The Tattered Cover sold its last signed copies of Michelle Obama's new book, Becoming, early today, December 18. After an email announcement that "a very limited quantity were available," customers lined up outside the store's doors well before it opened.
"This is one of the biggest bestsellers we've seen in a holiday season," says Tattered Cover owner Len Vlahos.
The former First Lady did a signing at the Tattered Cover's Colfax Avenue location on Thursday, December 13, ahead of her appearance that evening at the Pepsi Center. Before the book signing, she also visited Children's Hospital Colorado.
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Vlahos says that nearly 7,000 individuals tried to get tickets to the signing, which were available online the day before her visit. "We wish we could have had more people at the signing, but we were happy to have Mrs. Obama for any period of time," he says. "We had hundreds, not thousands, of tickets available." Obama signed nearly a thousand books during her time at the store, which is why the Tattered Cover had more to sell..until today.
The bookstore, which hosts more than 500 events each year, still has plenty of copies of the unsigned version of Becoming (a good thing, because there are about 800 holds for the Denver Public Library's 68 copies right now), which are available at every Tattered Cover location. "We're well-stacked through Christmas," Vlahos says.
Vlahos, who got to meet Obama briefly, points to events like this as a reason why independent bookstores are crucial. "We're so appreciative of our customers," he says. "Tattered Cover is important to the community because we can bring in Michelle Obama, or Bruce Springsteen, for events like this."