Memories & Wishes from Readers

  Thanks for the Memories

From Our Customers & Staff Members...

who have been sending in their memories of the last 40 years of Tattered Cover times. We're very pleased to share them with you as part of our 40th Birthday Celebration. If you have a story or memory about the Tattered Cover, please send it to us at newsletter@tatteredcover.com.

And we would like to thank all who have sent us your true tales from the annals of Tattered time. They're funny and poignant and will be greatly treasured as part of our 40th Birthday "time capsule."

 

 

❝ I am proud to say I have been in every iteration of TC. My favorite remains the first -- the one in "the alley" as I recalled it. Small and close and wonderful, I'd never been in a bookstore that encouraged me to sit and read the books in a comfy chair. And wasn't there coffee at times? And champagne maybe? My next favorite was the big Cherry Creek store with the restaurant. I always headed for the third floor where I could sit on the floor (chairs were almost always full) for hours if I wanted to. It felt like a Guilty Pleasure to peruse books you didn't buy first. I have loved every minute in every TC.

Book readings were my favorite individual moments though: In 1997, I brought Shadow, my wolfhound mix, to LoDo to hear Susan McElroy. There were a number of canines and one long-earred bunny in the front row! In 1992, I treated myself on my birthday, a Wednesday evening I think, to multiple female mystery writers, including Dorothy Cannell, Joan Hess and Carolyn Hart! Diane Mott Davidson brought brownies for her audience one night. Was that the same event? Or was that in the 80s? In any case, they were very special moments! ❞

~ Suzanne C.

 

 

❝ During my 35 or so years at Eastman Kodak, primarily as the director of business research for our printing & publishing division (nothing to do with amateur or professional film, but related to our commercial films & products used in printing), I got to spend an extraordinary amount of time on the road, managing studies, & talking to printers, publishers... & even a book store or two, as we tried to understand the dynamics of print, printing, & printers, & what the future might bring... (we clearly were not smart enough, or else the message from some of us never really got through to corporate ears).  

As an avid reader & passionate collector of all types of books, at one point I probably knew where all the best new & used book store were in each of the largest 30 or 40 US cities... (I did remember complaining tongue in cheek about not understanding why English books were hidden in the foreign language sections in book stores I explored in cities such as Dusseldorf, Tokyo, Santiago, & other places I got to wander...).  The '70's & '80's in particular, seemed to be wonderful times for great independent book stores, run by intelligent, articulate & passionate folk.  While it was challenging to do searches for unique books (pay a dollar, fill out a postcard & hope to hear from the book store some day...), there were an infinite number of treasures to be found.

I recall a discussion one day with some local book enthusiasts, where we got talking about different book stores, & of course I had a rich storehouse of anecdotes & perspectives on book stores around the country...  As an argument ensued regarding the best book stores, I popped up & said, quite unequivocally, that the tattered Cover was by far clearly the best book store in the US, & I had been in enough of them to know of what I spoke...  A rational friend, quite reasonably asked... "OK, well, why is that?"  I must admit, it gave me a momentary pause, but then I started in...  I talked about the rich & diverse selections of books & magazines, the atmosphere & places to sit & browse, the clever & user friendly ways that books were displayed, the blend of new & used materials, the comfort level of sitting on the floor somewhere to bury oneself in a book, the great coffee & on & on...  & then I said... but by far the most important reason why the Tattered Cover is the best book store in the US is due to Joyce & her incredibly dedicated & extremely knowledgeable staff.  In my times at (one of) the TC, I would start following my lists & notes, & then end up wandering & searching for whatever came to mind, linked by another book, a comment, a remembrance, & I would turn to a always nearby staff person & ask or say...  I am trying to remember an author who did this about that, or has so & so released their new, or I like this & that author/genre/period & what do you suggest & immediately I would be taken on a whirlwind trip through their world of book knowledge ... awesome...  I'd ask if there is going to be a new so & so, & the response was, are you looking for the US or the UK edition?  I loved it!

A dedicated & knowledgeable staff of personable folk is important in virtually any service-oriented consumer business, but it is crucial in the complex, occasionally sophisticated, often vague or ill-defined but rapidly evolving & radically changing world of books, literature, & ideas, particularly with a diverse gaggle of patrons of all types & with all sorts of sophistication or the lack thereof...  but they do, for the most part, have a passion to know, learn, explore...   And... the staff at the Tattered Cover are the best in the US at providing these services, & do so willingly, happily, & with clear passion & enthusiasm.

After this discussion, I couldn't get my thoughts out of my mind, & I finally sent Joyce a letter, expressing my appreciation for her wonderful & unique business, & in particular for her wonderful people.  She kindly wrote me back to tell me that she had read part of my letter to one of your staff meetings.  Much thanks to the TC for many wonderful times, memories... & books...

I wish I still traveled around, but Denver is always on my mind as we do our Rochester to Tucson & back snow bird treks... one of these days I will loop your way...

I am starting a blog which will be up in a few days for anyone who might be interested, & I still chew over the future of print & all that p-books vs e-books implies... yes, I enjoy my iPad, but I love my books.

All best to the Tattered Cover for a rich & exciting & vibrant future... ❞

~ Neil R.

 

 

❝ When I first arrived in Denver in 1989, The Tattered Cover was one of the first places I sought out...and revisited as often as time and money would allow.  It was then, and still is, in my humble opinion, the best book store in the country (and I have been to a lot of book stores)! Not only is the selection of books the best I have found, but the ambience beats out all competitors as well.  Though I now find less time to visit, whenever I do, I always receive a warm welcome from Joyce personally. There is a reason that The Tattered Cover has survived and thrived for 40 years...excellence rises to the top!  Congratulations, Joyce.  I wish you and TTC continued success and excellence. ❞

~ Janet W.

