Over the past few years, bookstores in Greeley have been closing up shop, leaving bookworms to either hit the local libraries, travel up to Centerra’s Barnes and Noble, or order online and switch over to tablets and e-readers. For a voracious reader, times are tough, but all is not lost.
Lindsey Ruppe, 31, is the current owner of the Book Rack, one of the few proper bookstores left in Greeley. Loaded with used and new books of all genres, it’s a small place that much of Greeley probably is aware of, but has never stepped inside. The store has been at its current location on West 10th Street for ten years, but the Book Rack has been in Greeley since 1983.
The Book Rack is actually part of a chain of stores, the company itself originating out of Florida with stores around country. When asked how much leeway she has running Greeley’s Book Rack, Ruppe’s answer was 100 percent.
“All the franchise does is just give newsletters and pointers once-in-a-while, ‘How’s everyone doing?’” Ruppe said.
Ruppe is not alone in running the Book Rack. Judy Ryan, 66, of Greeley, is one of Ruppe’s employees, acting as a part-time sales clerk. Ryan, a self-admitted bookworm who could read a book a day, has been working at the Book Rack for three years and came across the store thanks to her daughter and son-in-law.
“I moved back to Greeley from Oklahoma,” Ryan said. “My husband passed away and I came up to live with my daughter and son-in-law, and they traded with the Book Rack for years and years and years. So I just came in and brought all my books in, and traded them in, and told her that if she needed help that I’d work part time, so here I am.”
In regards to what sells at the Book Rack, both Ruppe and Ryan said their best sellers were science fiction, horror, classics, romance and men’s suspense, along with graphic novels. Ryan said younger customers come for sci-fi and the classics, “both of which we have a really great choice for, we have a lot of them, especially the science fiction, and manga. We have a large selection of manga and young people go for that. We’re getting high school seniors up through college age.”
Given that the Book Rack and Woody’s News Stand are the only proper bookstores left in Greeley, it’d be easy to assume that the Book Rack would be attracting bookworms abandoned by Hastings and Borders. Ruppe said, however, she hasn’t seen much increased business.
“I think the Kindles are taking over a lot,” she said. “We still have good foot traffic, a lot of customers, a lot of regulars.”
Ruppe said, regarding used books brought in, that the Book Rack gives store credit only, and that your credit covers a portion of what you buy.
“Usually we like to take best-sellers, new releases, books that just came out that are hot,” Ruppe explained.
“If you have something you’re looking for and you can’t find it anywhere, we can order it for you,” Ruppe said.
Peruse the Book Rack’s selection at 2701 W. 10th Street in Greeley. For more information, go to TheBookRack.com/Greeley.
Photos by Jay Wallace.