This week I’m celebrating Seattle.
I’d been to Seattle once before- and aside from getting to hang out with great friends, I wasn’t particularly impressed by the city. I had won round-trip bus tickets to go there so I went there again last weekend.
It was mostly a literary visit, and I wanted to share the bookstores and libraries I ended up going to.
Seattle Mystery Bookshop was a nice little store, very straightforward in its layout. Portland had a bookstore dedicated to mysteries as well but sadly it closed down a few years ago. I’m glad there’s a specialized bookstore for this genre. A couple of my favorite literary characters are detectives- Encyclopedia Brown and Hercule Poirot.
Central Library is the only place I had visited on my previous trip to Seattle. Before I thought it was too cold and modern but now- not as much. It is a beautifully designed building. Whenever I visit libraries, I always like to see the Friends presence there. Lots of books and literary knick-knacks were available at the FriendShop.
The Elliot Bay Book Company was the bookstore everyone was telling me to visit. I loved the smell of books as I entered the place. And I found some cool titles in their children’s section.
In my many walks of Seattle, I stumbled upon the Gay City LGBT Library. Because of my own personal hang ups, it took a lot of coaxing on my part to walk in without feeling embarrassed, which just goes to show how important something like this is. It was a very organized selection and something I’m hoping to aspire to for my LGBT Book Drive to benefit Basic Rights Oregon.
My favorite part of Secret Garden Books was the loose brick tiles autographed by authors and illustrators!
To me, libraries are hopeful places. They provide opportunities and answers. There was an art exhibit at the Ballard Branch of what I’m assuming were different classrooms from all over the city being represented through various ways. I got a kick of seeing a Little Free Library inside a library as part of the exhibit!
I also ended up visiting the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library. I love the services they provide because stories truly enriches people’s lives.
Kinokuniya Book Stores sell American and Asian books and toys. The ones I’ve been to (in Portland and Seattle) were part of Uwajimaya Asian specialty supermarkets. I was a bit overwhelmed at this place but they had super cute miniatures. My boss would have loved it!
One of the nicest neighborhoods I got to visit in Seattle was Queen Anne. It was very quaint. As I was walking around, I saw (bird?) houses circling a telephone pole. Very creative. Queen Anne Book Company seemed to be a beloved institution of the community. I heard someone walk in and say, “Now this is a bookstore!” The Queen Anne Branch was a Carnegie Library which is a real treat for me. And it was beautiful!
Pike Place Market is the home of three bookstores. Part of its appeal is that you never really know where things are and you just happen to come by a vendor, a restaurant, a gift shop, or a bookstore. I only went to Lion Heart Book Store before. This time I had the opportunity to check out two other ones. I was kind of worried of going in Left Bank Books, afraid it would be too radical but it was a surprisingly cozy place. It had a reading nook on the second floor that was very inviting. I found a book for my LGBT Book Drive that I think would help people. Lamplight Books is perfect for those readers who have no specific book in mind It’s a great place to discover new used books.
One of my absolute favorite places I visited in Seattle was the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. It’s a spacious beautiful place for coffee and Starbucks fanatics. I went there all three days. The last time because I didn’t realize they had a library towards the back filled with books about coffee! Another thing that tickled me about the place was their unisex restroom!
The last library I visited during my trip was the International District/ Chinatown branch. A couple loosely literary based places I visited were Storyville Coffee Company and The Bookstore Bar & Cafe. And, a very inspiring place I visited was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center. Amazing place to learn about what the foundation does to make the world a better place! Lots of interactive elements. And, I loved the importance paced on education and books! I highly recommend people visit here whenever they are in Seattle.
My Audio/Video Pick of the Week is this recent fun video of Mariah Carey because it’s her birthday today!
What are you celebrating this week?