Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Backstage at the Tattered Cover

Yesterday I braved icy roads (treacherous enough that Highway 36 between Boulder and Denver was closed for three solid hours from multiple wrecks) for a lovely morning at the glorious Tattered Cover store on Colfax Avenue in Denver. The new co-owner, Kristen Gilligan, is excited about working with local authors to create an even more thriving writing community, and so she emailed me with an invitation to join her for coffee at this remarkable branch of this legendary store.

The Tattered Cover first opened in 1971; its several branches together now stock half a million books. I especially love the branch in LoDo, the area of Denver right next to Union Station. I've made special trips on the bus to Denver just to sit there and write. The Colfax store often hosts the Denver Children's Book Authors salon, and it's currently the largest and most beautiful. The store is situated in an old and very grand former theater with soaring windows in the front.
It even retained some of the theater seating. Here a knitting group sits cozy in those red-plush theater chairs.
Kristen took me on a tour of the store, showing all the various theatrical elements that remain, from red velvet curtains hanging on one wall to a puppet theater in the well-stocked children's area. She also led me through the bowels of the store where the busy staff have their offices, so I could glimpse the inner workings of a store of this scale.There is magic in seeing how and where and magic happens.

So hooray for local independent bookstores like the Tattered Cover, as well as Denver's treasure of children's bookstore (Second Star to the Right), our own Boulder Bookstore here on Pearl Street, and the wondrously eclectic Fallen Leaf Books owned by my sister and her husband in charming Nashville, Indiana.
And hooray for booksellers who want to partner with local authors so that we can make book magic together.

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