Places to Visit »Tattered Cover Book Store

1628 16th Street, Denver

Lately I’ve been sentimental about the places I grew up with, maybe because I’d like to take Van to them some day but sadly so many classic Colorado Springs shops are closed now:

Levine’s – a gorgeous old department store turned toy heaven, Michelle’s – the local old fashioned ice cream parlor, Bryan and Scott – the high class antique treasure trove where the charming, dapper owner Roberto would make us kids as comfortable around African sculptures and decorative vases as we would be in our own home (and where I got my lovely wedding ring), and Chinook Book Shop, where Dick Noyes looms as prominent in my childhood memories as Mr. Rogers.

Some how, Zeezo’s Magic Castle, Repeat Performance, and Barney’s Diner still hold on (though I was not too happy to hear Barney’s moved from a trailer to a brick and mortar spot).

So, long story short, I wanted to recommend at least one of my childhood loves that still exists. This one a couple hours north in Denver – The Tattered Cover Book Store. It will probably be a while until I set foot in the mammoth, multi floor book store, but you totally have to if you find yourself in the area, if only because bookstores like this are a dying breed.

I pretty much grew up in book stores – either crawling around during my dad’s book signings or as a family in our free time, accumulating large stacks of new books to read (even now my biggest splurge is on dozens of used books). Tattered Cover is one of the most memorable book shops of them all – and I can vividly recall details from my time spent there. The winding stair cases, the magazine corner on the first floor which was the only place on the planet (or so it seemed at the time) to see forgeign Vogues and stuff even more exotic.

I can almost exactly remember the layout of the fiction floor, the large nook with the art books, the back area where shelves of tween fiction enticed me (the Sweet Valley Highs, which I secretly wanted but was to embarrassed to ask for lined the bottom shelf) as well as the science fiction and mystery sections around the corner. There was even a well stocked paper doll section, which is where I learned about Erte, Dior and Poiret (thanks Tom Tierney). Every corner offered a well worn seat to relax and read in. Even with the most ernest attempts, a new spot could never feel this lived in and cozy and would never match the ambiance of this place.

This site offers an odd little video tour and takes credit for the lovely photo below.

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Posted on March 13, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Book Thug Nation

100 N. 3rd St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

We read a lot and therefor had a few hefty boxes of good books to give away with our recent cleaning overhaul. I figured we’d just drop them off at one of the local used book shops and for once, actually enjoy the idea of store credit. I found this simple task far more difficult than I could have imagined. One place, after we dragged a box in (after they previously told us they took books) decided it was too much work to go through the box because they didn’t feel well, another nameless spot only looked at books one inconvenient day a week, yet another told us basically to not even bother because they were “so selective” (was this a used book store or a Manhattan private school??)

With so many fails we nearly gave up until I discovered a small article about Book Thug Nation. This excellent shop takes your books any day of the week and most importantly, have great taste. This means your good books get swooped up and there are plenty of intreguing books to choose from with the store credit.

Of course, the quality of the selection still applies even if you’re not selling including a section of nice art books and walls of fiction titles from all the authors you actually want to read (Vonnegut, Boyle, Sedaris, Price, etc.). The space is also used for a broad variety of events from comedy shows to readings. Check in with their website for the upcoming calendar.

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Posted on September 5, 2010