Jake Hollingsworth has dreamed of opening a cozy little bookstore for years, and that dream has now become a reality — Longmont Books opened quietly in December on Main Street.
Hollingsworth said he’s been thrilled to welcome his first few customers.
“I’ve had a good turnout — modest, but I’ve been happy with it,” he said. “These past two days, Saturday and Sunday, I sold 16 books, so that was huge for me.”
Hollingsworth has spent the past few years searching for the perfect books for his store, he explained.
“I’ve been accumulating inventory just kind of slowly so I could pick what I wanted and get good quality books — they are used, but I wanted to pick out ones that still felt new,” he said.
The new bookstore owner hasn’t quit his day job quite yet — he works weekdays at The Pro’s Closet bike retailer in Louisville.
“We’re only open on the weekends now at the bookshop — a year from now, I’d love to do that full-time, but it needs some time to grow and take off,” he said.
After spending a decade as an ESL teacher in South Korea and Vietnam, Hollingsworth moved to Denver, and got his first taste of what it’s like to run a book business by opening a pop-up bookshop in his neighborhood hub, Renegade Brewing Company. But he soon had his sights set on opening a shop in a smaller city, and Longmont was perfect, Hollingsworth explained.
“I really like Longmont’s Main Street — I really wanted a smaller town Main Street type of spot for the bookstore,” he said.
His brewery pop-up shop in Denver was strictly travel literature, but his inventory has expanded for his new Longmont business.
“The focus of the store is non-fiction — you know, memoir, biography, essays, history, politics, travel — that type of thing,” he explained. “There’s a small fiction section, but it’s just not my priority.”
Hollingsworth has already organized a calendar of community events for his store, in an effort to be “a little bit more than a bookstore,” he said.
“I want my place to be a spot where you know, you just want to hang out for a while — all the events I’m posting are free; they’re social events — and I guess that’s what I want it to be, a community space.”
The bookstore, at 624 Main Street, is scheduled to host author events, local musicians and even art exhibits — all in an effort to foster the community gathering spot Hollingsworth envisioned.