Between the Covers launches new column on Telluride Inside…and Out

The response on December 1, 2010, was incredible. From the big-smiled thank yous to those chilled bottles of champagne, Bobbi and I encountered first-hand the joy that loyalty breeds. As longtime employees of Between the Covers Bookstore, it was an easy choice for us to pursue the process of buying the Main Street institution that has provided not only books and bookstore-type goodies since 1974 but also a creaky floored place to gather (or hide). Trust us, there were friends and family aplenty that lovingly questioned our zeal for buying an indie business in an economic climate that held more clouds than sun. Our go-to answer, innate reflex really, was always, “Yeah, but it’s Telluride.” We felt we were tapped into a unique pulse that with proper nurturing we’d squeak through and flourish. With fingers crossed, we basically bought our jobs and settled in for the long haul, pledging to creatively adapt to the curveballs flung our way by the economy, technology, and that dreaded sentence, “I don’t have time to read anymore.”

As the new owners, 2011 was packed full of learning the numbers end of a word-centric business. Between Quickbooks and tax stuff, there was barely a moment that could be described as dull. In the book world, 2011 saw the death of Borders, but the birth of Google eBooks. The latter prompted us to get into the eBook game, accomplished by turning the store’s one-paged website into a full-on playground equipped to be your local 24/7 bookstore. When not bookselling, skiing or unicycling, Bobbi’s been living in the blue glare of a screen toiling away at the platform that allows this small local business to feast on a tiny sliver of the eBook market. By partnering with Google, eBooks can be purchased and downloaded from us for all your non-Kindle devices including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. And because your bookshelf will live in the Google cloud, you’ll be able to switch from one device to another without losing your page. This digital cloud comes with unlimited storage, and if you should lose any of your devices, your digital bookshelf is intact on Google’s servers. The eBook, a particular technology curveball we get asked about a lot, will hopefully be a hit that keeps us in the park and off the bench far into the future. (A big nod to Google for leveling that playing field for the little guys.) In addition to all that, you can now look for your next great read from home, browse staff picks and national bestsellers, order in what’s not on our shelves, set up a registry for showers and weddings, and be in the know about compelling author events. As a visitor to Telluride, you can preorder that luscious stack of après-ski reads and have them waiting for you when you hit town. By no means will replace the personal interactions we live for as literary matchmakers, but it’s nice to be able to offer our customers different ways to read as the ages old hobby evolves. What fun to order or download the next book in that enthralling series at 2 a.m. in your pajamas while supporting your local book shop and tax base!

I look forward to bringing you literary event information, random rants, and interesting news from the book world as it relates to Telluride (or not) on a bimonthly basis. The next installment will feature Margot Talbot, world-renowned ice climber/guide and author of “All That Glitters: A Climber’s Journey Through Addiction and Depression.” In the Telluride area from the Canadian Rockies for the Ouray Ice Festival, she’ll share her compelling story of healing and self-discovery amid the frozen landscapes of the planet. Rescued from the depths of drug addiction and crime by the lure of climbing frozen waterfalls, Margo rises from the brink of suicidal depression in a jail cell to being envied by a client in Antarctica for having a “dream life.” Date and time to be announced.

Until then, find the time to keep reading, old style or new, for yourself and to children.

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