Like I need an excuse to go to six bookstores in one day! I definitely don’t. I went to more libraries than that during The Great Library Crawl of 2015, an event made up and attended only by me. When Sue brought Seattle Independent Bookstore Day to my attention I couldn’t have been happier.
For all you nerds out there that didn’t already hear about it and are currently perking up with happiness/disappointment that you didn’t go – yes, it was as awesome as you are imagining right now. This says a lot because readers typically have very good imaginations.
There were 17 participating bookstores and if you went to all 17 that day you were entered for a year-long 10% off or something like that prize. At first I was all for that plan but when Sue pointed out that we wouldn’t have time to hang out in the stores we changed gears.
Our first stop was Phinney Books, largely because it is right up the street from where I live and it is nice to show some neighborhood pride.
I must have circled these displays touching all the books a hundred times. There were two things that Phinney Books was doing to honor the day that I thought was really cool:
- They had divided the day into time slots and assigned letters of the alphabet to them. All books with an author name corresponding to that letter were 10% off or something like that.
- They had a little trivia contest and the winners were entered into a drawing. There were either three or four questions and you had to guess the book. Sue is bad with titles so she described the books she thought were the correct answers and I supplied the titles. I got all but one of the questions right and Sue got all four correct. She ended up winning one of the drawings. Good for her! (Note: I tried to report that without emotion but I acknowledge that it still reeks of bitterness)
Our next stop was Secret Garden Books in Ballard. They should get a medal for serving this cake:
Let’s face it. No one expects food at these things to be very good. This was seriously the best cake I’ve had in recent memory. Just one more reason to love independent bookstores!
I grabbed A Constellation of Vital Phenomena with the intention of returning to participate in the book club but I ended up not reading it fast enough. By that I mean I am still reading it. It kind of seems like a sad, maybe-has-a-happy-ending book and I’m not into sad things lately. I’m sure it is a great book. Sad books and movies always seem to be good. But also sad. You get it, right?
I am usually a very good planner but on this day my excitement got the best of me. I bought a cookbook at Phinney Books so when we got to The Book Larder I was sort of already at my cookbook allotment for the month. You might be thinking, get another cookbook! YOLO, or whatever. Who can have too many cookbooks? Someone like me that doesn’t cook. I couldn’t possibly justify purchasing another cookbook to not cook with. I thought about getting a food memoir and made my creepy circles around the store a million times but didn’t end up getting anything.
Well, except the free samples. I took one of those.
Our next stop was Queen Anne Book Company. I don’t spend too much time in this neighborhood so I had never been to this store before.
They were also doing a cute sale – all the books with BOOK in the title were 20% off for the day.
By this time I was feeling pretty fatigued but there were two more stores that I really wanted to include in the day so we pressed on.
The first of those two was Open Books. I wanted to go to Open Books for a few reasons. Open Books is a poetry bookstore and I had been trying to discover new poets on my own unsuccessfully for a while. I had also been to the store previously for a poetry reading and it was a really good time. And finally, Sue said that in the space where all the bookstores were reporting what they were going to do for the day Open Books said something akin to “We aren’t doing anything special!” which we thought was hilarious and deserved reward.
I am so, so glad we went. I gave the owners the lamest explanation of what I wanted – “I really like Billy Collins poetry – accessible and in full sentences.” One of the owners pulled about four books for me and they were all great but I fell in love with two. If you connected with my description at all, check out Tony Hoagland and Kim Addonizio.
Doesn’t that look amazing? If you’re not the kind of person that thinks that looks amazing then I am guessing you wouldn’t have gotten this far in the post, so I will just assume we are on the same page. Ha. Page! Book jokes.
Anyway here is my haul for Seattle Independent Bookstore Day:
All in all, pretty much the best day ever.