Denver, CO -- Tattered Cover Bookstore, Colfax -- July 31, 2007

I had the pleasure of speaking with the manager of Tattered Cover, at their new location in a converted community theater. The theater has since moved to a performing arts complex downtown.

The theater building was spared the wrecking ball when a great developer came through. Two other tenants—a restaurant called Encore is coming soon and a movie theater called Neighborhood Flix, which will show independent films and have couches and a menu. Currently in the same complex is the independent record store—Twist and Shout.

What's selling at the store:
A Thousand Splendid Sons, by Khaled Hosseini; Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert; The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls ; and The Places in Between, by Rory Stewart.

In general—nature, ecology titles, photos of historic Denver, books by local author Sandra Dallas, Charlene Porter, who wrote Boldfaced Lies, and Phil Goodstein, who is a people’s historian and also leads tours around Denver, and talks about how the common man has been impacted by history.

They have a lot of readings at the store. A couple or three every week. One that packed the house—Michael Ondaatje and his book, Divisadero.

His favorite book of all time—Makes Me Want to Holler by Nathan McCall. More modern day bio of Malcolm X --the author is now in his mid 40s and the book is about growing up African American in Virginia. In the book the author tells about the crimes he commits, but tells about it with an engaging honesty. He was in jail by the time he was 20, was a journalist and is now a professor at Emory in Georgia. Fifteen years ago the book came out.

He literally threw the book across the room when he was reading. Nothing has ever compelled him to do something like this. He reads it about once every five years. Can’t see reading a book that will be better, though he can see things going on the at same list.

Right now he’s reading an advance copy (a perk of working at a bookstore) of Them, by the same author, which comes out in November.

Throughout my day, walking through Denver, people constantly asked me if I had been to The Tattered Cover and were always very pleased when I said that I had. In the words of the docent at the public library--they're an institution.

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