Core Values

13 May

Craft How-To | Recycled Wall Decor

Bookmans is all about going green, all year long. In a previous article we mentioned that we like to save items that get left behind at our trade counter, such as books, DVDs, comics, video game consoles and many others. We wanted to highlight some of the amazing things you can do to repurpose old materials. In this craft how-to, we’re making wall décor out of recycled discs and comics. This is a cheap and easy way to spend a summer afternoon crafting and what better way to do it (and save money) than using items you no longer use.


10 May

Phoenix | Top 5 Cool Spots For Pets

As the weather heats up around Arizona, a burning question looms in the minds of all pet owners. Where can we take our fur friends when the sidewalk is not suitable for paws? Local First Arizona is on the case with a handy directory of all local pet-related businesses in our state. Local First Arizona is a driving force behind building better communities for Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson and everything in between. So what could be better than spending some quality time with your four-legged best friend, while supporting the businesses that grow the local economy? Possibly doing the aforementioned activities with coffee, in which case, #2 has us covered. Today, we’re counting down the top five local spots to take your pets when the hot weather just won’t quit. Spoiler alert, we’re a little biased on #1.


19 Apr

Our Backroom Rules | Being Green All Year Long

Here at Bookmans we don’t just celebrate the Earth for the month of April, we go green all year long. That’s right, every single day we go to extreme lengths to ensure our carbon footprint is as small as possible. The very basis of our business model is “buy, sell, trade,” which keeps usable items out of the landfill and resourced into a new home. Aside from the joy that sparks at our trade counter and the nature of reusing perfectly good items, we also have “backroom rules” that employees are encouraged to follow to further our dedication to a better, brighter future.


14 Apr

Recycle & Reuse In Celebration Of Earth Day

We believe it is our responsibility as a company to be compassionate citizens of the planet. We are continually striving to reduce our carbon footprint when we recycle and reuse. Awareness of environmental issues is part of our very business model. Every time you trade in or make a purchase at Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, you’re recycling. Each item that is brought through our doors and placed on a shelf reflects the decision of a single individual to take a stand against unnecessary and harmful waste. Chances are you’ve never thought of shopping for used media as a green practice, but for more than 30 years our customers have been contributing to the environment by sharing their unwanted books, music, movies, magazines, and games with the Bookmans community.



28 Mar

Why Art Is Important To Us | Bookmans

Art in some way has existed just about as long as the world itself. It has become to be a huge part of our lives; appearing in cultures all across the world. It is such an important element because it delivers a wider perception of: self, each other, emotions, awareness, history and more. It is created and appreciated by many different people for countless reasons. Here is why art is important to us…


02 Mar

Read To Me: Recommends for Kids to Love Reading | Bookmans

We are literary lovers, and rightfully so surrounded by all the awesomeness that is our orange shelves. We are passionate about reading – obviously. The question sometimes posed to us is “How do I get the young people in my life to enjoy reading as much as I do?” or “My kid doesn’t like to read, how do I get them off their smart phone?” Naturally we have an answer, one that may surprise you, it is a two-part answer.


20 Feb

Wandering Through the Wellness Wilderness | Bookmans

We feel like it’s that time of year (STILL) that people are on a roll with thinking about health and wellness, trying out new fitness and diets. We assume that in a few more months we’ll all have moved into the routine phase and less into the research, but if you’re still there (go you!) then let’s have a look at some awesome wellness reads as we wander through the wellness wilderness together. #handinhand


15 Feb

Love of Quirky Lit | Bookmans Love of Reading Month

What better way to show your affection this month than with…Books?!! Bookmans has combined Valentines Day with our love of literacy to create Love of Reading month. This February we are highlighting what we do best, focusing on our roots. Our quirkiness and unique collections make us a huge Cabinet of Curiosities; you never know what treasures you will find. In every corner, each nook and cranny is another wonderfully weird title and that is half the fun. It’s a giant pirate chest that holds precious gems, priceless volumes of wisdom and wit. We get so excited about all the fantastic finds that we decided to set up an extra section just for our most unusual, extra interesting finds. Check out our Cool, Interesting, Unique and Just Plain Weird Display for that special title featuring topics that you never knew were in print. Here is a little teaser to give you an idea what kinds of subjects you can find here at Bookmans Cabinet of Curiosities.


27 Jan

Sensational Seussabrations Set Seuss On the Leuss | Bookmans

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. –Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

As part of our Love of Reading celebration, Bookmans locations across Arizona host parties, or Seussabrations to be exact, to commemorate lyrical wordsmith Theodore Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss. Come have a blast with fun activities, story times and art projects as we set Seuss on the leuss. In joy and mirth we shall immerse as we honor this master of meter and verse!

