Denver’s Tattered Cover Bookstore Has Been Sold to Barnes and Noble



Always books. Never boring.

Tattered Cover bookstore first opened in 1971 in Denver, Colorado. Since then, it’s undergone a lot of change, including new owners and storefronts — by 2022, it had grown to eight locations, including storefronts with a full bar and cafe. They sell new and used books and host hundreds of author and community events a year. Now, it’s going through the most dramatic change yet: it will no longer be an independent bookstore. Last year, the store filed for bankruptcy and had to close all but four of its stores, and now it has accepted Barnes and Noble’s offer of $1.83 million.

Barnes and Noble wasn’t the only offer on the business: there were nine interested parties, including two board members from Bended Page (Tattered Cover’s parent company) and a former Tattered Cover CEO. A spokesperson from Tattered Cover said that Barnes and Noble’s offer was the only one that would keep all four stores open.

Most of that $1.83 million will go towards Tattered Cover’s debts, including back rent. The agreement states that Tattered Cover will keep its name and events calendar, and that they’ll keep “substantially all” of the bookstore’s employees. They will also extend the leases at two locations into 2030 and 2038.

Brad Dempsey, Tattered Cover CEO, claims that the bookstore will keep its culture of fighting for First Amendment rights, saying, “The mission and spirit of Tattered Cover remains strong, with new resources, technology and renewed energy.”

The sale will not be finalized until approved by the bankruptcy court, which will decide by July 31st.

Read more about this story at The Denver Post.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.