Time for Summer Reading!

The “Staff Recommends” shelf is a great place to look during any visit to Capitol Hill Books

For a lot of the year, you’re too busy to read. There’s all that work you’ve got to do. Kids are in school and need help with their homework. All those short, cold days of winter mean less time for the fun things in life.

But then summer comes around, and time opens up. You have a bunch of unused vacation time. Kids are out of school and playing outside. The days are long and warm and beckon you to do the things you really enjoy. That’s why summer is such a good time to read. You finally have the time to pick up a good book. But which one to read?

Capitol Hill Books is a great place to ask that question. The staff are all book lovers just like you. They can suggest books for almost any taste or interest. Whether you like a science-fiction adventure, a piece of classic literature or a page-turning biography, the staff at Capitol Hill Books can help you find exactly which book would be perfect for your summer reading.

The low prices at Capitol Hill Books mean you can get that perfect read for a lower cost. And no bookstore in Denver has a larger searchable database of used books. So if you’re looking for something specific, or just looking for just something good, Capitol Hill Books and its staff of book connoisseurs will be there to help.

Meet your bookstore: Holly

Holly relaxing after her long journey.

Holly relaxing after her long journey.

Here is the story of Holly. Once upon a time, Holly went on an adventure across the world. First she attempted her lifelong dream of being the most proficient ex-pat Paris ingenue, but realized she could never match Jane Birkin’s pout. So she traveled across the world to Japan and became a bar-hostess, because she wanted to see a Godzilla in person. But the dang thing took too long to show up, so Holly left for New Zealand or as her best friend Anne Perry likes to call it “Borovnia.”

Unfortunately, the never-ending sublime beauty just got to be too much to look at, so Holly sojourned to the bleak and hardscrabble Montana wilderness where she ran a fly fishing shop. Yet the lure of fishing only lasts so long and Holly just wanted to read a good book. She left for Denver and worked at another bookstore before cajoling and wheedling herself a job at Capitol Hill Books.

After a few years of Ronsonol exposure, Holly decided it would be a good idea to run the place herself. Now Holly says her adventuring days are over and considers it a big deal when she leaves the county. But underneath her thick glasses lies a soul full of restlessness and wanderlust and nobody should be surprised if the end of the adventure of Holly continues for a long, long time.

The end?

PS. This summary may or may not reflect the actual view Holly has on her own life since it was written by one of her slacker employees Julio.

Where do you like to read?

Apparently Virgil likes to read in a very small room.

Apparently Virgil likes to read in a very small room.

Reading, like everything else in life, has its own routine. For me, reading is my routine. I use it to fill in the gaps of time when I am about to do something else. So you’ll catch me reading on the light rail, or waiting for the bus, or while eating on my lunch breaks. In fact my favorite place to read probably is on trains: the momentum of the train matching the forward motion of my brain.

But we all have places we like to read. Holly likes to read in front of a cozy fireplace. Jae prefers the Dazbog coffee shop on 17th Avenue so she can take breaks from the pages and play with the numerous animals that mingle on the patio.

Our online Tweet friends have their favorite places too. @TheLivingEnd prefers a balcony with a great view of the mountains and a refreshing, cool drink while reading.

@BethPartin enjoys reading at two Denver landmarks: Confluence Park and the Tattered Cover. Those are both great places for people watching while reading: maybe pretending that the serial killer in your mystery is the guy in the business suit suspiciously walking on the edge of the Platte.

And @nonvivant likes a bit of libation while reading, preferring to read in a little bar on a quiet night. May I recommend Gabor’s on a weeknight?

So what are your favorite places to read? Do you like to be isolated or around people? Prefer indoors or outdoors? A brightly lit room, or just a single lamp illuminating your pages? Because we love to talk about books but we rarely talk about how we read books and that is maybe just as important.

Adios Tomas

Tom being cool

Tom being cool

Our good friend Tom has left Capitol Hill Books to risk unemployment and ruin in Seattle! As Holly said, “He’ll be sorry.”

But actually we wish Tom and his wonderful companion Kelli the best of luck in their new Seattle adventure and the awesome-sounding Western road trip they will be doing as they travel there.

Tom has worked semi-diligently since starting at Capitol Hill Books last summer and even created much of this new sparkly Web site instead of doing actual work. He also reorganized and managed our glass case section of book, making those expensive books more likely to sell online and improving our store’s ability to succeed in a harsh capitalistic environment. Pretty good for a self-professed anarchist!

