This afternoon I took an obligatory stroll down Denver’s 16th Street (a pedestrian-only shopping mall) but at the Union station end of it, on Wynkoop and 16th,┬áthere is what is reputed to be one of the best independent bookshops in the United States. I can’t verify that claim, but I can confirm that Tattered Cover is a wonderful place. It is located over several floors of a former warehouse, and the wooden beams and floorboards, together with the acres of wooden bookshelves, already give the place a distinctive atmosphere. But what makes it extra special is that there are comfortable armchairs everywhere, together with plenty of tables to work, plus free wifi, plus food and drink at a friendly bar, plus no sense of urgency or hurry and nobody gets chased out for doing their own thing or holding an impromptu meeting or sprawling their legs over the arms of the chairs and settling back for a good read. I suppose the logic of the place is that if you make people really welcome they’ll keep returning and they’ll end up buying books sooner or later. Filligranes in Brussels is similar in style but just can’t match Tattered Cover for space and that relaxed, and relaxing, atmosphere.