Elliott Bay Bookstore & Cafe


I once read there are 3 things in life that make us who we are- the people we meet, the places we go & the books we read. I thought about it for a long time because the last part was unfamiliar to me. It made sense to me that your travels & friends (& enemies for that matter) affect you in one way or another, but I hadn't before thought how a book could.

It makes so much sense. Remember when you read The Catcher In The Rye in high school? Suddenly you felt someone you could completely relate to?

Of course the books I choose to read nowadays aren't often classics, but they do have a certain essence. Good writing is just that- good. You know it when you see it & no amount of alliteration & filler can do anything for something that just isn't. I remember when I read The Old Man & The Sea after my dad suggested it. Such a small book! So much is said in every word, written between the lines- it needs nothing else. It's powerful..

Back to reality, I got the sweet delight of photographing Elliott Bay Book Company recently! When Jake & I lived on Capitol Hill, we would spend almost every friday out, starting with dinner, followed by Molly Moon Ice Cream, followed cappuccinos at Cafe Vita, & ending with hours spent perusing through Elliott Bay. Open the door & the air smells of timber. Valiant exposed beams criss-cross the ceiling highlighting dozens of neatly organized mini-sections. There's the magazine wall, which carries rare volumes, some found nowhere else in the state. Or the vast arts section, with subcategories of photography, architecture & crafts. It's a favorite place of mine to pick up unique gifts. I've found beautifully illustrated northwest gardening books for my mom, panoramic astronomy books for my dad & adorable locally made letterpress cards for everyone in-between. If you get tired of carrying a heavy stack in your arms, take a seat at one of the many tables & chairs or sip a latte in the bustling cafe in the back. Get a stamp card & once it fills up, you can get $20 off your next purchase! That's a lot! 

Be sure to pick up a schedule while your in & find out about upcoming readings by local as well as best-selling authors.