What does Independent Bookstore Day celebrate?

Independent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers. They are entire universes of ideas that contain the possibility of real serendipity. They are lively performance spaces and quiet places where aimless perusal is a day well spent.

Indie bookstores, whether dusty and labyrinthine or clean and well-lighted, are not just stores, they are solutions. They hold the key to your love life, your career, and your passions. Walking the aisles of a good bookstore means stumbling upon a novel from India that expands your heart. It’s encountering an art book that changes the direction of your life. It’s the joy of having a perfect stranger steer you toward the perfect book.

In a world of tweets and algorithms and pageless digital downloads, bookstores are not a dying anachronism.  They are living, breathing organisms that continue to grow and expand. In fact, there are more of them this year than there were last year. And they are at your service.


 HUGE prizes await the intrepid on May 2nd!  

*Visit three or more participating stores and enter to win a $25 gift card to all 17 stores – a $425 value!

*Take the Independent Bookstore Day Challenge! Visit all participating stores and be crowned Grand Champion: win 25% off at every store for a year!

Log your progress (and share your book haul!) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #SEABookstoreDay.

For the latest information on Independent Bookstore Day activities all around Seattle, check out Seattle Independent Bookstore Day on Facebook and Twitter. For store specific events, be sure to check out each bookstore’s website. 

Participating Stores + Hours on May 2nd

Book Larder
11:00am – 5:00pm
4252 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 397-4271

Eagle Harbor Book Co.
9:00am – 6:00pm
157 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
(206) 842-5332

Edmonds Bookshop
9:00am – 5:00pm
111 5th Ave S, Edmonds, WA 98020
(425) 775-2789

The Elliott Bay Book Company
10:00am – 11:00pm
1521 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 624-6600

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
11:30am – 8:00pm
1201 S Vale St, Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 658-0110

Island Books
9:30am – 6:00pm
3014 78th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040
(206) 232-6920

Liberty Bay Books
8:00am – 7:00pm
18881 Front Street NE #D, Poulsbo, WA 98370
(360) 779-5909

Mockingbird Books
9:00am – 7:00pm
7220 Woodlawn Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 518-5886

Open Books
11:00am – 6:00pm
2414 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 633-0811

Parkplace Books
10:00am – 7:00pm
Kirkland Parkplace, 348 Parkplace Center, Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 828-6546

Phinney Books
10:00am – 6:00pm
7405 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 297-2665

Queen Anne Books
10:00am – 5:00pm
1811 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 284-2427

Seattle Mystery Bookshop
10:00am – 5:00pm
117 Cherry St, Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 587-5737

The Secret Garden Bookshop
10:00am – 7:00pm
2214 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 789-5006

Third Place Books
6504 20th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115
8:00am – 10:00pm
(206) 525-2347

Lake Forest Park:
Lake Forest Park Town Centre, 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155
9:00am – 10:00pm
(206) 366-3333

University Book Store
10:00am – 7:00pm
4326 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 634-3400
Please visit individual pages for special event details.

“Consumers control the marketplace by deciding where to spend their money. If what a bookstore offers matters to you, then shop at a bookstore. If you feel that the experience of reading a book is valuable, then read the book. This is how we change the world: we grab hold of it. We change ourselves.”

― Ann Patchett, bestselling author and co-owner of Parnassus Books

DENNIS LEHANE on Monday, March 16th at 7:00 p.m.


Dennis Lehane reads from World Gone By on Monday, March 16th at 7:00 p.m.

We’re delighted to welcome back one of the most popular, acclaimed novelists at work today, Dennis Lehane. He is here with a much-awaited, historically-set new work, World Gone By (HarperCollins). “A multilayered, morally ambiguous novel of family, blood, and betrayal. Working against a backdrop of World War II, Lehane continues and perhaps concludes the ambitious series of historical novels that began with the epic sweep of The Given Day and continued with Live By Night … [the novel’s] cumulative power and whip-crack narrative propulsion will enrich the reader’s apprecation past the last page. On one level, a very moving meditation on fathers and sons; on another, an illumination of character and fate.”- Kirkus Reviews. Dennis Lehane’s many other books include Mystic River, Moonlight Mile, and Gone, Baby, Gone. This should be fun.

