A Refreshing Conversation in a Renovated Bookstore
So, I talked to the friendly owner, Jack, about the changes. He explained that he wanted to broaded the appeal of the store by increasing visibility, cleaning up the stock (some books had been stuck to the walls by mold), and displaying local art that could be purchased on the spot. He also spoke of "listening to the community" concerning what the store should be like. That seemed good to me. I spent some time inspecting the paintings on the walls, which were done by local artists. Most of them seemed hopelessly opaque and/or ugly, but some were not so bad. (Admittedly, I'm not an art critic, but still...).
I purchased an old Jim Hall album along with a Charlie Parker recording, each for $3. (I still have my 1973 turntable connected to an old stereo system.) I found a hardback edition of Francis Schaeffer's How Should We Then Live in the stock. If it is there next time I go in, if it is still there, I think I'll commend it to the owner, given his interest in art--something Schaeffer was especially concerned with. (See also his Art and the Bible, which has been recently reissued by InterVarsity Press.)
What struck me about all this was the emphasis on local culture: listening to the community (South Broadway) and providing a place for artistic work. It wasn't a chain; it wasn't a box store. They played KUVO, the stellar jazz station of Denver. But rest room was "out of order," so I didn't stay as long as I wanted.