Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico was inspired by history throughout her life. Recreating traditional Pueblo pottery, she became internationally famous for her exquisite work. With her family, she preserved traditional serving dishes during a time when enamel cook wear was sweeping western kitchens. While she was inspired by the traditional pottery of her Native American roots, she inspired others to preserve her life through the written word. Since 1984 Maria’s Bookshop has been filling the homes of Durango locals with the knowledge from around the world. Named after this inspirational woman, her bird is now a fixture on this brick building on Main Street.
Maria’s gives locals a chance to meet the authors behind the books they sell. Each month, sometimes more often than that, they offer Meet the Author nights. There have been Colorado Natives who have offered insight into their successful careers. Even authors from other countries have come to share their experiences. It is a fascinating moment to greet someone who has provoked so many thoughts in your nightly reading expenditures. They are open to the public and welcome all who love books as much as they do.
This Durango bookseller has created an incredibly inviting experience. In between restaurants and clothing shops, Maria’s small red brick store front looks out over its people. Its black and white awning and signature black bird invite locals into the wood interior that is Durango’s favorite book store. The walls are lined with tons of books from ceiling to floor, 40,000 to be exact. Its sections are well labeled and organized so even the newcomer can find a great book. Children, young adults, history lovers, and even the best seller seekers can find their book of choice. The best part, the walls are lined with rolling ladders.
Maria’s is locally owned and independently operated making it high on the originality list. It’s small town bookstore feel is apparent to even the most foreign of travelers. This little shop is packed full of knowledgeable staff excited to share their recommendations with you. Throughout the shop, you will always find someone to help during your moments of indecisiveness. Their prices may not be comparable to Amazon but their great customer service will make you want to spend the few extra dollars to buy a book from here so you can always reach new heights.
Maria’s Bookshop in Downtown Durango has been filling the minds of generations since the eighties. With their perfect location and well-versed staff, it is no wonder they are local favorite. While Maria’s was never owned by Maria herself, we cannot help but thank her for sharing her story with Durango. The books that retell her story and display her unique pieces of art are now preserved in Downtown Durango, Colorado Maria’s Bookshop. It will continue to inspire the minds of future generations with stories of the past and present just as she did.