Book Shopping in Seattle

A couple weekends ago, I went down to Seattle to see Depeche Mode (look how much restraint I’m exercising in not gushing about the show…….). I took time to check out a couple of neat bookstores.

Elliot Bay Book Company

Elliot Bay Bookstore Co.
Photo from Elliot Bay website

Website | 1521 Tenth Avenue

Why you should visit:

  • Stunning architecture
  • Extensive selection
  • Cozy cafe
  • Great hours
  • Lots of events

My experience:

Elliot Bay Bookstore Co. from second level
View from the second level (my photo)

As I only had about 48 hours in Seattle, Elliot Bay Book Company ended up being my number one bookstore to visit. It ranked high on recommendation lists; it was relatively close to where I was staying; it was open late on Friday when I had no other plans. Thirst was plaguing me, so for literally the second time in my life, I bought (and enjoyed :O) a tea from the cafe in the back to drink while browsing. As for books, I bought an autographed hardcover copy of Jeff VanderMeer’s Borne (which my sister and I previously discussed for Family Reads). The hardcover has a design element that the paperback doesn’t have. See the rabbit?

Borne hardcover

Mortlake & Company

Mortlake and Company bookstore
Photo from Mortlake & Company’s Facebook

Website | 117 Prefontaine Place

Why you should visit:

  • Elegant shop
  • Well-curated
  • Rare books and curiosities
  • Good prices on used books
  • Gallery with monthly exhibits

My experience:

Mortlake & Company cardI stumbled across this wonderful little shop during my many walks from my accommodation to downtown. I kept forgetting I had seen it, but I made an effort to stop in just before I caught the bus back home. I imagine I could return to this shop many times and find something new and intriguing on each trip. Too bad it isn’t in Vancouver! The selection ranges from folklore and mythology to alchemy and magic. I picked up Celtic Fairy Tales and The Mabinogi.

Celtic Fairy Tales and the Mabinogi

What are some of your favourite reasons to visit a bookstore? Do you have any bookstore recommendations for Seattle?

Jenna's signature

  • Elliott Bay BC is one of my favorite places in the world, though I still have nostalgia for their old location.

    I have never heard of Mortlake and Co. and it sounds amazing — I must make it a priority on my next visit!

    Other faves in Seattle are the University Book Store and Half Price Books in the University District (though last time I checked that one may have closed??) There are lots of used book stores in the U district and Capitol Hill, too but it’s been a long time since I made it to those.

    • Right, I think I read that Elliott Bay had moved (relatively) recently? Mortlake is a much smaller shop but worth a look! The University Book Store was out of my way; hopefully I can check it out next time I’m in town. I was surprised to find it so highly recommended.