The founder of Books Are Fun is moving on to the next chapter.
Earl Kaplan and his wife Lily sold their Boulder home at 770 Circle Drive for $6.1 million last month, according to MLS, earning the top spot on BusinessDen’s July top home sales list.
Kaplan started Books Are Fun, which sells books and merchandise through temporary displays in schools and businesses, in his home in Iowa in 1990. In 1999, he sold the business to Reader’s Digest for $380 million, according to previous coverage.
In 2005, when his non-compete from the sale ended, he started Louisville-based Imagine Nation Books, a wholesale distributor of books, periodicals and newspapers. Imagine Nation Books later purchased the assets of Books Are Fun from Reader’s Digest in 2008 for $17.5 million, according to previous coverage.
Kaplan purchased the 8,066-square-foot Boulder home on a 1.29-acre lot for $3.2 million in 2005, according to property records. The five-bedroom, six-bathroom residence is nestled against the Flatirons and features a rooftop deck, heated floors, a chef’s kitchen and outdoor water features, according to the listing.
“Dealing with the city of Boulder to try to replicate that size house in that area would be really difficult as far as city regulations go,” said listing agent Brian Delaney with Delaney Realty Group. “It’s for someone who was interested in that amount of square footage, but didn’t want to jump through all the hoops.”
A deed that would identify the buyer had not been recorded as of press time. Patrick Brown with Compass-Boulder represented the buyer.
Here are the next four priciest local home sales from July, according to MLS:
2695 E. Long Lane, Greenwood Village: $6 million
Listing Agent: Wilson Leonard with Banyan Real Estate
Buyer’s agent: Mitchell Rothman with Kentwood Real Estate
Details: Situated on 1.97 acres, this 8,614-square-foot home was built in 2012 and inspired by Cape Cod and has five bedrooms and six bathrooms, according to the listing. The property features a swimming pool, oversized hot tub, tennis court, water fountains, an outdoor fire pit and multiple outdoor dining spaces. There is also a European-inspired kitchen, vaulted ceilings, a dog room with a dog wash and a four-car garage.
5761 S. Maple Court, Greenwood Village: $5.8 million
Listing Agent: Gina Lorenzen with Kentwood Real Estate DTC
Buyer’s agent: Kathryn Hoster with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty
Details: This 12,647-square-foot mansion was built in 2003 by Sattler Homes and sits on 2.5 acres with 170 trees, lush gardens and waterfalls, a kidney-shaped pool and numerous outdoor patios and fireplaces, according to the listing. It features six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a circular staircase with floor-to-ceiling windows, formal living and dining rooms, and a finished basement with a rec room, game room, theater and a wine cellar.
2201 S. Adams St., Denver: $5.4 million
Listing Agent: Kristen Crabtree and Scott Kirkegaard with Frontgate Realty Group
Buyer’s agent: Ann Kerr with Kentwood Real Estate DTC
Details: This classic French country home was built in 2017 by AJ Kirkegaard Contractors and designed by architect Stephen Henstchel, according to the listing. With 7,737 square feet of space, the stone residence features four bedrooms, five bathrooms, French oak floors, handmade Italian tiles in the entry, an elevator to all floors and a chef’s kitchen with a wooden island. The finished basement has a golf simulator and entertaining space, plus outside, there are multiple outdoor living areas, two fire pits and a three-car garage with an attached heated studio.
816-818 25th St., Denver: $4.9 million
Listing agents: Adam Waggoner and Paul Tamburello with Generator Real Estate, LLC
Buyer’s agent: Heidi Cox with Milehimodern
Details: This piece of local history was built and designed in 1890 by renowned city architect Robert Roeschlaub, whose work includes the Central City Opera House and nearly all of Denver’s early school buildings, according to the listing. The duplex features a total of 10,566 square feet with six bedrooms and six bathrooms, plus two courtyards and a large garage. The 130-year-old estate has been completely restored and modernized, according to the listing.