With an average of over 200 non-sunny days per year, Seattleites are well-versed in indoor activities such as reading. Add that to the city’s exceptional history with coffee and we’re off to a great start with independent bookstores. To capitalize (yay for writing puns) on these advantages, the Emerald City embraces Independent Bookstore Day
with its own SEABookstore Day
. Let’s rifle through some of the best the city offers.
Elliott Bay Book Company
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
One of the few independent comic publishers to keep up with the likes of Marvel and DC, Fantagraphics has pursued and supported comics as a “legitimate form of art and literature” since 1976. The bookstore and gallery offers an exhibit that changes approximately every month and often has out-of-print books available in store.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, 1201 S Vale St, Seattle, WA, USA +1 206 557 4910
Open Books: A Poem Emporium
Open Books exterior | © Billie Swift / Open Books
Open Books: A Poem Emporium
Situated in a renovated bungalow, Open Books carries over 10,000 new, used, and out-of-print books of or about poetry. They hold readings and workshops regularly, all of which are free. The 21-year-old business was sold to Billie Swift in 2016 when the original owners retired. She was a regular patron who bought the store to preserve the poetry sanctuary that had become so important to her.
Open Books: A Poem Emporium, 2414 N 45th St, Seattle, WA, USA +1 206 633 0811
Queen Anne Book Company (QABC)
If ever an independent bookstore was beloved by a community, it’s the Queen Anne Book Company. After the previous bookstore closed in 2012, the Queen Anne community sprang to action with help from other independent Seattle bookstores, publisher representatives, and local book distributors to open the QABC in 2013. Check them out for free events and readings, book groups, and partnerships with schools.
Queen Anne Book Company, 1811 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA, USA +1 206 284 2427
Left Bank Books
Part of Seattle’s radical community, Left Bank Books has been collectively operated since 1973. Essentially, for the core staff, no one is anyone’s boss, all responsibilities are shared, and decisions are made in bi-monthly collective meetings. Sponsors of the Books to Prisoners programs, some of their popular titles include The Long, Long Life of Trees by Fiona Stafford, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by Adrienne Maree Brown, and A is for Activism by Innosanto Nagara.
Left Bank Books, 92 Pike St # B, Seattle, WA, USA +1 206 622 0195
Twice Sold Tales
The title of this used bookstore is actually quite punny considering the several cats that live inside. The owner of Twice Sold Tales, Jamie Lutton, is a tenacious spirit, well-educated in literature, who plans to keep paper books around for a long time.
1833 Harvard Ave, Seattle, WA, USA +1 206 324 2421