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Mountain Shire aims to build Grand literary haven

Miriam Roskam, of Granby, launched an online bookshop that she hopes to grow into a brick and mortar independent bookstore in Grand County. Her store's name is inspired by one of her favorite books, "The Hobbit."
Courtesy Miriam Roksam

Reading has always been a passion for Granby resident Miriam Roskam, so it’s no surprise that when she was looking for her next step, she found it buried in a book.

“It just dawned on me that I’ve always loved books. It’s something I’m passionate about and love sharing with others,” Roskam said of her new business, Mountain Shire Books and Gifts.

Grand County currently doesn’t have a brick and mortar bookstore following the closure of Cascades of the Rockies in Grand Lake. Being without a bookstore is a unique position for the county, and Roskam is looking to fill that hole with her new venture.



Mountain Shire is currently operating online through Bookshop, where Roskam offers suggestions, curated lists and a wide inventory of books.
Courtesy Miriam Roskam

As of Monday, Mountain Shire is operating through a nonprofit website called Bookshop, which allows Roskam, as a member of the American Booksellers Association, to sell books online.

Mountain Shire’s page has curated lists for suggestions, including outdoor adventures and Rocky Mountain living, as well as most anticipated and highly reviewed book lists, though Roskam said she would be able to order pretty much any read a customer is looking for.



“The lists are generated to inspire people and showcase different books,” she said. “I also included some of my all-time favorites, and I’ve been keeping up with the trends for the month.”

Working through Bookshop allows Roskam to get the word out about Mountain Shire while she looks for the perfect storefront in the Fraser Valley. Roskam created a Facebook page for Mountain Shire to feature books and, eventually, advertise events.

In addition to space for a large selection of books, Roskam wants Mountain Shire to be a gathering place for people to enjoy book clubs, poetry readings, creative writing workshops and more. Roskam’s ideal store would capture the kind of magical environment that inspired the shop’s name, an homage to “The Hobbit.”

“I want it to be an arts and culture hub,” she said. “I really want it to more than a store where you walk in and walk out. I really want that connection with the community.”

So far, Roskam says she’s received a lot of local support from people buying online, encouraging her to establish a location and offering recommendations for her inventory.

Roskam recognizes the challenges of the local commercial real estate market and she said she’s willing to wait for the right spot to open up, though her ultimate goal is to open tangible doors this fall.

For more information, go to bookshop.org/shop/mountainshirebooks.


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