New book shop to open in Manitou

It might seem like a funny time to open a good ol’ fashioned book store, but Jon Renaud said he believes there will be enough people looking for what he’s offering.

Renaud will open Back to Books at 920 Manitou Ave. in Manitou Springs this Thursday. The soft opening will be followed by a weekend of grand-opening events, including four authors coming in for readings and to sign their works.

“I know it’s kind of a risky time to open a book store,” Renaud said. “But I don’t think the book market is dead just yet.”

He said he personally dislikes e-readers and he knows plenty of other people who like the feel of a book in their hands and won’t have it pried away for a new digital gadget anytime soon.

“I don’t know about you,” Renaud said. “But I work on a computer all day and the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is flop down on the couch and pick up another computer screen.”

While he feels he’s not alone, there’s something else in the timing that he thinks might work in his favor. As big book stores go under, people who love the feel and smell and act of holding an old fashioned book in their hands will be looking to boutique book stores like the one he’s opening. In fact, those people who like books are often the same ones who like independent shops, he said.

“I think it’s a good time,” said. “And Manitou is the perfect location for it.”

His Back to Books shop is located in the rear of the La Chamere gift shop, which lends the name a couple levels of cleverness, he said. People will walk back through the gift shop to get to the books and it’s a shop for people getting back to books from their computers.

He will focus on new works and will stock primarily books published in the last year, he said. He will also bring books from all over the English-speaking world.

“It will definitely have an international flavor,” he said.