The iconic Old Firehouse Books is a local, independent bookstore located in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins. The bookstore is named after the historically significant building it calls home, The Old Firehouse. Old Firehouse Books sells a diverse selection of both new and used books as well as other miscellaneous items. What sets them apart is their extraordinarily well-read, knowledgeable staff that is willing to talk about any and all types of book genres. This fantastic locally-owned bookstore has been in the Fort Collins community for over three decades. In this week's community connections we had so much fun learning all about Old Firehouse Books after talking with Events Coordinator, Renee Becher.
What do you love about Fort Collins?
Fort Collins is the perfect-sized city. It is just large enough to give you plenty to do and places to go, but small enough so it all feels familiar and you are always likely to see a friendly face. There is a good sense of community across the whole city. Speaking of Old Town specifically, it boasts a great number of locally-run businesses, and what’s even better is that people come out to support them. That alone I think is a big reason for the overall sense of community we have.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Fort Collins?
When I’m not at home reading, I like to spend time in Old Town, be it at one of the many bars, a brewery, or grabbing a great meal (I highly recommend The Gold Leaf). So many venues in Old Town offer a lot of great shows, programs and events. It’s hard to do everything! But Fort Collins also has a lot of great places to slip away to if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. My dog is rather anxious and I like taking time to visit one of the many natural areas in Fort Collins so we can both enjoy some fresh air and silence. I’m also looking forward to the great bands that Washington’s will be bringing to town. It will be nice not always having to drive to Denver for shows!
What makes Old Firehouse Books unique?
Old Firehouse Books is the only independent bookstore in Fort Collins dealing in both new and used books. We are big supporters of other local used bookshops (we do still have a couple!) but there are services we offer that other shops don’t. Every member of our staff is very invested in books and what they represent. The diversity in our reading tastes help us to make the best suggestions and recommendations possible for our customers. We strive to be an active member of our community in many different forms. We provide donations, work with local non-profit groups, partner with schools, as well as host many free author events that are open to the public. Ultimately, we are driven by putting great books into the hands of readers and being an active and supportive member of our community.
What is the story behind how Old Firehouse Books started?
Old Firehouse Books wasn’t always Old Firehouse Books. The current owner purchased it back in 1980 and the store sold predominately used books. In 2009, we moved to our current location in the original firehouse of Fort Collins. It’s always fun to tell visitors from out of town about the history of the building and direct them next door to Happy Lucky’s to see the fire pole. At the beginning of the year we also host a lot of tours for second grade classes coming through as part of their history tour of Fort Collins. Our bookstore has gone through many changes over the years, always with the goal of better serving our patrons.
Tell us about yourself...
I was drawn to books after I started writing stories at a young age. But, even though I was writing stories despite my terrible spelling, I had decided I was going to be a veterinarian when I grew up. That was, until, I passed out after cutting my thumb open. The only thing I ever loved as much as animals were books and writing stories. So, in my last year of high school I changed my career path and went on to major in English. (I kept the science around with a minor in Zoology.) Since college I have worked for a small publisher, the bookstore, and have also completed a graduate level publishing program. I can happily say that I made the right decision for my future.
What do you want visitors to experience at Old Firehouse Books?
We want people to feel welcome when they come into our store. We want it to almost feel like a second home, where you can come and spend time and chat with a bookseller about a great book you just finished. Our booksellers are always ready to make recommendations, and there is a good chance someone will yell at you (in an excited, friendly way) about a great book they finished and absolutely loved and insist that you read. Our neighbors certainly add a bit of charm to our store as well. There’s tea next door and beer in the back. What more could you want in one building?
Anything else you wanted to add…
We couldn’t continue to do what we do without our readers. We appreciate every bit of love and support we get from them. It is great when we get an out of state order from someone who used to live here in Fort Collins and still wants to support us. We love hearing how much visitors love our shop. And as the event coordinator, I love it when people tell me how excited they were to attend an event we had with their favorite author. We also are grateful to our partners in the community. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us to be part of an event.
Business Address: 232 Walnut St. Fort Collins, CO 80524
Business Phone: 970-484-7898
Business Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Business Hours of Operation: M-Th. 9-8 F-Sat. 9-9 Sun. 9-6
Business Website: www.oldfirehousebooks.com
Business Twitter: @OFirehouseBooks
Business Facebook: @oldfirehousebooks
Business Instagram: oldfirehousebooks
Other social handles: oldfirehousebooksblog.wordpress.com