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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

Whether you’re new to Boulder or you’ve lived here your whole life, you’ve encountered the Boulder Bookstore in one way or another. Maybe you’ve browsed their collections or gone to one of their events. When strolling through Pearl Street, it’s nearly impossible to miss their big, golden letters above their window displays. 

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Stephanie Schindhelm, Boulder Bookstore’s Marketing and Promotions Manager since 2011, to learn more about the independent bookstore and their 50 years of success. 

How has Boulder Bookstore made it to 50 years—through recessions and a global pandemic? The answer’s simpler than you’d imagine: they’re open to change. The execution of this answer, on the other hand, isn’t so simple. Since the beginning, Boulder Bookstore has worked to reflect the Boulder community. It is nothing short of a challenge: adapting to the times and trying to keep up with our ever-changing society and the nomadic tendencies of CU Boulder students.

“Boulder deserves to have a big indie bookstore”

– Stephanie Schindhelm, Marketing & Promotions Manager

Part of how Boulder Bookstore remains reflective of our community is through their collections. They know what kind of people make up Boulder and their shelves are a reflection of who their readers are. You’ll find shelves garnering spirituality, politics and selections of titles hand-picked by Boulder Bookstore’s staff, complete with little blurbs about why each book is so beloved.

The staff at Boulder Bookstore is in and of itself a reflection of Boulder. Some employees, like the book buyers, have lived in Boulder for most of their lives, and have worked in the bookstore for a couple of decades. Others are students, in Boulder for the next couple of years, who bring a youthful energy to the store. 

Finally, and arguably the most impactful way Boulder Bookstore has remained a reflection of Boulder, has been through their events. You’ve probably seen signs on their windows about authors coming to the store – big names like Stephen King and Anthony Doerr – but mainly local authors: people just venturing out into the publishing world. Boulder Bookstore fosters an environment for local authors to promote their work, claim a spot on a shelf and network with fans and other local authors. CU Boulder’s very own Stephen Graham Jones is joining the events list for this September, where he’ll speak about his new book “Earthdivers, Vol. 1: Kill Columbus.” 

Want to support Boulder Bookstore? Here’s how:

Join their Readers Guild! It’s a yearly membership, and you’ll get exclusive perks to events (such as being able to reserve seats), receive weekly newsletters about upcoming events, and earn 15% off new books. 

Go to their events! I went to Anthony Doerr’s talk last year, and then to the bookstore’s World Literature series earlier this September. You get to meet authors and other people who are interested in the same kinds of books you are.

Buy local! The easiest way to support a local business is to be a customer. Their prices are the same as Barnes & Noble, but the environment is so much more welcoming. Boulder Bookstore is a store designed and dedicated to you, and you won’t find anything like it anywhere else.

Mariana Bastias

CU Boulder '25

Mariana Bastías is the Director of Outreach for Her Campus CU Boulder, where she is in charge of coordinating volunteer and social events as well as connecting with local businesses for partnerships. Her articles will range from profiles to movie and book reviews to current events to her own experiences. Mariana is double majoring in Creative Writing and Psychology, with a minor in Business, at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is the current manager of Brewing Market Coffee & Tea Emporium on Pearl St. Mall. As an aspiring novelist and poet, she has published a short story, Midnight Adventures, in Meridian Creative Arts Journal in their 50th edition, and she is currently working on a novella for her honors thesis. Whenever she can, Mariana likes to curl up with a book and a cup of tea and read the afternoon away. Her favorite novel is “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde, and she always pairs it with a cup of Earl Gray. Mariana is also an avid coffee drinker; as a professional and at-home barista, she’ll experiment with flavors and roasts. As a writer, Mariana loves filling notebooks with stories, poems, and observations of the world around her, as well as ideas for future articles.