Tattered books
A “tattered book” display, University of Southern California ©Author Adventures

Tattered Cover

If we had to select just one of the many excellent independent bookstores in Colorado, we would choose the legendary store, now a chain, Tattered Cover.

Tattered Cover played an important part in American literary history and remains a popular place to visit and shop today, now with many locations in Colorado.

With its special collections, restaurant, and cozy reading nooks, it is no surprise that, according to its website, approximately 400 of America’s most popular and critically acclaimed authors speak there every year.

A destination for travelers, readers, scholars, and students, Tattered Cover has expanded through the years to include several stores in the Denver area and one in Littleton, as well as dotting throughout the Denver International Airport (Concourses A, B, and C).

This Colorado trail stop has appeal for all ages and interests.

According to tatteredcover.com:

“Tattered Cover is a large indie bookstore and cafe with the cozy feel 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. Tattered Cover has a long history of hosting LIVE author events, averaging over 600 authors, illustrators, and public figures each year.”

Its owner, Joyce Meskis, purchased the store in 1974 and has won numerous awards for literary advocacy, including the PEN/Newman First Amendment Award from the PEN American Center in New York, the American Library Association Award for Free Expression, and The Author’s Guild of America Award for Distinguished Service to the Literary Community.

The chain has high visibility. Denver has a population of approximately 620,000 and Littleton has approximately 48,000 residents. In a typical year, 61 million travelers pass through the Denver airport.

Building Up the Writing Community

The bookstore chain offers a “Scary Stories Contest” for young Colorado writers in grades K-12. It is celebrated at a special event during the Halloween season every year.

Its ownership has also enjoyed a long relationship cultivating the book publishing industry through the Publishing Institute at the University of Denver.

The flagship store of Tattered Cover is the first stop on our Colorado Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart