Detailed History of Tattered Cover
Tattered Cover is a large indie bookstore and cafe with the intimacy and comfort of smaller bookshops, furnished with comfortable sofas and overstuffed chairs and and a world-class newsstand. We sell new and used books, in addition to crisp pre-discounted bargain editions. We are a Denver institution, a community gathering place, and an experience you can't download.
Bringing Authors & Readers Together
The Tattered Cover has a long history of hosting LIVE author events, averaging over 400 authors, illustrators, and public figures each year. Over the course of more than four decades in the book business, we've hosted such noted novelists as Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, Isabel Allende, Geraldine Brooks, Gunter Grass, Jennifer Egan, George R.R. Martin, Jasper Fforde, Hunter S. Thompson, Michael Chabon, Carol Shields, Alice Walker, Christopher Moore, Frank McCourt, Jonathan Lethem, Kurt Vonnegut, Connie Willis, Cormac McCarthy, A.S. Byatt, Neil Gaiman, Dave Eggers, Yan Martel, Barbara Kingsolver, Norman Mailer, Tom McGuane, Larry McMurtry, Nick Hornby, Nicole Krauss, Ian McEwan, Oscar Hijelos, Walter Moseley, Annie Proulx, Ha Jin, Umberto Eco, Richard Ford, Amy Tan, Tobias Wolff, Chuck Palahniuk, Peter Mathiessen, Erica Jong, Karl Hiaasen, Garrison Keillor, Susan Sontag...the list is far too long to complete here.
We've also welcomed many outstanding authors of nonfiction, including Buckminster Fuller, Julia Child, Joan Didion, John McPhee, Joseph Campbell, Maya Angelou, Thomas Freidman, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David McCollough, Rebecca Skloot, David Sibley, Gloria Steinem; political figures such as President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, First Lady Barbara Bush, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, First Lady Roslyn Carter, First Daughter Jenna Bush, First Daughter Caroline Kennedy, Congressman Newt Gingrich, John Kerry, Megan McCain, Arnold Schwarzenegger...; cultural icons including Julia Child, Ansel Adams, astronaut John Glenn, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Edward Abbey...; religious writers such as the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh; humorous observers such as David Sedaris, Dave Barry, and; poets including Mary Oliver, Louise Erdrich, Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, Joy Harjo, Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Seamus Heaney, Anne Waldman, Robert Hass...; artists & photographers Annie Lebovitz, Peter Sís, Chris Van Allsberg, David Small, Ed Young, Chris Van Allsburg...; actors, filmmakers and comedians such as Isabella Rosellini, Betty White, Gene Hackman, Michael Caine, Peter O'Toole, Melissa Gilbert, Molly Ringwold, Bob Hope, Shirley Temple, Jimmy Stewart, Craig Ferguson, Chelsea Handler, Shirley McClain, ...; childrens authors & illustrators J.K. Rowling, Tomie dePaola, Peter Sís, David Small, Ed Young, Chris Van Allsburg...and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Owner Joyce Meskis is one of the great guiding forces of independent bookselling in the country and a stubborn advocate for the rights of readers, literacy and free expression in America. She is the recipient of many prestigious awards for intellectual freedom including the William J. Brennan, Jr. Award for the Protection of Free Expression given by the Thomas Jefferson Center in Washington D.C.; the PEN/Newman First Amendment Award from the PEN American Center in New York; The Privacy International Brandeis Award; the American Library Association Award for Free Expression; and The Author’s Guild of America Award for Distinguished Service to the Literary Community. She is also the recipient of the distinguished Service Award for outstanding Achievement and Exceptional Service to the Denver Metropolitan Area from the University of Colorado Board of Regents. Joyce is the founder of the Colorado Freedom of Expression Foundation, and she recently retired after 7 years as the director of the Publishing Institute at The University of Denver.
Tattered Cover sells books online at www.tatteredcover.com and is well established across the social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Blogspot, home of our Between the Covers blog.
The Tattered Cover is proud to be a part of IndieBound: Independent Bookstores for Independent Minds.
The first Tattered Cover Book Store opened in Cherry Creek North on Second Avenue.
Joyce Meskis purchased the Tattered Cover, which consisted of 950 square feet of retail space with two employees.
The Tattered Cover expanded seven different times into adjoining retail space.
Our second location opened one block east of the "Old Store." Both locations were retained for a single operation. The "Old Store" housed bargain books, sidelines, and some office functions. The new location housed general retail operations and receiving.
All of our retail and administrative operations moved into the Tattered Cover's new location on First Avenue in Cherry Creek.
All of our shipping and receiving operations were consolidated into the newly-purchased Historic LoDo warehouse buildings at 16th and Wynkoop and 16th and Wazee streets.
Our administrative offices and functions moved into the Historic LoDo building on Wynkoop.
We opened a small bookstore in the Historic LoDo building on the corner of 16th and Wynkoop, complete with a coffee bar and a newsstand. Nov. 1994:
Our cafe opened on the first floor of the Cherry Creek bookstore.
The Fourth Story Restaurant & Bar opened on the fourth floor of the Cherry Creek location.
The LoDo bookstore expanded to over 20,000 square feet of retail space, an author appearance and special events space that can seat over 300 people, and a full-service coffee shop.
Plans to open a third Tattered Cover location in Highlands Ranch, Colorado are announced.
November 15, 2004:
The Highlands Ranch Tattered Cover opens just in time for the holidays!
Plans to move the Cherry Creek store in June to a newly rennovated historic Lowenstein Theater are announced. Plans to close the Fourth Story Restaurant & Bar are also announced.
The Fourth Story Restaurant & Bar closes for business on May 31 after 11 wonderful years serving Cherry Creek and Denver diners.
On June 24, the Cherry Creek store is open for business for a final Saturday. The store closes early to begin the move to its new home, an old renovated theater on Colfax Avenue in Denver, east of downtown. Tattered Cover on Colfax opened for business at 9 am on June 26, 2006 as an all-new "theater of ideas"!
Early in 2010: Tattered Cover bookstores began selling used books, now a rapidly growing part of the inventory, along with new and bargain books.
2011: Celebrating 40 years in the book business!
2014: Tattered Cover satellite stores open at Denver International Airport, Concourse A, B & C, in partnership with Hudson Booksellers.
July 2014: Tattered Cover commuter store opens at the newly rennovated Historic Union Station in Lower Downtown.
View our first 40 years in pictures here.