A visit to Denver’s Tattered Cover Book Store

Last week, I visited Denver to attend a conference. In my free time, I briefly went inside the Capitol building and then spent a couple of hours in the Denver Art Museum. I particularly liked the William Matthews exhibit. And of course, I found a local bookstore to patronize, the Tattered Cover, which has a location off 16th street in the LoDo neighborhood.

Tattered Cover books

The Tattered Cover appeared to sell mostly new books with some gently used books interfiled among them. With independent bookstores, I sometimes take the route of buying books based off of the staff recommendations that many such stores place throughout the shelves. I also usually like to check out what they have in the way of travel memoirs. In this case, there were no staff recommendations in the travel memoir section, but I did find two used books there of interest: Freya Stark’s The Valley of the Assassins and other Persian Travels (originally published 1934) and a 1942 memoir of Paris written by two young women, Cornelia Otis Skinner and Emily Kimbrough, called Our Hearts Were Young and Gay.

Like many other independent bookstores, The Tattered Cover had copies of the “Indie Next List” newsletter from IndieBound.org, and one title intrigued me: Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye by Marie Mutsuki Mockett. It’s a memoir of the author’s visit to Japan after the 2011 tsunami, and seems to touch on her personal grief as well, as her grandfather passed away shortly before the tsunami and her father had also died recently.

Aside from shopping, I also found a nice spot to spend time with the book I was currently reading on my Kindle: Taylor Branch’s Pillar of Fire, which is the second book in his America in the King Years trilogy, and covers civil rights history from 1963 to 1965.


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7 responses to “A visit to Denver’s Tattered Cover Book Store

  1. Kay

    I’ve wanted to visit The Tattered Cover for years. We just haven’t made it to Denver in a long time. Nice to hear you had success finding a book or two. I don’t usually have too much trouble with that. 😉

    • I’d never heard of The Tattered Cover before. I usually don’t have problems buying books either. 🙂 My staff recommendation or used book route is just a way to make the purchase more special. I could buy most books anywhere, but it adds a little fun to have a reason why I’m buying it at this particular bookstore or in this particular city.

  2. Funny you should mention Denver. I may have an opportunity to go there this summer (staying in the hotel for free while my sister presents at a conference). I’ve never been and was wondering if there was much there worth doing. If I do go, I’ll put the art museum and Tattered Cover on my list.

    • If you’re in a downtown hotel, you’ll be able to walk to a number of places – provided it’s not too hot of course. Some of the other conference attendees – who were a pretty arty bunch – were raving over the other art museums I didn’t have time to visit, such as the modern art museum and the Clyfford Still museum. Also, if you want to go out for drinks, the Terminal Bar in the newly refurbished Union Station is cool. A bunch of us from the conference hung out there one evening.

    • Oh and make sure to at least visit the exterior of the Capitol building, as there is a marked step that designates where you are a mile high above sea level!

  3. I love getting to visit new bookstores in new towns — they all have a unique character. And you found some really fun books!

    • Especially as independent bookstores are somewhat of a rare species, the ones that are still standing do seem to have survived because of a certain sense of character and unique quality.

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