 

 

❝ Fifteen years ago this week, my husband picked me up at DIA for a house-hunting trip as we relocated from the eastern US to Denver. A confessed bibliophile who used to drive an hour to my favorite eastern bookstore, I dreaded the move away from friends and familiarity. After an intense day of house- and school-shopping, my husband took me on a date to the Cherry Creek Tattered Cover in an effort to convince me that our impending move would, in fact, be wonderful and enlightening. Four hours later, I felt better about life way out West. As we launch our 16th year in the Mile High City, I can say with certainty that the TC was my first true and enduring friend in Denver. We grieved the Creek store’s closing but have fallen in love with the Lowenstein, LoDo and Highlands Ranch stores. The signings and special events (remember all those Harry Potter midnight premieres?) are among our – and our college daughters’ – fondest memories. Cheers to Joyce and all of you. We look forward to celebrating your 50th, 60th, and subsequent birthdays. ❞

~ K. Stulock and family

 

 

❝ I'd moved to Colorado October 2003, didn't know a soul. I found my way down to the Cherry Creek area...and there on the corner of 1st Ave I happened upon the most charming bookstore—like that of old.  I'd spend hours drifting through the levels of books­—lost in the smell and warm surroundings.  As a book lover, this was my book store.
Cherry Creek's only appeal for me was Tattered Books. I was heart-sick when this enchanting store moved. ❞

~Deborah R.

 

❝ Years ago, I worked in a large office where people were always open to gossip.  My son was a psychologist who worked with family problems.  He lived out of state and asked me to order a text for his practice, through Tattered Cover.  The day that the book came in, the store called and asked my secretary to give me the message that the book was in. From across the room of about 20 people, she yelled to me: "Tattered Cover says your book on sex is in."

There is no way in the world anyone would believe that it was a text for my son.  There were 20 sniveling, smirking faces in that room all day and I think from that day on my reputation was "sex addict." ❞

~Dorie F.

 

 

❝ My father-in-law, an avid reader now in his mid-80s, raves about your store because of an experience he had several years ago. He and his wife had recently returned from a trip to Egypt where, as he recounts it, he saw an obscure book on Coptic Christianity that he wanted to buy. Unfortunately, despite it being on display, he was told it was out of print and not for sale. While visiting us and during one of our outings he perused the shelves of the Tattered Cover only to discover a copy of the book he thought he’d never own. Of course he bought it immediately. He instantly became a lifelong fan of the Tattered Cover, and we make sure to take him by the store whenever he visits Denver. In his eyes and ours the Tattered Cover is truly a Denver Treasure. ❞

~Bruce C. 

 

 

❝ Hello, We have shopped at Tattered Cover for a long time now. It is the only place we will buy a book. Love the homey atmosphere, the way TC gives back to the community and the wonderful people that work there. We have spent many hours wandering in your stores. Our favorite saying is "so many books, soooo little time."  We have attended Author signings, and Active Minds lectures. We hope to continue to do this for a long time to come. Our only complaint is parking at the LODO store. Summer is the worst. Congratulations on 40 years and our wishes for many, many more to come. ❞

~Bob & Jamie S.

 

❝ Half a continent away, with family in Denver, I keep up with TC authors and events via email. When I’m in town at “Thanksmas,” I give all four nieces and nephews gift certificates to Tattered Cover, plus a rumble through the store. You’ve been a great inspiration for my award-winning series at Rochester Institute of Technology, “Visionaries in Motion.” See www.cwgp.org. ❞

~Mary Lynn B.

 

 

❝ When TC was just a storefront on E. 1st Avenue in Cherry Creek North, I remember the lovely tradition of being treated to a glass of champagne as I did my last minute shopping.  It was charming. I think of it every year when I Christmas shop in Tattered Cover after 40 years!  It is lovely to see how TC has thrived in spite of all the changes.  It is indeed cause for celebration! ❞

~Elizabeth (Betsy) C. 

 

 

❝ We've been customers of The Tattered Cover since 1976, when we returned from living in California. At the time, as we were a young family with small children and not much money, I asked if it was possible to buy books on layaway. Instead, the staff offered me a charge account that I could pay off in small amounts! I was delighted to be able to supply my daughters with classics of their own. (Our account number has only three digits, and we still use it. Current staff usually expect another three!)

When Tattered was slated to move across the street from its original location in Cherry Creek and the store asked for assistance from its customer base, my husband and I were right there. We still own the brown t-shirts (A Moving Experience) from that very long day. We felt we were investing time and energy in a second home, and were happy to do so.

After the second move into the old Neusteter's department store space, my elder daughter, Chris Harris, was old enough to work at her favorite store, and became the first scheduler to automate the process on interconnecting spreadsheets. We had breakfast with her on Sundays and would be present with her at opening time afterward...inevitably spending about $100/week on books that we just couldn't resist. (Obviously, finances had improved!) Her younger sister, Denise, followed in her turn as regular staff.

A long-time Dorothy Dunnett fan, I was thrilled to be able to hear her speak and have her sign all of my hard-back copies of her books, collected lovingly through the years at the Tattered Cover. My husband has called me a reading addict because of my occasional total immersion into my favorite recreational activity...such as re-reading her entire Lymond Chronicles in two weeks..13 times, now. I always learn something new that I missed before from these amazingly rich historical stories.

