Vacation Stories: Looking at Books in Seattle

I have not dropped off the face of the earth, but after several weeks during which my work ate me alive, I did go on vacation for a week. We’ve just returned from our sorely-needed escape to Seattle and neighboring areas of the Evergreen State (with a day trip across the border to British Columbia). We’re still sorting and editing photos, but I thought y’all might want to see the bookish ones first. 

You might well expect the place recently dubbed “America’s most well-read city” to be well-supplied with bookstores, and you’d be right. I promised Tall Paul I wouldn’t drag him around to too many of them, but I did make it to a couple.
Bainbridge Island Washington (photo by Paul Vasquez)

We happened on Eagle Harbor Book Co. while strolling through Winslow, the main town on Bainbridge Island–I hadn’t heard of it before, but of course I had to go in. The store was hosting an author event later that afternoon, and I couldn’t stay for that, but I spent a some time browsing the new releases and staff recommendations before doing my bit to support independent bookstores. (For the record, I also bought a scarf there that came in very handy all week long!)
Bainbridge Island and books bought there
Island scenes, and books bought at Eagle Harbor Book Co.
Chihuly Garden and Glass isn’t a bookstore–it’s a museum with it a very well-stocked gift shop, where I came across these “Library”-scented Air Diffusers (and quite a few books, none of which I bought).
Library air diffusers Chihuly Gift Shop
For when you want to fake that “old-book smell”–“Library” Air Diffusers!
Well-read Seattle is also the home of the offices of Shelf Awareness, and having reviewed books for them for nearly four years, I was excited that they generously allowed Paul and me to stop in for a brief visit one morning. My own cubby in the mail room was sadly empty that day (see photographic evidence below), but my August galleys should be there in the very near future.
Shelf Awareness office mail room SeattleShelf Awareness office Seattle

The one bookstore that was on my informal Seattle agenda was The Elliott Bay Book Company on Capitol Hill, about a 15-minute walk from our hotel (Jill was going to be very disappointed if I didn’t make it there). 
Elliott Bay Book Company Seattle
This stained-glass sign came from the store’s original location in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.

Warm, brightly lit, and cluttered in the most appealiing way, this place has all the bookstore atmosphere you could hope for, as well as a wide and varied selection of books. I browsed the Young Adult section at the back of the store and found it smaller than some, but they did have Beth Kephart’s two most recent novels, One Thing Stolen and Going Over, in stock. I already have both, but Beth’s books can be hard to find, and I give extra points to bookstores that carry them.
Beth Kephart books Elliott Bay Book Company
I did plan to purchase one specific book at Elliott Bay, but couldn’t find it on the shelf–it had just come out the day before my visit, and when I asked about it, one of the staff broke open a box and got out a copy for me. One of my 2014 Books of the Year, Anthony Breznican’s debut novel Brutal Youth, is now out in paperback, and it includes a quote from my Shelf Awareness review–my very first book blurb! (Several other bloggers you may recognize are also included in the “praise” pages–being in the company of my cohorts made this even more exciting.)
BRUTAL YOUTH blurb artwork
The sloppy photo of the blurb page is my own; the lovely photo featuring the quote was created and sent to me by author Anthony Breznican.
Elliott Bay Book Company Seattle

Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle
The store opened at 10 AM, There were people waiting on the front steps when it did.
And I couldn’t leave this place with just one book, could I? Of course not!
books bought at Elliott Bay Book Company
I will not be reading any of my new books right away, because I’m still reading an old one that I started just before we came home (and I actually finished another one while we were gone!), and I also have a few other books I want to write about while I can. I expect the first week or so back in the office to be almost as packed as the ones right before I left, but things should start slowing down later this month.
What are you up to today?

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