If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at (206) 624-6600 or email us at to request an autographed copy.

NICK HORNBY at Town Hall Seattle on Sunday, February 8th at 7:30 pm


Nick Hornby visits Town Hall Seattle on Sunday, February 8th to read from and discuss his new novel Funny Girl

Presented by THE ELLIOTT BAY BOOK COMPANY. Nick Hornby, novelist, essayist and author of High Fidelity, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down returns to Seattle to read from his much awaited novel, Funny Girl (Riverhead).  Set in 1960’s London, Funny Girl is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingenue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters. Insightful and humorous, Nick Hornby’s latest does what he does best: endears us to a cast of characters who are funny if flawed, and forces us to examine ourselves in the process.  “Hornby makes the reader care for his characters as much as he does and retains a light touch with the deeper social implications, as women, gays, popular entertainment and the culture in general experience social upheaval. Years later, Sophie is getting ready to star in a play that’s intended to revive her career. ‘The play is much better than I thought it was going to be,’ she thinks. ‘It’s funny, and sad-like life.’ And like this novel. —Kirkus Reviews. Nick Hornby is also the author of the acclaimed film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild. Joining Nick for an on stage conversation will be Seattle actress and all around funny girl Kate Jaeger. Kate’s a regular at Jet City Improv and many theatres around town. Two ticket options:  ($35) admits one person and includes a copy of Funny Girl;  OR ($40) admits two people and includes ONE copy of Funny Girl. Tickets are available now online, in person, or by phone (206) 624-6600. All tickets are for general admission. Town Hall Seattle is located at 1119 8th Avenue (at Seneca). 

FAQ about the Nick Hornby:
  • Can I have my ticket mailed to me?

We will not be mailing out tickets or books for this event. Books and tickets can be picked up at the event at Town Hall Seattle on the evening of Sunday, February 8th.Can I pay for my online purchase in the store?For ticketed events, we require an online payment to reserve a ticket. If you would like to come in to the store to purchase a ticket you may do so.

  • Will Mr. Hornby be signing books?

Yes. A book signing will follow the author event.

  • Will Mr. Hornby sign multiple books?

Yes, but please be respectful of your fellow audience memebers. If you have more than 3 books to be signed, we ask that you go back through the line so that others can have their books signed in a timely fashion.

If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at(206) 624-6600 or email us at to request an autographed copy. 


Short Run Comic & Arts Festival 2014

It’s time again! The 4th annual Short Run Comix & Arts Festival will be taking place on the 15th of this month. Short Run is one of the northwest’s premier book exhibitions celebrating the community of independent zine makers, artists, publishers and animators here and around the world. With exciting events taking place all week (including one here at Elliott Bay) this is going to be a special year. John Porcellino will be in attendance, along with a handful of international publishers and artists to spice things up a bit. Details on everything Short Run this year below.



SHORT RUN Comix & Arts Festival

Saturday, November 15th

at Washington Hall


Short Run Events Calendar

Short Run Seattle & The Seattle Globalist Present International Comix Night featuring Anna Sailamaa (Finland), Jean De Wet (South Africa), Nobrow Publishers (UK)

The Seattle Central Library, 1000 4th Avenue.
7:00 – 8:30 PM, FREE

Visitors Welcome: A Short Run Art Show featuring Anna Sailamaa (Finland), Jamie Coe (UK), Justine Stevens (Seattle), Jonathan Bell Wolfe (Seattle)

During Capitol Hill Art Walk
Joe Bar Gallery, 810 E Roy St.
6:00 – 9:00 PM, FREE

Marathon II: A Short Run Art Show & Pre-Festival Reception featuring MariNaomi (Los Angeles), Tom Neely (Los Angeles), Ed Piskor (Philadelphia), Josh Simmons (Seattle), Pam Wishbow (Seattle), John Porcellino (Beloit, WI)

Fantagraphics Gallery and Bookstore, 1201 S Vale St.
6:00 – 9:00 PM, FREE

SHORT RUN Comix & Arts Festival

Washington Hall (153 14th Ave. Central District),
11:00 – 6:00 PM, FREE
(The first 50 attendees through the door at 11:00 AM will receive a FREE swag bag valued at $40.)

Short Run Beach Party with La Luz and The Shivas featuring Hollow Earth Radio DJ Domenica
8:00 – 11:00 PM

Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave.
$5 door, 21+

Root Hog or Die: A documentary about John Porcellino with artist and director in attendance

Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave.
12:00 – 2:30 PM, FREE

Yumi Sakugawa: Reading for Your Illustrated Guide To Becoming One With The Universe

Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave.
3:30 PM, FREE

UK comic artist Jamie Coe and local artists Joe Garber and Robyn Jordan Reading
The Seattle Public Library – Capitol Hill Branch, 425 Harvard Ave E.

6:30 – 8:00 PM, FREE

JODI PICOULT on Friday, October 24th at 7:00 p.m. at the Seattle Public Central Library (Free admission)


Co-presented with THE SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY. Making a welcome Seattle return is much-loved novelist Jodi Picoult, author of over twenty novels, many of them bestsellers. She visits the library this evening to read from and discuss her newest leavingnovel, Leaving Time (Ballantine). “Picoult’s novel explores grief, memory, and motherhood through the unlikely lens of elephant behavior. Jenna Metcalf was three years old when her mother, Alice, disappeared from the elephant sanctuary where she worked as a researcher. Ten years later, Jenna is ready to launch a search … Longtime fans of Picoult will recognize some of her stock characters … as well as her trademark twist ending … The pachyderms are as complex as the humans, making the journey poignant and memorable.” – Publishers Weekly. Free admission is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Seattle Public Central Library is at 1000 Fourth Avenue (between Madison & Spring). For more information on the program, please see

If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at (206) 624-6600 or email us at to request an autographed copy. 

LIT CRAWL SEATTLE: EIMEAR MCBRIDE on Thursday, October 23rd at 7:00 p.m.


Presented by ELLIOTT BAY BOOK COMPANY as part of LIT CRAWL SEATTLE. Probably the most awarded and cited novel to be read from here this year will be Irish writer Eimear McBride’s singular debut novel A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (Coffee House Press). This indelible story of a young woman growing up and coming into age, especially with its HALFfocus on her relationship with her brother and trauma he undergoes, has received the Bailey Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Desmond Elliott Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award, and was a finalist for the Folio Prize. “A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is simply a brilliant book … entirely emotionally raw and at the same time technically astounding. Her prose is as haunting and moving as music, and the love story at the heart of the novel – between a sister and brother – as true and wrenching as any in literature. This is a book about everything: family, faith, sex, home, transcendence, violence, and love. I can’t recommend it highly enough.” – Elizabeth McCracken. “Read it and be changed.” – Eleanor Catton.

Please see for more information on Lit Crawl.

If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at (206) 624-6600 or email us at to request an autographed copy. 

Books for October Souls: Children’s Picks

For a few of us, autumn and Halloween create the happiest, most delightfully spooky season imaginable. Not only is the weather wonderful (crunchy leaves, hot drinks, warm sweaters, and those brilliant reds and oranges!), but the books I want to curl up with at this time are among my favourites. Here are a few to make fellow October souls happy:

Children’s Picks:

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke

Julia's House for Lost Creatures

Honestly, this is among my favourite picture books ever written. Julia moves into a huge house, which she thinks a grand idea until she actually spends a bit of time in it…and realizes it’s really quite lonely! She puts up a sign that invites all lost creatures to come and take up residence in her house, the result of which is… Well, you’re just going to have to read it. I really can’t say enough about how absolutely wonderful this story is, though. So, do read it.

