A Reader's Respite thought you might be interested in following along, since this is a preview of the tour we would take any of you on the next time you visit Seattle and give us a shout out....
We started the day off right by ditching the car and hopping on a convenient ferry which took us to downtown Seattle. It's a great form of transportation: they are fairly reliable and rarely sink to the bottom.
Our first stop was an independent used bookstore down in the basement of Pike's Place Market, called BLMF Literary Saloon. The awesomeness of this store cannot be conveyed in words.
What does BLMF stand for? Well, there's an interesting story behind that: the owner was, like most of us, a collector of books. Lots of books. One day, a relative stopped by his crammed-full-of-books apartment and noted that he had, *ahem,* "Books like a mother f____."
True story. The bookstore then had a name.
There are at least a couple of thousand used books in this little store, but they are smartly organized and there is a huge selection with darned fair prices.
Our next stop was still down in the bowels of Pike's Place Market, a little shop called Lionheart Books, which sells new books. This is the place you go for salespeople with personality.....they will sing to you about papercuts and happily "overcharge" you by $600....it really is a fun place.
Still in the Market, we headed over to Lamplight Books, which offers plenty of used and new books at decent prices. It doesn't have the selection that BLMF Literary Saloon, nor the personality of Lionheart Books, but they do have a lot of rare classics that are fun to look at and drool over.
Our next stop in the Market area was across the street to the famous Left Bank Books, a book lover's paradise for all things anarchy. (This is Seattle: we are all tree-hugging commies up here). Even if you don't appreciate the subject, there are a plethora of great history books to be found inside.
It was about this time that Mr. RR started complaining that he was hungry, so being in a generous mood, we allowed a break for lunch at Pigalle, a small restaurant overlooking the water that is consistently voted in the top ten restaurants in Seattle. Mr. RR scarfed down a big bowl of bouillabaisse and two Bloody Mary's while we read a book (he needed fortification).
Then it was off for a mile long hike up to Capitol Hill where Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle's largest independent bookstore resides. It was nirvana, folks. Truly. We made Mr. RR schlepp all the books we bought here around for the remainder of the day. He needed the exercise after all that bouillabaisse.
Mr. RR thought it prudent to point out that it was indeed Happy Hour throughout the city, so of course we headed over to The Alexis Hotel, where the bar is aptly named The Bookstore (the hotel's restaurant is called The Library, by the by). It was here that we indulged in a Chocolate Martini.
Conveniently attached to the hotel is Arundel's Book Store, one of our favorites because it has so much obscure historical fiction for sale. Pricey, but worth it. Plus, we love the spiral staircase that leads to the second floor of books.
So there's your tour of Seattle book stores. Next time your up in the Pacific Northwest, give us a call and A Reader's Respite will be happy to take you on the tour. Mr. RR will gladly remain at home.
2 ounces vodka (the good stuff, don't be cheap)
1/2 ounce Creme de Cacao
Chocolate poweder or shavings for garnish