Independent bookstores in the Seattle-Tacoma metro region are staffed by passionate, well-read booksellers. These neighborhood fixtures are the ultimate storytelling backdrop. They are places where you can quietly immerse yourself among the bookshelves, join a lively book discussion group, listen to an author reading, and collect first editions or the latest best seller.
UNESCO declared Seattle a “City of Literature”. This award goes to cities that promote a diverse cultural heritage and vibrant contemporary creative scene.
To be approved as a City of Literature, cities must meet a number of criteria set by UNESCO. These criteria include: quality of publishing resources, educational programs, literary events and festivals, libraries and bookstores, foreign language material, related disciplines such as drama and poetry, and other factors.
Seattle has an extensive library system that connects to systems throughout the Puget Sound region, a vibrant theater scene, and many resources for aspiring and professional writers.
Our literary history includes ten-thousand years of native story-telling among the various peoples who lived around the Puget Sound region.
More recently, newcomers to the Pacific Northwest have brought stories from around the United State. They come from far flung places in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.
So past and present, we’re a city of storytellers. We use words to capture the imagination and present diverse points of view. In the process, storytellers can change lives.
The thriving independent bookstores are part of this storytelling scene. And an integral part of the diverse communities they serve. Independent bookstores promote book publishers, small presses, local authors, and reading.
In a world now consumed by digital media, many people find it reassuring to walk into a bookstore, hold books in their hands to read, and talk with booksellers and authors.
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2021 Seattle Independent Bookstore Day
Seattle Independent Bookstore Day (SIBD) has come to mean a great deal to all of us working in the Seattle bookstore community. We were disappointed not to be able to hold our usual Bookstore Day festivities during 2020, and while we are still operating under Covid-19 restrictions in spring 2021, the national Independent Bookstore Day is taking place as scheduled on Saturday, April 24, and the participating Seattle-area indie bookstores have adapted our plans to match our current operating conditions, which often vary from store to store.
The SIBD Passport Challenge (visiting all participating stores in a single day) has been the original and most successful Indie Bookstore Day event of its kind. In 2021, we don’t want to encourage the usual crowded stores that Bookstore Day brings, but we wanted to evoke some of the same spirit of the Passport Challenge in a more socially distanced way, so we’ve created the 2021 SIBD 10-10-10 Challenge, which can be completed in person or online, and over the space of ten days, not in a single day.
Seattle Independent Bookstore Day is part of a national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the country. The one-day celebration is held every year on the last Saturday of April.
Every participating store is unique and hosts its own party. Store events might include visiting authors, live music, cupcakes, scavenger hunts, kids events, art tables, readings, contests, and other fun stuff. PLUS, exclusive books and literary items that you can only get on that day. Not before. Not after. Not online. Only. That. Day.
On Independent Bookstore Day, official Passport Maps are available at every participating store throughout the Seattle-Tacoma metro area. When you visit each store, make sure to get your passport stamped by a store employee. When you visit your last store for the day, turn in your passport.
- If you visit three or more stores, you’ll get a 30% coupon, good for a one-time use at any participating store.
- If your passport has stamps from every store*, you’ll get an invitation to a Grand Champions party, plus a Grand Champion Card good for a discount at all participating stores for the following year. *For stores with multiple locations, you need only to get a stamp at one location.
Use #SEABookstoreDay in your social media conversations.
Seattle Independent Bookstore List
(grouped by location and in Seattle by zip code)
- The Traveler, 256 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island
- Eagle Harbor Book Co, 157 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island
- Liberty Bay Books (multiple locatiions)
- 409 Pacific Ave., Bremerton
- 18881 D Front Street NE, Poulsbo
- Page 2 Books, 457 SW 152nd St., Burien
- Edmonds Bookshop, 111 Fifth Avenue South, Edmonds
- The Neverending Bookshop, 7530 Olympic View Dr. Edmonds
- BookTree Kirkland, 609 Market Street, Kirkland
- Third Place Books (multiple locations)
- 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park
- 6504 20th Ave. NE, Seattle 98115
- 5041 Wilson Ave. S, Seattle 98118
- Island Books, 3014 78th Ave. SE, Mercer Island
- University Book Store (multiple locations)
- Mill Creek Town Center, 15311 Main St., Mill Creek
- U-District, 4326 University Way NE, Seattle 98105
- Brick & Mortar Books, 7430 164th Ave. NE, Redmond
- Left Bank Books, 92 Pike St, Seattle 98101
- Open Books: A Poem Emporium, 2414 N 45th St., Seattle 98103
- Book Larder, 4252 Fremont Ave. N, Seattle 98103
- Madison Books/Phinney Books (multiple locations)
- 7405 Greenwood Ave. N, Seattle 98103
- 4118 E. Madison St., Seattle 98112
- Arundel Books, 212 1st Ave. S, Seattle 98104
- Secret Garden Books, 2214 NW Market St., Seattle 98107
- Fantagraphics Bookstore, 1201 S Vale St., Seattle 98108
- Queen Anne Book Company, 1811 Queen Anne Ave. N, Seattle 98109
- Ada’s Technical Books, 425 15th Ave. E, Seattle 98112
- Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave., Seattle 98122
- Estelita’s Library & Community Bookstore, 2533 16th Ave S, Seattle 98144
- Magnolia’s Bookstore, 3206 W. McGraw St., Seattle 98199
- King’s Books, 218 St Helens Ave, Tacoma 98402
Other Literary Organizations
- Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 on Capitol Hill is a place to read words, hear words, and make your own words better. HH provides classes, events, and fellowships for emerging and established writers,
- Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101. A vibrant gathering place in the heart of Seattle, Town Hall fosters an engaged community through civic, arts, and educational programs that reflect—and inspire—our region’s best impulses: creativity, empathy, and the belief that we all deserve a voice.
Free author readings in bookstores and libraries
Book readings or author readings are casual events, held in bookstores and libraries. An author talks about their work and reads selected portions of the book.
The reading is often followed by a question and answer period, as well as a book signing–where you can purchase the book and the author will sign it during the event.
Most book readings are free. For popular books from well known authors and celebrities in high demand, tickets may be required. If tickets are required, it is usually clearly stated on the bookstore’s website or calendar event.
Calendar of literary events
Find upcoming author readings, book sales, and other literary events in the calendar below. If nothing is listed below, there are no upcoming literary events in our calendar. We update literary events on a rolling basis throughout the year.
Sunday, November 28, 2021
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Saturday, December 4, 2021
Saturday, December 11, 2021
Monday, December 13, 2021
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Monday, December 27, 2021
Tuesday, December 28, 2021
But wait, there’s more!
- Best places to find used books around the Sound
- Free fun things to do at the library might surprise you
- Puget Sound libraries online = loads of fun
- Find free and cheap things to do every day on the Greater Seattle on the Cheap calendar.
- And here’s a list of 101+ always free things to do for fun.
- Visit the Greater Seattle on the Cheap home page and choose from a menu of free and cheap activities in the Puget Sound region.
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