We’ll have food and New Belgium beer, music, and a trivia contest with great prizes!  We’ll start serving the eats at 6pm and trivia will begin at 7pm.  Please come into the store to buy your ticket, or sign up for our newsletter at to find out how to buy them online.  Cost is $5. 

Event:  Kids’ Event:  Wanted:  The Perfect Pet
When:  June 26, 11am-2pm
Where:  Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St.
Contact Information:  970-484-7898,

June is Adopt-A-Pet month, and Old Firehouse Books wants to support our local animal charities. Meet some of the adoptable animals of Animal House and bring your kids to a reading and activity event!  Animal House will be featuring some of their adoptable animals in front of our store from 11am to 2pm.  At noon, we will be doing a reading of Wanted: The Perfect Pet and then a drawing activity with kids.  We’ll even raffle off a copy of Wanted: The Perfect Pet to a lucky family!

This concludes our broadcast day. Now I insist that you go read a book. =)

Monday, May 17, 2010

It's high time I write about Mr. Box

There's really no point in denying it: I have waited far too long to write a blog about the intrepid author C.J. Box. (He's intrepid if I say he is!)

About a month ago, I picked up a copy of Nowhere To Run-Box's newest thriller about the Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett-and not 20 pages into the book was I hooked for good. The tenth novel in his "Joe Pickett Novel" series is easily the highest caliber of page turner. The "Joe Pickett" character is one that is at times all too human, very fallible, yet staunch in his constitution, heroic, and at times quick-witted. On Joe's last week of assignment as the temporary game warden in the small town of Baggs, Wyoming, he decides to investigate rumors of several strange things happening in the mountains: elk butchered, camps looted, tents slashed, etc. And all this just happens to be in the same area where a prospective Olympic runner went missing. What he ends up discovering is very real, and far worse than anyone could have guessed. Not only is his life on a razor's edge, but Joe Pickett stumbles upon multiple several-years-old secrets, with virtually no way out of any of it.

One of the numerous qualities that makes C.J. Box's novels so enjoyable is that right in the middle of all the suspense, action and intrigue, there underlies a deeper, more significant issue-whether it be moral, ethical, political, environmental, etc. Those issues are essentially the foundations upon which he builds each of his "Joe Pickett" adventures. I was not much of a thriller/mystery/modern western fan until I started reading C.J. Box's books, but now I can't put them down! And, in case you were wondering, I did start with Nowhere To Run as my first. That's another great quality his novels have: The series continuity isn't so heavy that you can't just pick up any one of them and dive right in. Now, I am reading Open Season-the first in his Joe Pickett series-and enjoying it.

On the first day of this month, we here at Old Firehouse Books had the privilege of meeting the renowned C.J. Box, and not only hearing him speak & read from his newest book, but also answer dozens of our questions. This, of course, just made me want to read the rest even more, and I would definitely recommend his books to anybody who likes any of the following: Thrillers, Mysteries, Westerns, Wyoming, Ranching, Game Wardens, Hunting, Outdoor Sporting, Wilderness, Survival, Politics, Environmental issues, and certainly many more things which I can't remember now.

Oh, and if I catch you without a C.J. Box book, it'll cost you 10 schillings and an amusing dance! (just kidding)
Well, until next time...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spring Weather!

I sit in the bookshop on this cold, rainy, gray day and think to myself, "self, there is nothing better on days like today than curling up under a blanket and reading with a cup of tea nearby..." Then I look around the store and wonder why the heck people aren't flocking here to buy said book and tea next door! And I realized, it's because you all came in yesterday to get your book and tea and are now cozily curled up at home reading and enjoying! Am I right?! I hope so. And for those of you at work (like me!) on dreary days like today, I hope a book is waiting for you. And if it's not, come in and get one! I have a couple to recommend! We can't wait to see you when the weather clears back up (or before then!).

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris (latest in the Sookie Stackhouse series!)

Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (also a Ft. Collins Read book! and a soon to be movie!)

The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (excellent young adult book that will entertain any age!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

How to Not Sound Like a Fool

(or "How to Sound Really Pretentious"... whatever you want)

While doing a little perusing on this fancy new thing called "the InterWeb," I stumbled upon this handy little website. I thought I'd pass it along, because it has already been helping. Turns out I have been pronouncing "Chabone" (SHAY-bahn) wrong this whole time. Not "cha-BONE" like I originally thought... So use this website, memorize it, sound smart in a bookstore or use it to make your friends look stupid. I plan on doing both.

Expect more Kelsey-blog-updates in the post-finals season!

Beyond C.J. Box...

We had a signing with C.J. Box at our store last Saturday and it ROCKED. He is a gentleman and a scholar, and was absolutely wonderful to each and every person who asked for an autograph, despite the fact that he had seen his family for exactly one day in the past month due to his travel schedule. I happen to love his books, and was ecstatic to be able to host him for an event. If you like reading about the modern West , enjoy the outdoors, and like a fast-paced action-packed story, these books are for you. I love recommending C.J. Box books, because I'm always confident that the customer will come back for more and zoom through the whole Joe Pickett series.
But what if you've read all of the books that C.J. Box has written and want more? Well, other than waiting for his next one, here are some authors to try:
1. Nevada Barr. Her main character is a forest ranger instead of a game warden, but you get some of the same man vs. nature/man.vs man conflict, and she features a different national park in each book. Start with Track of the Cat.
2. Cormac McCarthy. His vision of the West is bleaker than C.J. Box's, but many of the same themes are there. Try No Country for Old Men.
3. Mark Spragg. Another Wyoming writer who gets the tone of the vanishing West right. My favorite is An Unfinished Life.
4. James Doss. I had the privelege of meeting the gentleman at a convention and found him charming. He writes western mysteries with a Native American Element. The Shaman Sings is the first book in his series.
5. Craig Johnson. He will be appearing at the store on June 19! A Wyoming mystery author whose first novel, The Cold Dish, was a DILYS finalist and Booksense pick. His new book, Junkyard Dogs, will be available at the end of May.