Zansberg: Former bookseller Joyce Meskis a ‘First Amendment hero’

The Durango Herald: The passing of Joyce Meskis, former owner of the Tattered Cover Book Store, on Dec. 22, provides the opportunity to celebrate her numerous and substantial accomplishments in improving the lives of all Coloradans. Many already know that Joyce purchased the sleepy, tiny bookshop in the Cherry Creek North neighborhood of Denver in 1974 and transformed it into the beloved institution it is today.

Beset by fierce competition from Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, and other national bookselling outfits, Joyce was the guiding light that earned the stellar reputation –worldwide – for her independent bookstore with its massive, eclectic collection of books, magazines, etcetera, including personalized handwritten “staff favorites” recommendations that sparked many to consider different perspectives.

While much has already been written praising Joyce for her extraordinary warmth, empathy and insightful thinking (and deservedly so), I write to say, “Thanks, Joyce,” on behalf of all Coloradans for being a true “First Amendment hero.” A hero, in my estimation, is someone who takes on difficult battles, despite long odds and personal sacrifice, to vindicate important principles she holds dear for the benefit of others. There can be no doubt that Joyce Meskis was a true hero.

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