Let's face it -- you're only going to learn so much in school, particularly when it comes to cultural affairs.
It takes gray-bearded professors years to assimilate and analyze a Britney Spears album and regurgitate a deconstruction of the overdetermination of the word "kitty" as it relates to the sexual behavior of adolescents in early-21st-century suburban architectural modules.
You, on the other hand, know just what Britney's kitty has to do with the price of rice in China because you lived it. A real edumacation, after all, ain't just lurnin'. Here's a few of the best places in town to find the educational materials that people to whom you are sexually attracted will actually care about.
Nobody curls up with a "text," so if it's a good read you're looking for, it just doesn't get any better than Chinook for the newest titles, the smartest (and hottest!) clerks, and by far the best invisible window dressings in the world. It's right across from Acacia Park at 210 N. Tejon.
For used books, Poor Richard's Bookstore at 320 N. Tejon and The Bookman at 3163 Colorado Ave. have very respectable selections of used and hard-to-find titles. What you can't find there, you can surely find at The Book Broker's cavernous warehouse of used and remaindered books at 119 E. Bijou (just south of Acacia Park).
If you're bibliophilia reaches manic proportions, don't be afraid to head east to Hooked on Books and Aamstar Books at 3918 Maizeland (in the shopping center at Academy Boulevard). Not only will you find one of the best selections of used poetry, but owners Mary and Jim Ciletti will be glad to help you find that rare and out-of-print edition of the Pokey Little Puppy you've been looking for since second grade.
As the various bands and musicians in Colorado Springs begin to congeal into a veritable scene, so the music stores seem to get better and more eclectic.
If Independent Records doesn't have it, they can get it for you. With three locations around town at 123 E. Bijou (right next to The Book Broker), 3040 W. Colorado Ave., and 3030 E. Platte out by the Citadel Mall, this independently owned chain of stores is the place to leave your hard-earned student-loan dollars in good faith. They also have an amazing new vinyl selection as well as lots of used stock.
For DJs and fans of underground hip-hop and electronic music, we're lucky to have Mole 33 Records at 318 E. Colorado Ave., the kind of music store you'll usually only find in major metropolitan areas.
Video and DVD
Sadly, Colorado Springs suffers from a syndrome known as GMDS, or Great Movie Depravation Syndrome. And there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.
There are a few strongholds against this movie wasting disease. Toons Video at 802 N. Nevada (just south of Colorado College) has an incredible selection of videos and, increasingly, DVDs ranging from documentaries to a whole section of international videos organized by director.
The Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., also has a small video library full of films from the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival of years' past that you can rent for free in the gift shop.
-- Noel Black