Seattle’s Best Independent Bookstores
Want to keep the kids reading this summer? Need to find a college textbook? Whatever your need, there are some wonderful independently run bookstores in Seattle that can help.
Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 Tenth Avenue
Seattle WA 98122
Similar to the “Shop Around the Corner”, Elliott Bay Book Company took over a corner of Main Street in Pioneer Square in the early ’70s. Last year, the bookstore and café opened its doors in Capitol Hill. The cozy shop has monthly book and poetry readings, and a continuous stream of authors that come from all over the country to speak and sign their books. Saturdays and Tuesdays include kids’ story time in the “castle area” for tots and their caregivers. The staff know their books and contribute their picks and reviews on the bookstores’ webpage.
Ravenna Third Place Books
6504 20th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98115
In the age of restore and repurpose, Ravenna Third Place is all about recycling used books. This University District spot has an outdoorsy feel, with wood floors and large windows. Encouraged to bring in your used books for their buy back program, you can choose to purchase from some of their new titles, or cuddle up with an older, well-loved classic. With Saturday story time for kids, and a wide variety of visiting authors, it’s a store worth checking into when the weather turns your outdoor plans into indoor ones.
4326 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
With eight bookstore locations, including Tacoma, Bellevue and Bothell, the first University Bookstore opened in Seattle in 1900. A treasure find for used and rental college textbooks, the bookstores also carry books for local private high schools, kids books, make-up and school supplies. Because of its affiliation with the University of Washington campuses, you can find lots of Husky gear. With special speakers and events, programs for kids, and Apple computers and supplies, it’s a one-stop shop for college co-eds, techies, and families.
117 Cherry Street
Seattle, WA 98104
Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Seattle Mystery has the corner on the market, with new, used and on-line ordering ability. They have a constant stream of book author signings, new releases and suggestions for your vacation read. With a “frequent purchaser” program, you earn points for every book you purchase, and earn money to spend on “new” books or merchandise. They even have a “Kids’ Corner” with terrific mysteries for children starting at age 5 through teens. Come in, browse, or plunk yourself down. The staff is friendly and helpful, and they’re sure to help you solve your book dilemmas.
Secret Garden Books
2214 NW Market Street
Seattle, WA 98107
Located in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, the Secret Garden is within walking distance of cafes, galleries, shops, and, of course, coffee, in every direction! Their knowledgeable staff includes longtime booksellers, and avid young adult and general readers alike, ready to help you select books for yourself or for gifts. With a particular speciality in children’s literature, the bookstore offers free giftwrapping (for birthday parties!), discounts for teachers and librarians (just ask!), shipping services, and easy special orders. The store offers book clubs for teens and adults, to keep that spark of imagination and love of reading going.