I was a performer at the Bonfils Theatre in my younger days, and had been sorely disappointed at its closing and subsequent neglect. So, when Tattered Cover took it over and renovated, I was thrilled. After it opened, I walked through, biting my lip as memories flooded back. So much was retained of the original space, that it was another "coming home", and what better choice to be there than my other favorite institution? I was delighted to see my picture on the wall in the Gypsy poster, and when I arrived at the south end of the store, I turned around and suddenly realized that I was once again on the Bonfils stage. Tears flowed, then, and now, in remembrance.

Today, Chris's husband, Whit, (still living in the Congress Park neighborhood) provides the downtown branch's coffee shop with gluten-free goodies. We are never far away from our second home...

So, thank you, Joyce and the entire Tattered staff, for providing us with the best in literature, the best in support, the best in a welcoming atmosphere, and the best in supplemental programs, as well as saving our beloved historical Bonfils. Best Wishes for many more years to come! ❞

~J. Mel and Nancy E. H.

 

My husband loved spending time at Tattered Cover.  In fact it was often the destination for a family outing.  The best present he could ever get would be a gift certificate.  He would spend hours shopping and come home with gifts for everyone - rarely anything for himself.  He died much too young as a result of leukemia.  Every year, on the anniversary of his death (November 4th) my children and I would spend part of the day at Tattered Cover  - to honor him and mix joy with our grief.  My children are young adults now, but if they are in town, they still join me on that day with a visit to our favorite book store. ❞ 

~ Sharon T-M

 

 

❝ One of our favorite family traditions over the years - and something we truly looked forward to - was stopping by the LoDo Tattered Cover Book Store after a Rockies' night game at Coors Field.
As the cattle call for the Light Rail took place after each game, we would stop by the Tattered Cover, grab a coffee and/or snack, and casually browse through the store.

After an hour or so, the crowd at the Light Rail station would diminish and we'd walk right up to the train with our new books and head home. Many of our friends who attended the games with us also enjoyed our Tattered Cover excursions. Unfortunately, the shorter night hours at the store have put an end to this tradition. However, we still try to stop by the LoDo store whenever we are downtown.

Thanks for the memories. ❞

~BT

 

 

❝ From November 1981 through November 1982 my husband (and former Tattered Cover Book Store employee) Pat Kraker and I lived and worked at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. The Station is closed to the outside world for about nine months—no one in or out. How would I send gifts to friends and family? Tattered Cover to the rescue! Before I left town I made this arrangement: I would send a 'mars gram' (short-wave radio telegram) instruction to the TC, signed 'the penguin.' The TC staff would mail the book and charge my house account. Thank you Tattered Cover Book Store and congratulations on 40 years in our community. ❞

~Kathy C.

 

 

❝ Like so many others, I have countless fond memories of the Tattered Cover, but I have two very favorite memories (so far).

When I was working at the University of Denver as publications editor, our newspaper staff had a campuswide contest: If you could have anything for Christmas, what would it be? Answered flooded in, from world peace to $1 million and everything in between. My answer? An all-expenses-paid trip to the Tattered Cover. Much to my delight, my answer was chosen to be part of the newspaper story, and our photographer and I had a glorious time at the Cherry Creek store after I gathered a basketful of books and went to sit in my favorite chair, in the corner alcove of the fiction section on the third floor. Included in my basket was Siddhartha by Herman Hesse as a tip o' the hat to my father, who taught me to read when I was three. I still have that photo and the newspaper article as a reminder of that happy day.

Living in Oregon, I've visited Powell's many times and can say it may well be the second greatest indie bookstore in the country. It is a true Portland landmark, and there's even an iPhone app that's a GPS for the store -- if you're like me, you'll need it. But there is no plush green carpet to hush the footsteps, there are no wide staircases lined with books beckoning you to sit and browse awhile, and there is never that feeling of being home -- or as Joyce Meskis intended, in the reading room of a great university -- that there is at the Tattered Cover.

I return to Denver as often as I can, and on one visit several years ago, I took my oldest niece on her first trip to the TC in Highlands Ranch when she was three or four. It was a big outing, as our favorite thing to do together is read. We walked in, holding hands, until she started to look around, taking everything in. Then she looked up at me, eyes big as saucers, and whispered, "Auntie.... BOOKS!" I couldn't have been happier to share my love for reading -- and my love for the Tattered Cover -- with one of my favorite people in the world. ❞


~Rebecca B. 

 

 

❝ A Denver rite of passage--working at the TC at some point! I did two stints: one in my 20's starting at the old store and moving into the 1st Avenue store, and then again in my 30's at CC and Lodo. I learned everything I've ever needed to know about customer service there, and I use that knowledge daily! So many terrific memories and friends. ❞

~Ellen H.

 

 

❝ Years ago The Tattered Cover had a restaurant called The Fourth Story at their Cherry Creek store.  I wanted so much to go that one year for my birthday my husband took me there for dinner.  I don’t remember what the main course was (I was busy sucking up the ambience) but I DO remember eating something green and slightly wilted in butter.  It had the most ingenious and unusual taste ever.  I was embarrassed to ask but finally did.  The server told me it was arugula.  My first taste of my (now) favorite green at my favorite bookstore.  It was sublime. ❞

~Jonni J.