Sensational Seussabrations at Every Bookmans

01 Nov

A Wonderland of Local Love at Bookmans this November

Autumn has arrived in Arizona! Aspen leaves up north change from green to fiery golds and oranges. The saguaro and agave enjoy chilly temperatures (of 85 degrees) in southern climes of the state. Though our diversity shines from Ponderosa Pine country to the Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona’s awesome local businesses are a common thread. This November, Bookmans celebrates homegrown Arizona commerce and community. Statewide non-profit organization, Local First AZ shows that just a 10% shift from corporate chains to locally-owned businesses creates millions in economic activity, adds hundreds of new jobs and provides higher wages for workers in our communities. Even better, don’t miss this opportunity to sharpen your local-vore knowledge while you shop! Join Bookmans this month for a veritable cornucopia of fun and local events. Each store hosts free activities to inspire awareness of Arizona non-profits, shops, restaurants and other businesses. Stop by every location for local-themed events that help make our neighborhood better. From the Certified Local Fall Festival to local business fairs, discover what treasures exist in our Grand Canyon State.


31 Oct

Freebie Fridays: Shop Local, Give Local to Win with Bookmans Mesa!

In our ongoing effort to give back to our local community and support local business, Bookmans Mesa presents Freebie Friday, a giveaway starting every Friday throughout November. What is this crazy talk of free things AND Fridays? We assure this all to be true! Who doesn’t love giveaways? We certainly do–especially when the giveaway is for somewhere new-to-you that maybe you haven’t even heard of before and are hesitant to try but you end up loving the place and cant wait to go there again. Isn’t that the greatest joy when it happens? The whole scenario only gets better when you learn that awesome new place is locally owned and operated. Shop Local, Give Local and enjoy Freebie Fridays with Bookmans Mesa.


11 Oct

Play Back: String Recycling Program

Bookmans is forever dedicated to finding new ways to recycle and give back. That’s why we’re pleased to announce our partnership with D’addario, you know, the strings and musical accessories you see all over our instrument departments. Aside from continually encouraging our community to trade their old items rather than taking them to the landfill, (in addition to offering to recycle or donate left behind items) we constantly seek new ways to make an impact. With this new and innovative program we’re helping the environment and giving you a place to dispose of those old musical strings you never quite knew what to do with.


You can follow the link here: and read all about it, but we’ll summarize and let you in on the scoop. With the help of TerraCycle, the amazing organization devoted to helping you find ways to recycle nearly all of your waste, D’addario, ourselves and other local music shops are offering bins to turn in your old strings.

30 Sep

Banned: More Than Books – Bookmans Entertainment

With one day left in September we figured we would go out with a bang and highlight a bit more banned material. Banning doesn’t apply just to books. The censorship axe can fall on movies, music and video games as well. In fact any form of creativity, expression or entertainment can be subject to scrutiny. What is appropriate and for whom? Who decides?

Call us crazy but we kinda thought that it was up to you to decide what you want to see. It’s this crazy concept called Freedom, maybe you read about it somewhere, like in our Constitution. The root word of the term Freedom is FREE; as in unrestricted and of one’s own design. If no-one is forcing you to listen to that wicked Bob Dylan (yes, his music was banned) or making you learn code to create a people eating alien attack video game then you are good. Yes, we can hear the arguments and some are valid but only when they concern the violation of the free will of another being. We take censorship seriously, and alas the final episode in our Banned Books (and other things) Month.


Here are a brief sampling of music, movies and video games that have been challenged and/or banned. Some may surprise you while others not so much. However, ask yourself why? There is inherent bias in all of us. You might say that you can understand why Marilyn Manson’s Antichrist Superstar was challenged but in the same breath be astounded that Cher was also banned. Cher?? We loved the Sonny and Cher variety show, yeah her costumes were a little skimpy but it was the ’70’s!

19 Sep

Censorship: Does This Offend You?

Imagine a Twilight Zone world in which what you can and can’t do is mandated by authorities. A world that doesn’t allow you to learn about new things, listen to what you please, or watch mind-opening media. This world is seemingly unbelievable, and yet the world we live in today is not far from this scenario. Whenever books aren’t allowed in certain libraries, when language is omitted from music, or when images are deemed socially unacceptable, one could argue that our essential liberties are challenged. Conversely, some view censorship as a public service, shielding us from corrupt content for the greater good. This poses a question: What is the motivation for censorship?

Monitoring what children absorb psychologically is widely accepted, but why do we feel that certain “offensive” elements need to be held from the masses? To delve deeper into this enigma, let’s take a look back at the recent history of censored media and seek an explanation.


One of the sole reasons that The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka was banned in Czechoslovakia was that Kafka refused to put out a copy written in Czech. Seems a little extreme to ban it altogether, but they stood firm, and so it was. Censorship and banning can happen for any reason – even language barriers, and a book could be unavailable to you forever.

12 Sep

I Wanna be a Cowboy Baby – Part 2

As part of our ongoing four-part series on the history of the American Cowboy, Guest writer and local author David Grasse continues his look at the history one of America’s most powerful icons. The history and lore of the American Cowboy is especially relevant to Arizona because so much of it happened right here in our backyards. Don’t be fooled however, the lure of the American West found it’s way all around the globe. So let’s look deeper into the fascinating origins of the original American Hero – The Cowboy… take it away Mr. Grasse…


06 Sep

Censorship Challenged: Our Top 5 LGBT Titles

In the year 2016 it seems completely preposterous that we’re still talking about books that have been banned, challenged or censored. With nudity and profanity on almost every television ad, magazine cover or roadside billboard, literature shouldn’t be what we focus on when trying to shelter our youth from inappropriate content. A 2014 study released by the Office for Intellectual Freedom showed that “offensive language”, “sexually explicit content” and a general “unsuitability for age group” were the top three reasons behind challenged books. All three of these things could be said about any video game, movie, comic book, or music album. Not to mention the things kids hear out of each others’ mouths. Where do we draw the line in what we allow in schools, libraries or on our own shelves?

