When Deborah Condit opened Books on the Bosque on Oct. 15 in northwest Albuquerque, it was the culmination of a lifelong dream. Tuesday afternoon, that dream got even better with a visit from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Lujan Grisham was in “in the neighborhood,” according to Condit. “This lady right here, Deborah, is in big trouble,” Lujan Grisham said to employees and patrons in the store. “She had a big grand opening and didn’t invite me.”
Condit then shared a big hug with Lujan Grisham and gave the governor a tour of the store. The visit from the governor was just another nice moment in an exciting couple of weeks for Condit.
“I’ve always wanted to open a bookstore; I’ve always been an avid reader,” Condit said. “And so it’s just always been my desire. Whenever I talk to people, I talk about books and recommend books.”
Books on the Bosque isn’t just a book store. It’s a place where people can come in and take a break from the world. Condit’s goal was to have her store inspire people.
“I think now more than ever, people are looking for spaces where they could just relax, be present and enjoy themselves,” Condit said. “So I really wanted to create a space where creativity thrives. And I don’t know, call me a romantic, but I hope that one day somebody’s sitting here at these tables is the next Hemingway. Sometimes being around books is an inspiration to other people to want to create and foster an environment where that is present.”
Condit was born and raised in Albuquerque and has lived on the West Side since 1988. She graduated from West Mesa High School and earned a degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Condit has been working in the political field helping with campaigns for more than 20 years. But books have long been her passion.
“I go to a lot of independent bookstores whenever I travel,” Condit said. “I’ve been able, over the years, to garner what I like and what I don’t like from them and wanted to create a space where it’s just kind of open, where people have a place to sit and relax.”
There’s plenty of places to relax in Books on the Bosque, with tables inside and in front of the store and couches and chairs in every section. The store sells new and used books as well as pastries and drinks. There are games and even a vinyl record player that guests can use to sit back and listen to some music.
“I would like to be able to teach young people how to use a record player,” Condit said. “Somebody donated some cool records so you can sit and listen to some stuff. I’ve got some Pink Floyd albums and some other things so you can have a different experience.”
That different experience is also geared at drawing in a new generation of readers.
“I have a real heart for young people,” Condit said. “So I really wanted to create a space where young people and older people, because we all have this problem with being addicted to our cellphones. Maybe we’ll just put it down for 30 to 45 minutes and just enjoy it, enjoy each other.”
Although Condit’s passion is books, she wants her store to be a hub for people in the neighborhood to be together and enjoy themselves. Books on the Bosque will host game nights and trivia nights. There’s even a knitting club that meets there weekly. Books on the Bosque also host book clubs for adults, young adults and children.
“This isn’t my store; I want this to be a community place,” Condit said.