 

 

❝ Dear Tattered Cover,  A visit to your bookstore was always on our list whenever we were visiting Denver with our children. (1980's-1990's). No matter what the reasons for the trip from Grand Junction, be it soccer games, ball games, plays or museums, we would find time to stop by.  Of course, we knew that once there we would have a difficult time removing my husband from the premises.  So, it was wonderful that we each had a special place to explore and relax.  I recall a time when there was a storm brewing and we needed to get on the road and over the pass in due time.  Even that did not keep us from some serious browsing at Tattered Cover.  Thank you for those wonderful memories.  We will not be the only ones to mention how much we enjoyed seeing your loyal patron, the little man(niquin) reading his newspaper each time we visited you.  Congratulations! ❞ 

~Judith and Steve A.

 

 

❝ When I was about 10 years old, I was just learning the joys of reading.  It was a hot St Louis summer, and just past the point where I was, as all summer children get, bored and fidgety.  My Dad supported five children with his one-truck delivery service, called At Your Service – we only had the one phone into our house, and until 5:00 each evening, we had to answer our phone with a perky “At Your Service!”  One day he’d made a delivery to the public library, and they were discarding a big box of books, so he grabbed it and brought it home. There were many finds, some Bobbsey Twins, a book on manners, something to do with Goops, both dating back to the twenties or thirties.  But my favorite was a book called “A Very Special House” written by Ruth Krause, and illustrated by a young artist named Maurice Sendak.  I read the book, probably until it fell apart, and forgot it for many years.

After I divorced in 1990, I began dating my second husband, who was also divorced with two small children, aged 3 and 5.  I had always thought that if I ever had children, which was not to be, I’d love to read them that book.  At that time, I decided that if I could meet someone whose children loved that book as much as I did, I’d have found my soul mate – and I did!  I had lost all track of my original copy, so I went to the staff at Tattered Cover to see if they could help me locate another, though it was quite old.  This was 23 years ago, so the internet was in its infancy.  The book was out of print, but they located a copy for me!  I was amazed and thrilled.  To this day, I can start a sentence from that book, and my kids can still finish it for me!  We spent many hours sitting and reading, and that was probably our favorite.  These are very special memories for me and my children – I really don’t think of them as stepchildren, and to this day, they both enjoy a good book as well as I.

I know that there are many outlets with books online that may or may not be cheaper than Tattered Cover, but part of my Christmas shopping must ALWAYS be purchasing books and other gifts from Tattered Cover.  Joyce Meskis is one of my heroines, and I will never forget that the staff at Tattered Cover helped me find a childhood treasure to share with my children, to make it one of theirs. ❞

~Sara M.

 

 

❝ I grew up near Cherry Creek and remember going to each TC incarnation. I was living in San Francisco in the 1980s and came home to visit. A friend that came home with me pointed out to me that we had only been in Denver four days, but had been to the TC five times! Even San Francisco did not have a bookstore to rival the TC. I moved home and had a family. Our son's first outing as a baby was a trip to the TC. ❞

~Laurie T.

 

 

❝ Since you invited stories about Tattered Cover memories, here's mine:

Decades ago I attended a meeting of several hundred people sponsored by a local organization whose name I can't recall.  What I do recall is Joyce Meskis's compelling speech as part of the program.  Joyce stated her bookstore's mission as bringing people and ideas together.

Because I think of bookstores and libraries with their broad access to knowledge and information as cornerstones of our democracy, I was moved by Joyce's speech.  She made me proud to be a citizen of a nation where I can make informed decisions.

I buy all my new books from the Tattered Cover. Thank you, Joyce. ❞

~Kathryn (Kay) P.

 

 

❝ One of my memorable experiences was being part of the human chain that moved all the books across 2nd Ave. from the first space to what is now Kazoo, I think. Candy by the cash registers at Christmas, great meals at the 4th Story, always running into someone I knew at the Cherry Creek store. Sad day when a neighborhood icon became another high end spa/gym. Do the landlords of Cherry Creek have any idea of how much additional shopping was spun off from Tattered Cover patrons?❞

~Sigi

 

 

❝ In the mid-1980s, my friend Sue went into the Tattered Cover to buy a book that was quite popular at the time. Seeking assistance from a bookstore employee, who happened to be female, my friend said, "I'm looking for The New Male, Female Relationship."

"Aren't we all!" the employee replied. ❞

~Nancy Z. L.

 

 

❝ My favorite memory was when the bookstore was in cherry creek and getting the opportunity to meet Bob Hope and get a signed copy of his book. ❞

~Lisa L.

 

 

❝ I grew up in Denver loving the Tattered Cover in all its incarnations, and my Colorado newcomer husband became a fan after moving here in 1985. We moved away for a time and looked forward to dedicating an afternoon to our holiday shopping at the Tattered when we came back for Thanksgiving. It's so much more convenient being back in Denver!❞

~Judy O.

 

 

❝ Congrats on 40 years! I worked at TCBS from fall of 1994 through spring of 1995 at the Cherry Creek store. I have fond memories of my fellow workers and my time there. We were lucky enough to have had free meals at the Fourth Story before it opened while they worked the kinks out of their menu.

I started by working the counters for the holidays, and it was crazy! As the lines grew and we furiously scanned, bagged and bookmarked, we marveled how we could do so much business in such a short time. We decided that the TC lapel pin was our “Tan Badge of Courage,” and whenever I see one now, I mentally salute the hardworking employees. Keep up the good work. ❞

~Larry G.

 

 

❝ I taught English at Englewood HS for 21 years. Most of our kids didn't frequent a bookstore. So, one year, another English teacher, Carolyn Derrington Tate and I arranged to have a school bus take our kids and us to the Cherry Creek store.

