The Tattered Cover opened in 1971 in a tiny space in the Cherry Creek North neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. Joyce Meskis bought the store in 1974 and remains the owner today. The Tattered Cover has grown and moved and expanded and moved again and now has three large general bookstores and cafes in Metropolitan Denver. Our core mission is to be a home for ideas, welcoming to all. This defines us in everything we do, from how we stock our stores, to ensuring that over the years the thousands of authors who come to speak represent all aspects of our society, literary world and political spectrum. Joyce’s defense of the First Amendment is fierce and legendary. No matter what the book, if it is constitutionally protected, we will defend a customer’s right to read it, and will safeguard their privacy. We are a tribe of book lovers of all stripes and take great joy in putting just the right books in the hands of our customers. The beauty of this business is that there is something new and wonderful every day, complimenting and often becoming the old favorites we hand sell year after year.
What are you most excited about selling now?
I believe that being fickle is a good attribute for a bookseller. It fosters an open mind toward the bounty that is published these days. Our dozens of booksellers have hundreds of favorites on any given day, and our bookshelves are decorated with colorful shelftalkers that lure the customers. We harness that passion every month or so to a single title that we stack up and identify as our VIB, Very Impressive Book. This month’s VIB is THE BOOK OF JONAS by Stephen Dau. This is a powerful novel about a boy who finds himself a refugee living in Pennsylvania following the destruction of his village (in a thinly disguised Afghanistan) by American forces. It is deeply moving and insightful on many levels.
On a lighter note, the staff has been looking forward to Christopher Moore’s latest, SACRE BLEU, in which he takes on questions surrounding the death of Vincent Van Gogh. Zut alors and tres bien!
THE NEW JIM CROW: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander has been flying off our shelves. Recently out in paperback this amazing book challenges America’s racial biases and underscores the impact that criminal justice system has made by targeting black men and incarcerating millions.
Maybe if enough people read IMAGINE: How Creativity Works, just out from Jonah Leher, we all might think more creatively and find real solutions to the issues our society faces.
And then there is QUIET, by Susan Cain. Another favorite among our booksellers and customers. Cain looks at introverts and how important and powerful quiet listeners can be.
FULL BODY BURDEN: Growing Up in the Shadow of Rocky Flats by Kristen Iverson is not due until June but is atmospherically high on our radar. Iverson’s memoir about growing up in a Colorado town near a nuclear weapons plant is brilliant, harrowing and stands to rival Jonathan Harr’s now classic A CIVIL ACTION.
—Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Bookstore
Tattered Cover Bookstore is located at 2526 East Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado