Cliffs notes: Glenwood Canyon called to future bookstore owner |

Cliffs notes: Glenwood Canyon called to future bookstore owner

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Pete Fowler

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Ever since Sharon Graves traveled through Glenwood Canyon when she was a fourth-grader, the canyon has been calling to her.She rode through it the first time on a family road trip from Illinois to Long Beach, Calif.But being so little, she didn’t know where it was. Her parents didn’t remember exactly where that detail of the trip was either. Later, after she grew up and married her husband, John, they took another trip to Long Beach, this time from Milwaukee, Wisc. She didn’t return to the canyon, though. They had taken a different route out, and went south over Independence Pass on the way back without realizing that it was that canyon that lies just east of Glenwood Springs.”That canyon always called to me,” she said.They later decided to move from Milwaukee, as John wanted to get out of corporate America and spend more time with their kids. Where to?”Both of us said Colorado,” Graves said. “And then we remembered Glenwood.”They visited again to scope it out once more.”Of course when we came this time, guess where we drove through – the canyon! And then we knew.”

Graves has run Through the Looking Glass bookstore for 29 years. “I like the people, and I like the books,” she said.Her store was in the Tamarack building for 15 years before moving to its current spot. Why call it Through the Looking Glass?She’s a Lewis Carroll fan, for one. Also, the phrase “through the looking glass just has so many different meanings, and Alice is a perfect little companion for the store,” she said. Like the phrase, she likes books that have many levels of meaning.

The store’s walls are covered with all manner of Alice in Wonderland things: dolls, books, magnets, pictures and posters from England.Then there are the clocks that run backwards.Graves even has two sets of Alice in Wonderland ornaments. She marvels at how family, customers and friends brought the items just because they were thinking of the store.Graves became interested in children’s books through her own kids and volunteering in schools.”When we moved here I just wanted to continue sharing all these wonderful children’s books,” she said. But the store carries all kinds of titles.Graves picks out nearly all the books for the store, reading usually at least two or three books per week. In the back room are giant stacks of catalogues advertising new books.”I go through every one and decide, ‘Will this be a fit for our community, for our tourists?’ That’s my homework.” It never gets totally done.

“It’s never dull,” she said. “Every day is a new day – new challenges, new people. Who ever gets tired of reading books?”She loves people who come in and discuss books and new authors. She loves people discussing books in the aisles of the store, comparing thoughts or leading each other in new directions.”It’s such a nice connecting point,” she said. “Book people are wonderful, wonderful people.”Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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