The only stipulation for going was that the student had to enjoy browsing quietly and perhaps buying a book. We encouraged those who didn't think this fit them, to stay at school.

We made arrangements with Tattered Cover to have someone read selections from Huck Finn to us. It is a part of the junior curriculum. Actually, a lot of Twain is.

We arrived about 9:30 and browsed and shopped. Then we walked across the street to the Mall for lunch, then back for a short time at Tattered Cover. That is when we had the reading. It was exceptional, and all my kids were very quiet.

When it came time to leave, I watched the students climb on the bus, many with big bags of books. I was overwhelmed, because their budgets were not big. They expressed to me many times how much they enjoyed themselves,  that they had never been in a bookstore before, and they didn't know what to expect.

Someone from TC called us to say how well behaved everyone was, and we were invited back anytime. !!!

This is a very fond memory of mine. Sincerely, ❞ 

~Judy C.

 

 

❝ When my husband was transferred to Denver I was less than pleased. We'd always lived in large cities on both coasts and in Europe. I knew people were teasing when they told me that everyone in Denver drove a pickup with a gun in the back window, but I was still concerned over what I'd find.

When we flew here to look at houses I left a book someone had loaned me on the plane.  I felt I had to replace it so started calling bookstores in Denver.  I had reached the Ts and called the Tattered Cover before I found a copy of the book.  Someone at the desk told me how to find the store.  We parked near the Cherry Creek store and made our way to the book store.  We saw a crowd outside a store and walked over to see what was going on. It was an art gallery and it was holding an exhibition for the artist.  When we reached the Tattered Cover there was another large gathering of people.  I decided that if the two largest crowds we saw on a Friday night were at an art gallery and a book store Denver couldn't be all bad.

When visitors came to see us one of my first stops showing them around was The Tattered Cover. ❞

~Charleen R.

 

 

❝ A year before the 2nd Ave Cherry Creek location closed, I went in looking for what I figured was an extreme long shot-the hit comic novel of 1889 (Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome).  I approached the staffer at the desk on the literature floor/section, and explained my quest.  Without a glance at his terminal, he said "Follow me", which I did, back to a corner where he said "Ah, should be here", pulled the single copy off the low shelf, and asked "Will you need anything else?"
I've worked in specialty retail for 28 years, and appreciate beyond all else competence and expertise, and the staff at TC is above and beyond superb. ❞
 

~Elliott C., reading junkie

 

 

❝ One of our favorite family traditions over the years - and something we truly looked forward to - was stopping by the LoDo Tattered Cover Book Store after a Rockies' night game at Coors Field. As the cattle call for the Light Rail took place after each game, we would stop by the Tattered Cover, grab a coffee and/or snack, and casually browse through the store.

After an hour or so, the crowd at the Light Rail station would diminish and we'd walk right up to the train with our new books and head home. Many of our friends who attended the games with us also enjoyed our Tattered Cover excursions. Unfortunately, the shorter night hours at the store have put an end to this tradition. However, we still try to stop by the LoDo store whenever we are downtown.

Thanks for the memories. ❞


~BTM

 

 

❝ We've been customers of The Tattered Cover since 1976, when we returned from living in California. At the time, as we were a young family with small children and not much money, I asked if it was possible to buy books on layaway. Instead, the staff offered me a charge account that I could pay off in small amounts! I was delighted to be able to supply my daughters with classics of their own. (Our account number has only three digits, and we still use it. Current staff usually expect another three!)

When Tattered was slated to move across the street from its original location in Cherry Creek and the store asked for assistance from its customer base, my husband and I were right there. We still own the brown t-shirts (A Moving Experience) from that very long day. We felt we were investing time and energy in a second home, and were happy to do so.

After the second move into the old Neusteter's department store space, my elder daughter, Chris Harris, was old enough to work at her favorite store, and became the first scheduler to automate the process on interconnecting spreadsheets. We had breakfast with her on Sundays and would be present with her at opening time afterward...inevitably spending about $100/week on books that we just couldn't resist. (Obviously, finances had improved!) Her younger sister, Denise, followed in her turn as regular staff.

A long-time Dorothy Dunnett fan, I was thrilled to be able to hear her speak and have her sign all of my hard-back copies of her books, collected lovingly through the years at the Tattered Cover. My husband has called me a reading addict because of my occasional total immersion into my favorite recreational activity...such as re-reading her entire Lymond Chronicles in two weeks..13 times, now. I always learn something new that I missed before from these amazingly rich historical stories.

I was a performer at the Bonfils Theatre in my younger days, and had been sorely disappointed at its closing and subsequent neglect. So, when Tattered Cover took it over and renovated, I was thrilled. After it opened, I walked through, biting my lip as memories flooded back. So much was retained of the original space, that it was another "coming home", and what better choice to be there than my other favorite institution? I was delighted to see my picture on the wall in the Gypsy poster, and when I arrived at the south end of the store, I turned around and suddenly realized that I was once again on the Bonfils stage. Tears flowed, then, and now, in remembrance.

Today, Chris's husband, Whit, (still living in the Congress Park neighborhood) provides the downtown branch's coffee shop with gluten-free goodies. We are never far away from our second home...

So, thank you, Joyce and the entire Tattered staff, for providing us with the best in literature, the best in support, the best in a welcoming atmosphere, and the best in supplemental programs, as well as saving our beloved historical Bonfils. Best Wishes for many more years to come! ❞


~JM and Nancy H.

 

 

❝ Every Christmas my husband and I placed a $25. gift certificate to the Tattered Cover in our daughter’s stockings. They recently expressed to us that that gift certificate and our outing to your book store was their favorite gift every year.  Our daughter’s are now 30, 28, 26 years of age and all avid readers!  Thanks Tattered!! ❞

~Mary Beth C.

 

 

❝ My memorable moment at the Tattered Cover is as an employee. I sold Julia Child a New York Times newspaper & I got to shake Jimmy Stewart's hand. ❞

~Erica A.

 

 

❝ I was working the first floor counter when Secretary of State Madeline Albright came to shop -- she was in Denver on official business. When she came to the counter to check out, I said, "Are you who I think you are?" She replied, 'Yes I am'. ❞

~Tom N.

 

 

❝ Having enjoyed your first, then second, then third location in Cherry Creek, my husband and I were so forlorn when we learned of your last move out of the neighborhood...would we still be able to walk from our Wash Park home over to TC? It had always been a destination for us: to read, browse, meet friends, chat with employees, purchase gifts, or simply relax and reflect. When I was away one weekend (and my husband was operating with less marital consumer guilt) he wandered over, Eyore-like, wanting to say his last goodbye, and also wondering what kind of mementoes he might score. Needless to say, our library is now lined with lovely cherry Fourth Story bookshelves, and our foyer greets every guest with Joyce's original phone booth! Turns out it was the same phone booth in which he had sat, smoking cigarettes and calling friends to exchange ideas and share new reads. We will always have a bit of your history to come home to! Thanks for all you have meant to us, and to our 18 year old daughter who will be slowly searching NYU /NYC for bookstores, libraries, and other niches that give her the same comforts as TC. ❞

~Ginny G., Joe G. & Gwen G.

 

 

❝ I was 19. I was living in Elizabeth, Colorado working the graveyard shift at a local diner and working days at the small but well-loved 20-Mile Book Stop in Parker. I don't remember how I learned that Douglas Coupland would be reading from his new (at the time) book, Girlfriend in a Coma, at the Lodo Tattered Cover  - I just knew I would be going.

I got the night off from the diner and, stopping for gas on the way to Denver, I bought a Kit-Kat bar for Mr. Coupland. I'll admit it - I was a bit in love with him and looking for some way to connect with him. I had no idea whether he even liked candy, nonetheless Kit-Kats in particular, but limited to small town gas station wares (and deciding immediately against the fake, scented rose) I figured, what could it hurt?

An hour-and a half later I arrived in downtown Denver, a city I knew only in fits and starts. The record store at 13th and Washington, the coffee shop on 15th across from the bridge to nowhere. At that time, a huge postal service center stood across from the TC, and next to it a huge-ish, small-town-girl-friendly parking lot. I noticed a car being towed and asked the tow truck driver, "Is it ok to park here? I'm going across the street for a (swallow, breathe!) book reading." The friendly tow truck driver assured me my old Chevy would be fine, and I made my way across the street.

(This is the part of the story where the readers get that terrible, cringy feeling - impending disaster! -  even while the protagonist remains completely oblivious.)

Here's what I remember: Douglas Coupland had a beard and was wearing a flannel shirt. He looked very Canadian. His voice was even and hushed, and I listened with my eyes half-closed to his reading, trying to memorize his voice for future books.

When the reading was over, I queued up with the scores of other book nerds and tried without success to keep the dust jacket of my new book from warping with palm sweat. I eschewed the small slip of paper provided to the patrons so that the author could spell everyone's name  right while keeping the line moving at a reasonable pace. I did not want him to think I was there for some silly autograph, no! I wanted to make a real and human connection! Using a gas-station confection as a portal? Why not? This was Douglas Coupland, after all.

And then, well, there I was. More importantly, there he was, looking benevolent and weary. He said hello and reached out for my book. I handed it to him and then shyly slid the Kit-Kat bar toward him, muttering something about "I thought you could use this." I was woefully unprepared for what happened next, which was this: his eyes brightened, his smile widened, and he animatedly said to me...what? What was he saying? I could see that he was talking and yet all my brain could process was the whooshing of the blood in my head, suddenly a torrent, and some horrible "waw waw" sounds like the adults make in the old Charlie Brown specials.

Time seemed to slow, terribly, the way that it might if you were falling from much too high, and I found myself thinking, "You idiot. He's talking to you right now and instead of hearing him you're freaking out. Eventually he's going to stop talking and expect you to say something. Really, you should at least try to listen to what he's saying. Jeez, your palm is really sweaty, huh? Oh wait - he's finished. Oh god, this is going to be embarrassing. " He had finished, and instead of simply asking him to repeat himself (lame, but not unreasonable!) I looked into his expectant, bearded face and said "uh-huh?"

His face was all bemused confusion with a twinge of disappointment as he got back to the business of the book reading. He asked my name and handed me my book, wishing me a good evening. I deflated. I'm not even sure that I thanked him. I floated, ghostly and wretched from the event room, down the stairs and into the night. It had worked. The dumb Kit-Kat hat worked and I had blown it. The small-town girl rendered horribly star struck.

Immediate epilogue: you saw it coming, of course. My car was towed by the guy whose "permission" I had received to park in the big lot across the street. It being a time before the ubiquitous cell phone, I walked back to the TC after standing dumbly in the empty parking space and called a friend, begging a ride that would take at least an hour to arrive. Back outside, I watched the TC staff finish locking up and sat on the green metal bench feeling very alone and very dumb. I opened my book to read again what Douglas Coupland had written. It was the standard; "To so-and so," but he had spelled my name right even without a slip of paper, which almost made it worse. And then it started to rain. I'm not even kidding.