Tom’s presence has actually really improved the store and he is a great friend and person. In fact, another one of the Cap Hill gang wouldn’t even be working at the store if it wasn’t for Tom’s great generosity. So, we wish him the best of luck as a fish monger in Pike’s Market. He’ll be the one throwing the fish heads into the scum pile.

And though he won’t have much access to twitter while he is deboning flounders, you can follow him on there if you’d like @tfooq

Goodbye, Meghan

Meghan likes to Party,

Meghan likes to "Party,"

Capitol Hill Books said goodbye Saturday (sort of) to staff star Meghan. Like MJ, Meghan’s legacy will be shined and polished in the wake of her leaving.

Here are some of her achievements:

  1. Meghan has been employee of the month a shocking, unprecedented 136.5 times.
  2. She invented our patented subliminal audio track hidden within our seemingly innocent music that convinces people their eyelashes will catch fire if they do not purchase at least three books they did not come in for.
  3. On March 3, 1875, Meghan successfully lobbied the Congress of the United States of America to ratify specific requirements for the state of Colorado to obtain statehood, an act that would eventually be signed by then-President U. S. Grant on August 1, 1876, just 28 days after the United States Centennial (thus giving the state the moniker “The Centennial State”).
  4. 17 years later, she lead the people of the State of Colorado to be the first state to grant women the right to vote, clearly paving the way for Capitol Hill Books to put in its controversial “No Boyz Allowed” rule that stayed in place until the fall of 2003 when they realized the golf section was not selling at a rate that was financially desirable.
  5. Her most famous achievement, and the one she will be remembered for the most in pop consciousness, was being Michael Jackson until 1992, when she allowed a crazed fan to take her place so that she could more acutely concentrate on the operations of the book store and, of course, on her eccentric modeling and trapeze artist careers.

This is why Capitol Hill Books now wishes Meghan a safe journey. A nostalgic photo montage of your time here is in the works. We promise.


Meet Wally, our Spokesdog


Here is Wally, the cute and precocious beagle of a great customer of ours. Whenever he comes, everyone in the store goes gaga over him and Wally loves the attention. He also loves the doggie treats we keep behind the counter. Wally is a wonderfully well-behaved dog, who rarely (well usually) grumbles when he is inside the store. He usually comes in right after playing with the squirrels in Civic Center Park, so he is laconic and happy at Capitol Hill Books.

If you have a well-behaved dog, feel free to bring him or her inside the store. We have some doggie treats for them if they would like some and they’ll certainly get lots of attention from our customers and staff. Just make sure they are on a leash and under your control at all times or unfortunately they will have to leave.

We also have 169 books on pets at the store, so if you need any help on choosing, training or taking care of your pet, we probably have that too.


Tom at the store on New Years Eve.

Tom at the store on New Year's Eve.

Tom plays the ukulele (among other things). He moved to Denver in August 2008 from Kansas City, where he wrote features for the Kansas City Star for a summer as an intern. Before that, he went to college at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Tom has determined that Denver could not be more different from his home city and still be in the USA. Denver’s streets mostly make sense, the weather is mostly dry and beautiful, and there are far fewer murders (though, to be fair, STL isn’t as dangerous as people make it out to be…). He co-founded Big Muddy Records in 2004.

You might best know Tom as the guy who made this Web site. If some of the code is not entirely valid, that is probably because he has no idea what he’s doing. But you can hardly tell!

In his free time, Tom might be riding his bike, reporting a story (amateur journalism!) or plotting the collapse of capitalism.

Recommended reading: Derrick Jensen

On Twitter: @tfooq


Julio in his kingdom

The second part in a series of profiles about our wonderful staff. This week: Julio

A life-long Denverite, Julio can tell you where the 15 meets the 0 and where Celebrity Sports Center used to be. He has a knack of knowing lots of useless facts, which isn’t actually so useless for him since he regularly wins bar tabs at pub quizzes.

He reads a lot of very random stuff, especially science fiction and nonfiction that doesn’t involve a lot of footnotes. His favorite authors include William Gibson, Neal Stephenson,  Donna Tartt, Michael Pollan, and Orson Scott Card.

He also enjoys biking, journalism (check out his transit blog RTD Watch), gardening, trying out new foods, outdoor activities and anything involving trivia.