40 Years in Pictures


Tattered Cover 40th Birthday

This beautiful cake!

We've just completed 40 days of birthday celebrations with contests and giveaways, topped off by birthday cakes & bubbly at all three stores. We would like to thank all of our loyal customers for partying with us and sharing your stories of the past four decades. We appreciate it more that you know.

When we turned 40 in 2011, we took a stroll down memory lane:

Celebrating our 40th birthday with 40 days of memories, we held contests and giveaways, topped off by birthday cakes & bubbly at all three stores. 

We've posted lots of old photos, news articles, author messages & archival tidbits about our first 40 years in business, including your "customer memories"! (early photos taken in the early years, many by Ernst Wiehausen)











Fourth Story Restaurant & Bar at the top of the Tattered Cover in Cherry Creek 

































Construction on Tattered Cover in Highlands Ranch

comes to a conclusion and books fill the shelves in 2004




























Tattered Cover Trivia Contest

Questions & Answers for each day of our 40th Birthday Quiz are listed below, along with the names of our winners:


9/5 Who was the first major author to hold an autographing in our original store? Answer: Photographer Ansel Adams in late 1977. We received no correct answers to this question. Better luck next time.

9/6 How many square feet was the original Tattered Cover? Answer: 950 sq. ft. Our winner was Angie S.

9/7 What year did TC add a staircase? Answer: 1978. There were no correct answers to this questions but thanks for trying. 

9/8 What year did TC start selling Bargain Books? Answer: 1982. Sorry, no one guessed the answer to this one.

9/9 Between which streets was our original TC store located on 2nd Avenue in Cherry Creek North? Answer: Detroit and Fillmore. Our winner is Ruba S.

9/10 What color was the carpet in our original bookstore? Answer: Rust brown. Our lucky winner was Rebecca B.

9/11 For which Harry Potter book did J.K. Rowling hold a signing at Tattered Cover? Answer: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Congrats to our winner, Sharon M.

9/12 Where in our Cherry Creek store at 1st & Milwaukee was this mural painted? Answer: In the entry facing 1st Avenue. There were no correct answers to this question. Try again tomorrow.

9/13 On what characteristics of the Tattered Cover stores were our logos based while located in the Cherry Creek district? Answer: Our doors. Our winner is Jessica C.

9/14 Into what former department store building did Tattered Cover move in 1986? Answer: Neusteters. The winner of the draw was Mary Ellen L.

9/15 What iconic engineer, designer, inventor, scientist, and prolific author held a signing at Tattered Cover in the early 1980s with a broken thumb? Answer: Buckminster Fuller. Our winner was Michael Y.

9/16 On what floor at our last Cherry Creek store were fiction and poetry located? Answer: The 3rd Floor. Our winner was Karen T.

9/17 What was unusual about our moves from our original store across the street on 2nd Avenue, as well as from there to 1rst & Milwaukee several years later? Answer: More than 300 loyal customers volunteers helped us. Friday G. won the draw with her correct answer.

9/18 What 1930s Hollywood icon, later US Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, signed the first volume of her autobiography at Tattered Cover in 1988? Answer: Shirley Temple (Black). Our winner was Deborah P.

9/19 Who was the tallest author ever to sign books in our store? Answer: Kareem Abdul-Jabber. Our winner was Rebecca B.

9/20 How many miles of shelves were installed in our new Cherry Creek Tattered Cover at 1st & Milwaukee when we moved there? Answer: 6 miles. No correct guesses for this one. Better luck on the next question.

9/21 What limited edition custom product did Tattered Cover sell for a short time that was packaged to look like an old book? Answer: The Tattered Cover Book of Chocolates, made by Enstroms Candies. Our winner was Rebecca B.


9/22 What was our original store renamed when we moved into the space now occupied by Kazoo & Company, and what did it sell? Answer: Tattered Cover, The Old Store, selling bargain books, magazines, etc. Our winner was Josh V.

9/23 What was the name of the restaurant on the top floor of our last bookstore in Cherry Creek? Answer: The Fourth Story Restaurant & Bar. Our winner was Matt C. 

9/24 What two historic urban structures flanked our LoDo building before we renovated it and opened a bookstore? Answer: The 15th & 16th Street viaducts over which trolley cars passed. Our winner was Griffin.

9/25 What sitting U.S. President dropped in at our LoDo bookstore unannounced to shop while in town for a meeting? Answer: Bill Clinton. Our lucky winner was Diane D.

9/26 What was the name of the company whose historic building now houses our LoDo bookstore? Answer: The C. S. Morey Mercantile Company, perveyors of food, coffee, spices and household goods (an old-fashioned general store). Our winner was Noelle B.

9/27 Who is the host of our monthly Tattered Cover Free Classic Film at Denver FilmCenter/Colfax? Answer: Howie Moskowitz. Our winner was Jack W.