Epilogue some 5 years later: I was sitting on my bed in a room I rented from a friend in Denver. I had just purchased Douglas Coupland's new-at-the-time release, All Families are Psychotic, from the Tattered Cover in Cherry Creek. (Yes, I was still a fan of his writing and of the Tattered Cover, of course, and even of Kit-Kats, for that matter).  I was reading with interest until I got to the description of one of the characters - the brilliant and well-loved sister who had become an astronaut. The short, brown-haired brainiac with one hand missing from a birth defect. I almost hyperventilated. I called my mom, and she cried a little as I told her how my favorite author had managed, unknowingly perhaps, to gift me with an honest-to-god heroine, missing hand and all. She told me, "You have to write to him, you have to. You two have a connection!"

I smiled.

Happy 40th, Tattered Cover. Thank you for the countless told, and untold, stories. ❞

~Kathryn T.

 

❝ The Tattered Cover in Denver is one of the best and most famous independent bookstores in all of America. In the early 80’s, it was located in the Cherry Creek area, near where I worked as a young CPA. I used to browse and shop there frequently over my lunch hour or after work. The store filled all six stories of a building, and book displays were merchandized on the landings between floors. One day, wearing a new but inexpensive CPA suit, I was intently reading a book featured on one of the landings. I turned the page, and a woman next to me jumped, startled, and looked at me as if I were a ghost. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “I thought you were a manikin.” I think that’s when people started calling me, ‘Mr. Personality’.

I still love The Tattered Cover. Good luck and success to Joyce and all the wonderful staff! ❞

~RWB

 

 

❝ The TC was the first place I worked as kid. I can remember Joyce Meskis teaching me how to gift wrap, adding that special touch of folding in the edges of the paper to give it a more “polished” look.  It was a fairly easy job until someone brought in a big art book or a globe!  I can remember helping with the move from the old store to the second store and the huge turn out of loyal customers who came to help.  I can remember helping at the Bob Hope autographing and the big, kind smile he gave me when I handed him the glass of water he asked for.

The TC is not just a store but a community gathering place where over the years it has brought so many people and ideas together. Perhaps I am biased because Joyce is my mother and I grew up with the TC, but the TC has always been and always will be an amazing and magical place to me. ❞

~Julie L.

 

❝ Our family has had the tradition that we all pile into the car on Christmas Eve Day to go to lunch and then to TC to each pick a book for our first Christmas present.  This has been happening for at thirty plus years.  Our girls are now in their mid-thirties and married so we go on whatever day in December that everyone CAN go and now all six of us choose books.  We would still do it on Christmas Eve day but we moved to the mountains three and a half years ago, that isn't always feasible.  It's funny how we all still get so excited for our "Tattered Cover Day"....... and our sons-in-law love the tradition for obvious reasons! ❞

~ Marybeth A.

 

❝ When TC was just a storefront on E. 1st Avenue in Cherry Creek North, I remember the lovely tradition of being treated to a glass of champagne as I did my last minute shopping.  It was charming. I think of it every year when I Christmas shop in Tattered Cover after 40 years!  It is lovely to see how TC has thrived in spite of all the changes.  It is indeed cause for celebration! ❞

~Betsy C.

 

❝ My father-in-law, an avid reader now in his mid-80s, raves about your store because of an experience he had several years ago. He and his wife had recently returned from a trip to Egypt where, as he recounts it, he saw an obscure book on Coptic Christianity that he wanted to buy. Unfortunately, despite it being on display, he was told it was out of print and not for sale. While visiting us and during one of our outings he perused the shelves of the Tattered Cover only to discover a copy of the book he thought he’d never own. Of course he bought it immediately. He instantly became a lifelong fan of the Tattered Cover, and we make sure to take him by the store whenever he visits Denver. In his eyes and ours the Tattered Cover is truly a Denver Treasure. ❞

~Bruce C. 

 

❝ I live in England but my best friend Kimberly lives on Capitol Hill in Denver. I visited her twice back in 2007 and am intending to re-visit next summer, during which time l intend to re-visit both your stores.

During my time there l visited Tattered Cover on several occasions, both with Kimberly, and on my own and l have never ever seen such a homely, friendly, warm and welcoming bookstore in my life. I am an avid book reader (mainly crime fiction) so l spend alot of time browsing and relaxing in bookstores. l know there are many bookstore chains, both here in England and in America, with books, cafe outlets and chairs to sit in but Tattered Cover is unique. Give me a book, a drink, a snack, chair and a friendly, relaxing atmosphere and l'm happy so Tattered Cover has it all for me!

On one occasion l recall buying a drink in your main store (we also visited Tattered Cover on Colefax and being a passionate theatre addict l was told that it used to be a theatre. l know you also used to have a store at Cherry Creek), sitting upstairs in a lovely armchair overlooking 16th Street, and whiling away 2-3 hours reading a book feeling that l was at home.

Ever since my first visit l have been on your email list as l like to keep up with what is going on. and everytime l receive an update it triggers fond memories of Denver, a city l now consider my second home, having my two best friends there.

Once again, congratulations to you all and may you celebrate many more!

Best wishes.

~Mark P.

 

❝ One of the unique aspects of the first move was the number of customers who assisted in the move.  I remember the signup sheets being quite numerous and full.  TC became my book store of choice back when Joyce Meskis was an employee there* and it was owned by a couple of really pleasant fellows. Just a little hole in the wall on Second Avenue.  One of my fondest recollections was a rainy Sunday afternoon spent reading Helene Hanff's "84 Charing Cross Road", curled up in an old stuffed chair up on the second floor of the first store, finishing the read with tears streaming down my cheeks to match the rain while purchasing the book before leaving.  I don't recall who checked me out but I remember she gave me tissues to clean my face and blow my nose.  It was a time I  still cherish when thinking of the Tattered Cover.

