SEATTLE DISPATCH: Ten Spots to Satisfy Your Various Inner Book Nerds

We may be home to Amazon, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. If you want to get your literature from places that don’t also sell fertilizer and hemorrhoid cream, here’s where to find expertly curated selections, book lovers galore and great places to read.

eliot, seattle,

photo by Joe Mabel

Elliot Bay Book Company

For the one who wants it all in you

EBBC has everything: great selections, an online store (which includes e-books), helpful staff, all-star readings, a cafe that’s way more delicious than Starbucks, and a beautiful, light-filled storefront that makes it easy and enjoyable to hang out for hours.

Seattle’s Central Public Library

For the starving artist in you

The Central Library is all kinds of free, and it happens to be an architectural marvel as well. Check out the video installations, explore the book spiral and do some reading, sketching or writing at the community desks upstairs.

Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers

For the fancy pants in you

Located in the newly reinvigorated Pioneer Square neighborhood, Wessel & Lieberman has an impressive rare book collection ($4,750 for a multi-volume collection of Thomas Hardy’s The Dynasts, anyone?). Find the perfect addition for your museum-quality shelves, or imagine what your library would look like if you became the next J.K. Rowling.

Seattle Mystery Bookshop

For the little old lady in you

I love a good mystery as much as my grandma, and I’m sure she’d also be charmed by this little basement bookshop. Specializing in everything from cozy to true crime genres, this shop is obviously a labor of love (case in point: the Our Story section on their website) — stop by on your way between downtown and Pioneer Square.

Left Bank Books

For the practical radical in you

Take a break from the Pike Place Market crowd by ducking into this collectively owned book oasis, located near the famous Public Market sign. A fixture of Seattle’s radical community since 1973, Left Bank carries a selection of over 10,000 titles, organized into sections ranging from anarchism to parenting (because raising little anti-authoritarian kids is hard work).

fantagraphics, cartoonists

photo by brewbooks

Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery

For the acned fanboy in you

The storefront of indie comix press Fantagraphics is located in Georgetown, a happening industrial area just south of downtown. Aside from being a mecca for comic book fans, the store shares space with Georgetown Records, making it a destination for vinyl junkies too. Plus, it’s a great excuse to check out the neighborhood. Grab a book and head to a nearby coffee shop, brewery or bar.

Open Books: A Poem Emporium

For the poetry junkie in you

Nestled into a house-shaped storefront in the quiet Wallingford neighborhood, this all-poem bookstore is a poetry lover’s dream. Go and gorge yourself immediately, or ask one of the lovely owners (poets, of course) for some ideas on where to start.

Third Place Books, Ravenna

For the alcoholic bookworm in you

This is a great general bookstore, but even better is its cozy, wood-paneled bar, Third Place Pub. Grab a book upstairs and head down to the basement to read it with a beer (or five).

Magus Books

For the perpetual undergrad in you

This tidy used bookstore in the University District has a sweet selection of high-quality secondhand books, as well as expensive out-of-print and rare titles. Rest assured, you’ll be able to afford something.

book larder store

Book Larder

For the unapologetic foodie in you

With its delicious selection of cookbooks, carefully curated by actual chefs, this cute little bookstore is sure to make you hungry — especially if you stumble in during one of their on-site cooking classes.

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