9/28 What has been our Christmas Eve tradition during the final hour of business to celebrate & reward last-minute shoppers? Answer: Serving free glasses of champagne or sparkling cider. Our winner was Anita G. :)

9/29 What iconic vaudevillian, stand-up comedian, radio & television personality, stage & screen actor appeared twice at Tattered Cover over the years to sign his books about golf and comedy? Answer: Bob Hope. The winner of our drawing was Geoff W.

9/30 How did owner Joyce Meskis end up in the Colorado Supreme Court in 2002 in a case known as Tattered Cover, Inc v. The City of Thornton? Answer: Asserting the First Amendment rights of its customers, the Tattered Cover Bookstore challenged a search warrant obtained by police that sought information about all books purchased by a customer in a 30-day period. The ACLU of Colorado and The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression each filed an amicus brief arguing that the state constitutional right of free expression requires special procedural protections when the government seeks information about what books a citizen is reading. In a groundbreaking opinion that recognizes the dangers posed by government monitoring of citizens’ reading habits, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the bookstore. Full story is ☞here. Our lucky winner was Micah M.


10/1 From closing time on our last day at the Cherry Creek store, how long did it take to remove all the books from the shelves, box them, move them to the Lowenstein Theater, unpack them, reshelve them, and open for business? Answer: Approximately 15 hour. The winner was Stephanie G.

10/2 Name at least one performance staged at the Bonfils-Lowenstein Theater during its heyday? Answer: We received many correct answers, including Harvey, Death of a Salesman, The Club, Much Ado About Nothing, and many more. Our lucky winner was Elizabeth H. who named three plays: Jack in the Beanstalk, Sorrows of Stephen, and Dark of the Moon.


10/3 After the Lowenstein Theater was closed, how long did it remain shuttered before finally being sold, renovated, and reborn as a "theater of ideas" under the new marquee Tattered Cover Book Store? Answer: 20 years. Our winner was Laura K.


10/4 What is embedded in the wall tiles of our restrooms at the Highlands Ranch bookstore? Answer: the bookjackets of classic adult literature and children's books. Our winner is: Adar J. 


10/5 What renegade park ranger, desert anarchist & comic novelist in the mold of Mark Twain & Henry David Thoreau held a number of autographings of his bestselling novels & essays at Tattered Cover before his death in 1989? Answer: Edward Abbey, author of Desert Solitaire, The Monkey Wrench Gang and other bestsellers. Our winner is Jonathan G.


10/6 What character from a Victor Hugo novel is etched into the windows of our Colfax Avenue bookstore? Answer: Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Our winner is Rebecca J.


10/7 In this photo, owner Joyce Meskis ☞ is wearing a Halloween costume inspired by the title of a book; can you guess which book it is? Answer: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. There were no winners in today's trivia contest. Many great guesses but no eligible correct answers.


10/8 What three major city streets form a triangle around our Highlands Ranch bookstore? Answer: Highlands Ranch Pkwy, Lucent Blvd. and S. Broadway. Our winner is Marie D.


10/9 What notorious film-star-turned-governor almost brought down the house (quite literally) when fans at his autographing began to climb the shelves for a better look? Answer: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Our lucky winner is Camilla C.


10/10 Who is the most prolific author of literary fiction and nonfiction to have appeared at the Tattered Cover? Answer: Joyce Carol Oates, author of more than 55 novels, 30 short story collections, 8 volumes of poetry, as well as plays, essays and nonfiction works on a range of literary subjects from Emily Dickinson and James Joyce, to studies of gothic and horror literature. Today's trivia winner is Mark O.


10/11 What midnight event brought hundreds of avid readers out to the Tattered Cover just to be on hand at the moment their favorite series sequel was released? Answer: Harry Potter release parties. Our winner was Irene R.


10/12 How many Nobel Peace Prize-winners have signed books at Tattered Cover through the years? Answer: four: Muhammad Yunus, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, and Barack Obama. Sorry, no one guessed correctly.


10/13 Which of these larger-than-life celebrities have appeared at Tattered Cover to promote their books? Answer: All but the two crossed out:

1. Jane Fonda
2. Shirley McClain
3. Pam Grier
4. Marlon Brando
5. Michael Caine
6. Gene Hackman
7. Craig Ferguson
8. Jimmy Stewart
9. Val Kilmer
10. Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
11. Jimmy Buffet
12. Mickey Hart

There were no correct answers. Some guessed all of the above, some guessed various combinations, none got it quite right. 


10/14 Our FINAL Trivia Question: Name one of the more than 40 National Book Award winners who have appeared at Tattered Cover over the last 40 years. Many correct answers, and the winner of our drawing was Andrea A., who named not one but three of the many NBA winners who have joined us: Sherman Alexie, Jaimy Gordon & Mark Doty.


By Gibbs M. Smith, Gibbs M. Smith (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781423606437
Availability: Special Order
Published: Gibbs Smith Publishers - October 2009

The Art of the Bookstore