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US Bookstore Tour: Portland, Oregon Powell’s

This year I was fortunate enough to visit the amazing Powell’s bookstore. The flagship store is based in Portland, Oregon. There are almost no words to describe a visit to this brilliant bookstore. 

These are how their columns are decorated outside of the building. 

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Inside it is nothing but pure, almost endless, book heaven. 

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One must walk without a direction as to not be overwhelmed. Even the stairs are literary. 

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Perhaps the most amazing thing about Powell’s is that used copies are shelved along with the new. Providing endless treasures that can suit all budgets. I, of course fell in love with the YA section. It was to die for. I was also able to find this delightful throwback to my internship with Stripes Publishing. I’m so thrilled they made it to the US! 

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There was also a rare book room. I didn’t dare enter. I needed a full time job and a nest egg before having a browse there. To think what treasures lay beyond the door. 

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It is easy to get lost or find oneself wandering Powell’s for an undisclosed amount of time. I bought four books myself, two new and two used. I highly recommend anyone and everyone to spend at least 15 minute in this wonderful indie. I promise you won’t regret it. 

Happy reading!

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Washington State Bookstore tour: Seattle Mystery Bookshop

There is a place where only mysteries are sold. From the beginning with Agatha Christie to modern day standouts such as The Cuckoo’s Calling, you can find anything and everything you’re looking for. 

SMB front

Welcome to Seattle’s Mystery Bookshop!

SMB sign

Just up the hill from the opening of Pioneer Square, SMB has an impressive space that is wall to wall of everything that is mystery books!

SMB entrance

Enter along the ?, and begin your browsing! This fantastic bookshop has sections of everything from by author to YA and even the silly formulaic mysteries organized by topic, such as cooking, or cats. 

SMB YA

The staff are warm, welcoming, host local mystery writer events all the time and if they by chance don’t have what you want, they will order anything you wish! It doesn’t have to be a mystery. For a local bookshop that only sells one genre type, it’s a small but fantastic key aspect that ensures their happy customers keep coming back for more. I wish I lived closer so I could make this my local! 

SMB books

Whether you live in Seattle or happen to pass by for a visit, please pay this lovely shop a few minutes of your attention! It’s totally worth it even if you don’t normally read mysteries. Branch out! Try something new! And please help support fantastic local bookshores like Seattle Mystery Bookshop!

Washington State Bookshop Tour: Pearl Street Books

Last month I wrote about my joyriding trip to Yakima in June. Before we had made it to wine country, my mate and I stopped off in Ellensburg, WA. Known for Central Washington University, this small town has a lot of charm. 

Particularly their local bookshop Pearl Street Books.

Pearl St front of shop

Located next to a wine shop, it’s quite the place to be! The weekend we were there also happened to be a Dashund parade day! 

Pearl St outside sign

Inside the bookshop, it’s full of warmth and sectioned by interests. I loved how clear the books were organized. 

Pearl St Young adult books

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Pearl St middle reader books

Pearl St display

They even had the perfect display of a ‘Tea’ section!

Pearl St Tea section

Upstairs housed local Washington State artists work, drawings of local nature and Mount Rainer. 

The staff are friendly, and let you browse at your leisure. There are plenty of gift type items to purchase, stationary, it’s nice to see a local bookstore be a hub for gifting of the written word. 

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Adorable and I wish this bookstore was closer, Pearl Street is a great place to pick up the latest book in a multitude of genres. If you’re ever in the area don’t forget to pay them a visit and then get some wine from next door! A pint in the park yeah?

The info:

http://www.pearlstreetbooks.com

pearlstreet@elltel.net

421 N. Pearl Street

Ellensburg, WA 98926

Monday-Friday 10am – 5:30pm

Saturdays 10am-5pm

Washington State Bookshops: Island Books in Mercer Island

Last month I talked about how Redmond, WA is lacking an independent bookstore. After a lovely weekend of travel, I discovered some lovely bookshops across my state! Rather than focus only on Seattle bookshops, my tour will include all bookshops that reside in the State of Washington. Let me tell you we’re a pretty big state and I can’t wait to discover more bookshops in Washington!

In May I traveled to Mercer Island. It really is an island just off of the city of Seattle. Tucked away and only accessible by wheels, this island holds prime real estate and gorgeous views of the water and forest.

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Among the homes and businesses is the lovely Island Books, the only bookshop to inhabit the land. 

Island Books logo

This large bookshop caters to the residents of Mercer Island, but they also serve a greater community of book lovers. This independent bookshop doesn’t just sell books, but seeks to continue the love of reading and word related arts to anyone that enjoys them. 

Typewriter

There are old typewriters everywhere.

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As well as beautiful displays of well loved books. 

Display

Along with selling other knickknacks among the books, I really enjoyed seeing a special games section that caters to local geography.

Games

With an excellent children’s and teen’s section, there is something for everyone. The staff are friendly and knowledgable. There are loads of different areas that the books are grouped into making finding something a treat. The shop even has its own ‘store journal called Message in a Bottle via Tumblr. 

Book display

It’s a great little stop off when venturing outside of the city and I was very pleased to support such a fine bookshop! 

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The details:

3014 78th Ave. SE 
Mercer Island WA 98040

206.232.6920

info@mercerislandbooks.com

Store Hours

Mon-Wed: 9:30 – 7:00
Thurs: 9:30 – 8:00
Fri: 9:30 – 7:00
Sat: 9:30 – 6:00
Sun: 11:00 – 5:00