October 2009 | Erica Olsen

Hidden Bookstores

In a rural area, you'll find books for sale in unexpected places. Like the "hidden kitchens" featured in the NPR series, hidden bookstores offer nourishment off the beaten path.

In the Four Corners area--where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona meet--you'll find bookshelves squeezed in near the coffee machine at the Dolores Market (pictured at left) in Dolores, Colo. (population 920). If you're looking for a copy of a 1931 issue of Hound & Horn, they've got one. Just down the road in Mancos, Colo. (population 1,261), the Absolute Bakery & Café offers books along with baked goods. That's where I once picked up a museum exhibition catalog on the work of Navajo folk artist Alfred Walleto. Then there's sunny, book-lined Comb Ridge Coffee, located in a former trading post in Bluff, Ut. (population 300 or so).

Books: like coffee and groceries, they're a staple. What's your favorite hidden bookstore? Let us know.