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Community Highlights: Meet Kwame Spearman of Tattered Cover Bookstore

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kwame Spearman. 

Hi Kwame, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I was born and raised in the Montclair neighborhood by my mother, a career Denver Public School teacher, and father, who served with the City and County of Denver. Being raised by an educator, I learned very quickly about all of the opportunities that books can afford. After graduating from East High School, I left Denver to pursue my higher education and begin my career. In 2020, my lifelong passion for literacy prompted me to return to Denver to help save a beloved institution, Tattered Cover Bookstore. As the CEO of Tattered Cover, I’m motivated ensuring that independent bookstores have a place in the community and can thrive in our rapidly changing world. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We bought Tattered Cover in the middle of the pandemic and in 2021, the only thing that was predictable was unpredictability. We’ve weathered the storm while prioritizing employee safety and creating an environment that is safe for customers. These shifts in operations, as well as evolving restrictions and supply chain challenges, has made it difficult to say the least, but the enthusiasm we’ve seen from the community motivates us to keep moving forward. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Tattered Cover Bookstore?
Tattered Cover is a locally owned independent bookstore that has been an integral part of the Metro Denver community for more than 50 years. What differentiates us from a chain bookstore or online shopping is the incredible knowledge and customer service of our booksellers. We are a local business and are committed to the state of Colorado. For all of us at Tattered Cover, it’s not just about making a profit, it’s about being a responsible community member. 

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
To be honest, my greatest joy is seeing kids get excited about reading. My fundamental belief is that everyone at their core loves to read, the question is just, “what?” To help kids unlock that “what” and begin their path as lifelong readers is truly amazing. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Yumi Matsuo
Lucy Beaugard

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