Sustained By Generosity, Creativity, Intelligence
Our bookstore reminds me of that Little Engine climbing up that big hill chugging, “I think I can. I think I can.” While some bigger engines, sidetracked or out of steam, didn’t make the climb.
For independent bookstores the hill has been — and remains — steep as we witnessed during the pandemic-plagued year, when every month brought news of more bookstores closing while Amazon’s book sales increased and posting record profits.
The loss of independent bookstores brings a loss of community. There is community in the space, in the community of fellow browsers, looking through books curated by booksellers who care you are there, care for the books and for the community where they have set up shop. Many also sponsor book clubs and host readings to encourage more gatherings.
People in places that have lost these bookstores can still buy books from screens featuring algorithmically highlighted selections, and do so without any community at all. Of course in so doing they have also bypassed supporting the local economy, the opportunity to come to know the work of local authors, and have missed that serendipitous discovery of the book they hadn’t known about but suddenly wanted to take home.
Denver is fortunate to have several excellent independent bookstores. Though among the smallest, our Park Hill Community Bookstore’s long journey continues because of its love affair with giving. Our community gives us most of our books, our volunteers give us time and talent and we give back to the community everything we take in.
Can we continue our journey? Sustained by the generosity, compassion, creativity and intelligence of our unique Park Hill community, “We think we can. We think we can.”
— John Krause, Bookstore President