Picture 9The name evokes dusty shelves and cobwebbed corners, but the Tattered Cover Book Store is a sprawling, gleaming, three-location Denver institution—and its owner, Joyce Meskis, a local hero. No mere literary retail outlets, the trio of stores are veritable community centers, boasting in-store coffeehouses and hosting everything from film and lecture program series to book clubs for adults and kids alike to the city’s best readings (think Dave Eggers, rising star Joshua Ferris, and Barack Obama!). Yet another bonus: a mind-boggling magazine selection.

But it’s Meskis’ involvement in the community beyond the bookstores’ walls that really stand out, from making donations to local charities through the Tattered Cover Gives Back program to her participation in the annual citywide literacy promotion event One Book, One Denver.