Used bookstores part of Boise's culture

Posted at 11:36 PM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 01:36:51-04

The changing retail environment has affected everyone from clothing retailers to toy giants and bookstores. While some bookstores in Boise are closing, others are expanding.

One step into Rainbow Books a second-hand bookstore and it's easy to get lost. Co-Owner, Laura Delaney says that's the beauty of an independent shop like Rainbow Books.

"There's something kind of magical about a used-only bookstore. It's where you walk in, and you have to go through alleys and corners to find things, it's a treasure map, and you never know what is gonna be at the end of it," said Delaney.

Delaney and her husband already own another bookstore in Downtown Boise, Rediscovered Books. When they heard that Rainbow Books might be going out of business, they knew they needed to save it.

"We were lucky enough and graced enough that we could step in and say no, we really want there to be a used bookstore," said Delaney.

She says bookstores like Rainbow Books and Rediscovered are a rich tapestry woven into Boise's culture.

"So independent bookstores are a reflection of the community that surrounds them. So the diversity and depth of reading happen in the community are reflected in that indie store," said Delaney.

But even some indie stores are going away, another longtime used bookstore, Trip Taylor has decided to shut down. 

"It hasn't gotten any easier, the rent increase isn't as significant as I thought but that combined with personal reasons, I think it was time for me to go," said Taylor. 

Both Taylor and Delaney agree that small shops symbolize something that people in Boise can relate too.

"Independent bookstores are the value of inefficiency and the messiness of relationships and everything that makes us human," said Delaney.

She added that they had stayed afloat because they are not just a bookstore but a part of Boise's family.