Friday, July 13, 2007

Merle's Door

Last night Connie and I attended a reading and booksigning by Ted Kerasote for his new book Merle's Door: Lessons From a Freethinking Dog at the Tattered Cover Bookstore at LoDo (Lower Downtown). Matt, of course, reviewed this book in a post a couple of weeks ago that elicited lots of discussion. I picked up my copy in the store just before the event and haven't read enough of it yet to comment on it intelligently. We did enjoy the readings which were funny, interesting and heartwarming and that Kerasote did quite well.

I found it interesting that there are no photographs in the book, but didn't realize it in time to ask Kerasote why. He brought a photo album of pictures of Merle with him that he passed around the room. Those pictures are all posted on his web site that I linked to his name above.

He showed delighted surprise when we introduced ourselves as friends of the Bodios and we talked a bit about their tazis. We would have enjoyed talking longer but were holding up the signing line.

The Tattered Cover is a Denver institution that any bibliophile (like the ones who hang out here!) should visit if he finds himself in town. I started buying books from the old Cherry Creek store with the dutch door in 1977. Their stock grew and grew and they moved to a bigger space across the street. By the mid-80s they had moved again into a old department store building and had it jammed with four floors of books. Devoted customers volunteered to help them move in. It was some store. Unfortunately they lost their lease there about a year ago and the main store (branches were opened in LoDo and Highlands Ranch in the 90s) moved into the old Bonfils Theater building on Colfax. It doesn't have quite the same visual impact and atmosphere that the old store had, but all three stores are wonderful places for people like us.

After the event we had dinner down the street at the Wynkoop Brewing Company brew pub. I highly recommend it.


"Merle's Door" debuted at number 21 on the 15 July 2007 New York Times bestseller list.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Reid - I'm Steve's friend who lives with the strange black dogs and I really enjoyed your mention of the Tattered Cover Book Store. As a sometime visitor to Denver, I discovered the TC when it was four stories across the street from Cherry Creek, and felt a stab of disappointment when I learned it had moved to a different location. Only book store I've ever been in that had parking for all the levels ... What a boon to the shopper in a hurry! The Old TC was also the first vendor from who I made an on-line purchase (grin)and that was back in the dark ages as well.

I have one of those porcelain light-up houses that are used in Christmas displays which has a little sign on the side proclaiming "The Tattered Cover Books." Of course I had to own it. I've never plugged it in, but I liked the idea of having a Tattered Cover alter-ego in miniature on my bookshelf.

As a parting thought - there is, in Toronto, a book store which advertises itself as the "largest book store in the world," and which I found enjoyable as well, but didn't have the ambiance of the old TC. I don't think they're as laid back about patrons who prefer to read books in house without actually buying them! Which brings me to another Denver/Toronto "separated at birth" note - the huge shopping mall in Toronto (Eaton's I believe) has a "Wild Goose" sculpture apparently by the same artist who did the one in Cherry Creek Mall. It is, indeed, a shrinking world.