The Midnight Oil Bookstore is expanding its shelves with a new location in downtown Greeley
Getting too big for your pants can be a good thing, especially if you’re a fan of books and own a bookstore.
That’s exactly what happened to Pablo Guzman and Manuel Tapia, owners of the Midnight Oil Bookstore.
The bookstore originally opened in October 2021 in a small shop at 918 8th St.
When I spoke to Guzman and Tapia for a story about opening the little shop, they had a vision of being in a bigger space “one day” but didn’t think that would happen any time soon.
However, the combination of the community’s enthusiasm for having their own little bookstore and the many donations Guzman and Tapia received quickly outgrew the bookstore.
“The community has been great for us,” Guzman said.
Fortunately, however, the couple was able to sign a new lease for the former King’s Clocks premises at 827 10th St. in downtown Greeley.
“It’s about four times the size of the little shop,” Guzman said. “When I first saw it it was still King’s Clocks and they had a partition in the middle and the ceilings were lower and there were rooms in the back. So it didn’t seem that big.”
On July 15, Guzman and Tapia opened the doors of the new store to book lovers of all ages, introducing them to more rows of books, convenient reading areas and other features.
“It’s incredible. The energy here is incredible. Pablo is incredible; he’s an incredible person,” said Sarah Jean Wyscaver-Fiedler, a client and co-owner of a small business. “He did an absolutely outstanding job curating a book selection , created a space for our community and offered a diverse selection of books. There is something for everyone.”
One of the main features that visitors immediately notice upon entering is the huge stacks of books that cover the building’s pillars. Stacked from floor to high ceiling and stapled together to secure them in place, the books add an amazing and unique visual aspect to the store while hiding the generic poles.
The project took Guzman a tedious 15 hours for each of the building’s four pylons.
“It was about 1 foot of growth per hour,” he said. “I went in stages, telling myself every day that I was going to finish it after everyone went home. It, uh, yeah, it took a long time.”
As at its previous location, the store is furnished with shelves of a variety of genres, including Chicano, young adult, nonfiction, children’s books, fiction, sci-fi, DIY and self-help, and more.
Guzman and Tapia have also started to include a selection of new books to be displayed on various tables, as well as a section for fans of the occult and spirits.
“We’re still 90% used books, but we’ve started filling special orders every week,” Guzman said. “We have these different tables and displays for new books and we plan to expand those as well.”
At the back of the store is a huge vault with shelves inside, as well as another small safe inside. Guzman plans to use the vault to his advantage, filling it with all sorts of banned and contested books, including the Harry Potter series Fahrenheit 451, Beloved, The Lord of the Flies, and To Kill A Mockingbird” and books banned in other countries.
“I’ve set aside some banned books so we can stock the shelves when we’re ready,” Guzman said.
People can find many of the different banned or contested books in the store and if they don’t have it they will be happy to order it for you.
As with their first location, Guzman and Tapia have plans to build a small café/coffee house within the store and open the space to other organizations, community members and businesses for meetings, educational seminars and other events.
The larger location also provides space for Guzman and Tapia to store book donations and the possibility of incorporating the basement area into the space in the future.
In addition to books, the duo want to incorporate local artwork throughout the store.
“There is a lot of space. Armando Silva was here a few days ago and we talked about what we could do,” Guzman said.
While they’re still settling into the new location, Guzman has been pondering what the company’s next move might be, including a possible second location.
“I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind for a long time. I do not know where; I think wherever the need is,” Guzman said. “I think a lot of our strength lies in making connections.”
The opening hours of the store are Friday to Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
For more information on donations, the store’s catalogue, local authors, book clubs and more, visit www.booksatmidnight.com.
https://www.greeleytribune.com/2022/07/30/midnight-oil-bookstore-expands-its-shelves-with-new-location-in-downtown-greeley/ The Midnight Oil Bookstore is expanding its shelves with a new location in downtown Greeley