Cinderella Skeleton by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by David Catrow

Cinderella Skeleton

My opinion on this book may be a little unconventional, but I honestly think this is the best illustrated Cinderella adaptation. Cinderella is a skeleton, her prince is one too, and it’s not just her shoe she loses when she runs down the stairs. The illustrations are beautiful, and the story strikes just the right balance of playful macabre and sweet story.

Crankenstein by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Dan Santat


This one is just plain funny. Meet Crankenstein (chances are you know him). He’s having a day that leaves him feeling nothing but cranky. But when one Crankenstein meets another? Let’s just say this is one book with which we can all identify.

Zombelina by Kristyn Crow, illustrated by Molly Idle


Okay, so taking your leg off while dancing may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but for Zombelina, it’s just one of her many creative dance moves. With her kooky family encouraging her, Zombelina explores the world of dance on her own terms, but when her first ballet recital gives her stage fright, she has to trust in herself enough to finish the performance.

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

If you haven’t yet experienced the world of Adam Rex, you’re in for a treat, and Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich is an excellent entry point. Full of funny stories surrounding Frankenstein’s attempts to live a normal life, this picture book will leave you in stitches. Wait. Not literal stitches. Stitches from laughing. Anyway, moving on…

Boris and Bella by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by Gris Grimly

Boris and Bella

Opposites attract in this ghoulishly good story of Bella and Boris, two contrary people who just can’t stand each other…and come to love each other. Humour meets the saccharine, and with Gris Grimly illustrating, every reader is sure to be pleased.


BEN LERNER on Monday, October 6th at 7:00 pm


Ben Lerner joins us in the bookstore on Monday, October 6th at 7:00 p.m. 

Acclaimed poet and novelist Ben Lerner follows his dazzling fiction debut novel, Leaving the Atocha Station, with another wondrous novel in 10:04 (Faber and Faber). Again the protagonist is a writer, and again there is a narrative of perceptive, sharp, urbanly-informed observation and insight. There is also a lot of life here. “Ben Lerner is a brilliant novelist, and one unafraid to make of the novel something truly new. 10:04 is a work of endless wit, pleasure, relevance, and vitality.” –Rachel Kushner. “Reading Ben Lerner gives me the tingle at the base of my spine that happens whenever I encounter a writer of true originality.” – Jeffrey Eugenides. Ben Lerner’s three poetry collections, all published by Copper Canyon – The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw, Mean Free Path – have received numerous honors and accolades, a National Book Award finalist citation among them. Leaving the Atocha Station won the Believer Book Award.


If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at (206) 624-6600 or email us at to request an autographed copy. 


Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto

Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto


While wistfully celebrating the beauty and fluid grace of the game, knowledgeable lifelong fan Almond compellingly details the crises facing football: that it destroys players, corrupts communities and educational institutions, and represents a morally dubious use of resources. The evidence is preponderant and growing. The book also asks us implicitly, as fans, to consider our addiction to the kind of spectacle that differs only by degree from that used to placate the Roman mob of two thousand years ago, and whether we frankly prefer to accept destruction and suffering for the sake of our own amusement. A book to be read NOW: fall 2014. –Jesse

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh


Tennessee Williams was a great experimental playwright who achieved tremendous commercial success on Broadway. Many of the characters he created are iconic: Amanda, Laura, Blanche, Stanley, Maggie, Big Daddy, and Brick. John Lahr deftly examines Williams’s life in relationship to his plays, and one comes away with a greater appreciation of Williams’s genius. Williams is the great American playwright, and arguably the great American writer—an honor traditionally reserved for novelists, but I would make a case for him. –Greg