Among 24 other reasons for being challenged, “homosexual content” was number seven. While we respect every parents decision to monitor what their child reads, the importance of having access to materials that relate to sexuality, at a very integral time in finding who they are, is a big deal. We all remember what it’s like to be in elementary, middle and high school. Not only balancing school work with family and friends, there’s the daunting task of figuring out who you are as an individual.

Sure, we’re a book store, so we’re biased, but we want all readers to find solace and comfort in the pages of a book. When titles go through the process of being challenged and removed from shelves, we lose access to vital content. As we celebrate censorship awareness this month we want to highlight some titles we consider to be the best among challenged Young Adult Fiction, laden with what is classified as “homosexual content.” These are great reads with much more to their stories than same-gender love. They’re coming of age tales that will bring tears to your eyes, let laughter erupt from your lips and bring an understanding to those who are just trying to figure it out.


01 Sep

Celebrate #ArrestedReading at Bookmans

Bookmans promotes avant-garde expression all year around, but September holds a special place in the hearts of rebellious readers. In conjunction with Banned Books Week, we focus on the freedom to read, watch, play and listen to whatever media we want. This month, each Bookmans location hosts free events as homages to our favorite banned books, movies, music and video games. Stop by your fave store to snap a #BannedBookMugshot with your book of choice. Liberate literature from the #ArrestedReading displays at each of our locations. At Bookmans, we encourage the right to speak up and speak out. Discovery, knowledge and enlightenment are never crimes. We want you to help us keep it that way.


25 Jul

Delightful Dog Days

Bookmans is committed to animal welfare all year long but in July we celebrate the Dog Days of Summer by focusing on our furry, feathered, slinky, scaly friends. All of the Bookmans locations have a wide variety of merchandise to make your pets the healthiest and happiest they can be. Here we take a look at some of the different ways Bookmans can help you with your special pet.

As always, well behaved pets on leashes are welcome in our store, and we see our customer’s canine companions most frequently. Dogs (and all pets!) enrich our lives in a multitude of ways. Endless studies have proven that pets lower blood pressure, reduce stress and many therapy dogs are highly trained to assist humans in a variety of medical, emotional and practical ways. We think that these faithful companions deserve the best from us in return. Bookmans can help you show your gratitude by being the best human you can be for your doggy friends.

Dog Days of Summer


08 Jul

Find A Fur-Ever Friend at Maricopa County Animal Shelter

I am a BIG fan of having a fur-ever friend and always have been. Boxers, Dobermans, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Chihuahuas , it doesn’t matter. I love them all! Recently I lost my beloved Twenty Year Old Shepherd, yes 20 years old! To everyone who has owned an animal, you know how heartbreaking that experience can be. Noel came into my life when me and my daughter had made a trip to the local animal shelter hoping to get a small dog that could grow up with her. As soon as we saw this little fur-ball, my daughter swore that she was the one. Reluctantly like most fathers to their little girls, I gave in. That giving in turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. Her name became “Noel” because of my daughter’s love of the Holidays. For the next twenty years I spent my day to day life with not just a dog, but a new family member. Together we experienced happy times, sad times, sick times, moving from Illinois to Arizona, a lot of sneaking food treats and eventually that heartbreaking goodbye. The last couple of months, she could no longer bark. When excited or happy she would just chatter her teeth. She stayed with me for as long as she could. The morning came that her back legs just stopped working. She looked at me and I knew it was time. She knew it was time. I knew in my heart I couldn’t be greedy, twenty years is a long time to have a dog and I had to do right by her. As she slowly went off to sleep she looked at me one last time and chattered one last goodbye. A declaration of love to her family. After that, I became what my friends refer to as a “lost owner”. I knew that had she still been with me she would want me to go right out and save another, if not fifty more dogs. However, I guess I became a bit selfish and truly could not fathom experiencing another loss like I had felt with her. How could I ever replace what I had lost?

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06 Jul

Community Spotlight: The Kinlani Bordertown Dormitory – Written by Paul Lee

Bookmans is always looking for new and exciting opportunities to help our surrounding community. That’s why when we were approached to donate to KinLani Bordertown Dormitory we jumped at the chance. Not many know of KinLani but we’re here to tell you how awesome this organization is to the students that call these dorms their home away from home. Established in 1958, KinLani was created for the purpose of housing Native American students who wanted to attend public school in Flagstaff. Originally, the dormitory was home to students ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade but eventually KinLani began to exclusively house high-school students who would attend Flagstaff High School.

KinLani Bordertown Dormitory in Flagstaff

KinLani Bordertown Dormitory in Flagstaff

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