“My name is Dustin. I am ‘bookstore.’ At age 31, I got my first tattoo of a little brown owl. I had been working at Borders Bookstore in Boulder. Our bookstore closed in April and I got my tattoo in May. That owl was such a big thing in my life that I unofficially added the owl to my name and personality. I am now known as Dustin Crazy Little Brown Owl. The entire experience of getting that first tattoo was so perfect that I went back to Claw & Talon multiple times. Vinny gave me excellent advice and the tattoos offered me something permanent during a time of change. This is how I heard of the Boulder Tattoo Project.
I chose ‘bookstore’ because books became important friends to me in fifth grade and we have remained good friends ever since. I have worked in several bookstores, most recently at Borders in Boulder, until it closed in 2011. The book industry has been struggling in the digital age. I am old-school and prefer books printed on paper. For me, the word ‘bookstore’ represents many memories and an essential part of community. So I feel honored to have ‘bookstore’ tattooed on me as part of the Boulder Tattoo Project and I’m grateful that we have so many bookstores in Boulder. I am an active member of Goodreads, an online social network for readers. You can find me at http://www.goodreads.com/dustpancrazy.
I put a lot of thought into all my tattoos. During 2013, as the Boulder Tattoo Project was underway in its various stages, I kept weighing my options for where I would put my Boulder tattoo. I already had 9 tattoos—half sleeves on both arms and large tattoos on my legs—so space was limited. Also, I have plans for future tattoos so some of my skin is reserved. I had been careful not to place any tattoos below my elbow so that I could easily cover my tattoos without wearing long-sleeved shirts. I ultimately decided that I was proud of this community project and I didn’t want to hide my Boulder tattoo. I wanted people around town to recognize that I was part of this amazing coming together of people who live in and love Boulder, Colorado. My bookstore tattoo is placed on my forearm where it is easily noticed. In addition to my bookstore tattoo, I added three commas as part of the Boulder Tattoo Project, becoming a happy member of ‘The Comma Club.’ Keep Boulder Weird and support your local bookstore!”