JAX Outdoor Store in Broomfield, Colorado underwent a bit of a transformation on Saturday, December 9 when 30 local area authors took up their positions at small tables throughout the 90,000 square-foot store. They carry a few books, but their focus is on ranch, home and outdoor gear from tents, kayaks and camo to every piece of equipment and clothing hunters, hikers and fisherpeople might want or need. And they still have some military surplus, a reminder of the day long ago when that was ALL they carried. It is a great place, but not the most likely venue for local authors to peddle their wares.
We all trundled our little boxes of books into the store, found our assigned spots and set up for business. JAX was kind enough to provide us with hot drinks and later sandwiches, wraps and cookies for lunch.
Shoppers came by and some of them paused, glanced at our displays and expressed some interest. I’m not sure what the total sales were, but in a way, that wasn’t the point. All of us got some exposure—maybe most importantly to each other.
The kind person who assigned our seats hooked me up with Bill Watts whose book Running for the Average Joe, sucked me in from word one. Watts began running 15 years ago when his weight and blood pressure were out of control and the sport has transformed him. Last summer he ran the nearly 500-mile Colorado Trail, self-supported, in 13 days. “Live to run, run to live,” he says. I came home with his book which has helpful sections on injures, nutrition, strengthening and conditioning, racing, and goal-setting to name only a few.
The guy is an IT engineer who spent 2 ½ researching the book and had the know- how to put it together in an attractive and readable way. What a pleasure to spend a few hours with him!
And then I met David Fanning, an expert photographer that Watts got to know on the Colorado Trail. Filled with gorgeous photos, his book, Voices of the Colorado Trail, tells stories of the men and women Fanning interviewed as he hiked. Why afre you here,-why do you love hiking-what have you learned from this experience, he wanted to know. I had to have this book as well.
It was the title of Amy Charity’s book, On the Wrong Side of Comfortable, that caught my eye. A resident of Steamboat Springs, at age 34 Charity gave up a promising career in finance to follow her dream and become a professional bicycle racer. “Chase your dream. Discover your potential. Transform your life,” she advocates. I came home with her book too.
A day well spent.