Happy 40th and may there be another 40 (or more). ❞

~Friday G.

*Though Joyce was never an employee of Steve Cogil, the original owner, prior to purchasing the Tattered Cover, we understand the confusion, and so love this touching memory of the early, early days of our original store.

 

❝ I was most fond of Cherry Creek’s charming store, and took many visitors to Denver there. I used to take my son there too as a child and teen, as well as his friends. We would hang out for a long time perusing the books and magazines, and usually buying a few items.  Some of the best memories were meeting  many well known celebrity authors there ..Leo Buscaglia, Colin Powell and Hilary Clinton.  Book stores are dangerous to me spending-wise, and I am old enough to appreciate the scent and feel of a real paper book; don’t think I’ll ever get used to the electronic readers.
Thank You,

~Sandy R.

 

 

I am 31 now, and I remember with great fondness when, growing up, my dad would take my sister and me to the CC TC and let us pick out whatever books we wanted and however many we wanted. We would spend hours browsing (sitting on the floor if the chairs were taken) and filling our baskets. Most of the time I chose age-appropriate selections (a lot of Babysitter's Club), but I recently found a copy of Norman Mailer's Executioner's Song with a 1990 Tattered Cover price tag on the back, and I vaguely remember picking it out. (It was during the whole Menendez brothers murders and there were a lot of books about killers around, I remember.) Sometimes after purchase, my sister and I were  allowed to get one gift-wrapped; it was always so exciting to pick out the wrapping paper and ribbon!

~Rachel H.

 

 

❝ Aldo Leopold’s book, A Sand County Almanac, has been sitting on my bookshelf since 1973 when I received it as a gift. After getting a sneak preview of a new film on Aldo Leopold, I decided it was time to re-read it. I opened the book and there, amongst the pages,  was a 38 year old Tattered Cover bookmark. What a treasure I found.


As an avid reader from an early age I recall many visits to the store on 2nd Avenue. When the store asked for help from its customer base to help with the move to the old Neusteter's department store I was right there packing boxes of books.

I miss having the Tattered Cover in North Cherry Creek but I am glad that Joyce renovated the Bonfils Theatre. My brother performed there in his younger days and I can still remember him in the play Father Knows  Best. Memories come back to me every time I step into the Colfax Store.

Thank you Joyce for the Tattered Cover and all that you do for our community.

~Patricia B. 

 

 

❝ About 15 or so years ago, my husband and I planned a vacation to Rocky Mountain National Park. I told him that we had to spend the first two days in Denver to go to the Tattered Cover. He couldn't believe it. How could I think I would need two days to explore the bookstore I had longed to see for years? He grudgingly agreed. We arrived at Cherry Creek store and we made a plan. We would meet back at the front of the store in two hours and if he wanted to, we could leave at some agreed upon time. I would compromise. I showed up two hours later and waited for 15 minutes or so, then I started looking for him. I thought about where he might disappear in both mind and body. Maybe nature, travel and then I thought, definitely science. He's a chemist. I found the science section and found him sitting very comfortably in a big chair. I asked him if he was ready to leave. He grinned at me and said, "Are you crazy?" We spent the rest of the day and the next morning in book heaven. We always make extra time for the Tattered Cover when traveling through Colorado. Thanks for all the great books! ❞

~ Amanda C.

 

 

We had been in the Denver area about 2 months and I took my three very young (3, 2 and 1 year old)children to the Tattered Cover.  I had the two older ones in a double strollerand the baby in a back carrier.  We spend time looking and reading and just havingfun.  Then I packed them all up and walked the six blocks to where we hadparked.  As I was putting them all in the car I realized the youngest hadpicked up a book and carried it out with her.  It was about fire engines andeven had wheels that turned.  I was just too tired and “over mothered”to make the trek back, so when I got home my husband enclosed a check with a letterto you explaining the circumstances.  He signed it: Lawrence “saving my daughter form alife of crime” Buja.  You very graciously sent back the check, told us toconsider the book a gift and an invitation to a lifetime of reading.  And it hasbeen; she is a college student who “eats through books”.  Thank youfor a wonderful welcome to the city.

~Anne B. 

 

When I was about six or seven my dad brought me to Tattered Cover. It wasn’t the first time I’d been there; in fact, it seemed a little different than what I remembered. My favorite part of the store when I first went was sitting next to Charlie, the statue of a man reading a newspaper. It had been a year or so since my dad brought me to the store the last time so I was even more excited to find Charlie. Finally I saw him, though he looked a little different than I remembered, and I ran up to him. I sat real close, like old friends and opened up the picture book I had in my hands. Then Charlie started to move! He looked down at me, smiling and I was so surprised I jumped right of the bench and ran to find my dad. Charlie was ALIVE.

Come to find out later that Charlie was not alive. Tattered Cover had opened a new store and Charlie wasn’t there. I had sat next to a real person who was reading a newspaper. I’ve always been a little nervous around statues ever since. 

~Rebekah H. 

 

❝ Dear TC, Probably the best memories are of helping you move - both times in the Cherry Creek North area.  My husband may still have that original brown and white T-shirt that we were given for helping. Now we live in western Colorado and miss you greatly. Best wishes for the coming decades. ❞

~ Connie & Gary D.