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Denverites fuel up on literature in a 1940s-era gas station
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DENVER — Next time you drive past the corner of 49th Avenue and Lowell Blvd in North Denver, do a double take. Regis 66, the 1940s-era auto service station has been recycled.

This space is now in the full-service business of fueling the love of reading – for free.

What started with a community book exchange between friends years ago, has grown into a way to recycle books back to this community and beyond.  It’s also keeping a bit of history within the neighborhood.

“The family that we purchased it from, it had been in their family as a service station for 40 years. It was really emotional for them. They didn't want to see this property go to developers, so we worked it out for everybody's best interest to become a space that is used for community and community giving,” said Nicole Sullivan, founder of BookGive and BookBar, a north Denver bookstore and wine bar about a mile away.

Colorado Voices

BookGive: A Food Bank for Books

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BookGive distributes books to underserved schools and nonprofits across metro Denver.

BookGive, the charitable arm of BookBar, officially opened days before the COVID-19 pandemic closed the doors in mid-March of 2020. Since then, they’ve been closed to the public, but organizations can schedule a time for larger book donations.

Rocky Mountain PBS was on location when a local Boy Scout Troop dropped off a gift of two thousand books to be sorted and given to new readers. 

“We distribute to underserved schools and we service all kinds of nonprofits throughout Denver metro area. We have donated to the Rescue Mission, the Gathering Place – really all the way from Boulder to Littleton,” said Melissa Monforti, the Executive Director for BookGive.  Books are also given to community retirement homes, rehab centers and more.

In the past year, donations have come from individual households, libraries and even used bookstores. Financial donations and grants have helped, too.  Together, more than 40-thousand books have been donated for new readers to enjoy.

"Once we are able to open to the public, which is something that we want, it's going to operate much like a like a food bank, but for books,” said Sullivan.

In the meantime, BookGive has found a way to deliver books via Mavis the Magical BookMobile. Keep a lookout.  

You can learn more about how to donate or to receive books here:  https://bookgivedenver.org/

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