Sunday, May 1, 2016

How I Spent #NationalIndependentBookstoreDay!

In case you missed it, yesterday - Saturday, April 30th - was National Independent Bookstore Day, and a sunny Seattle Spring made for the perfect kind of weather for my sister, our friend Keller, and I, to venture out to Capitol Hill, in order to celebrate the occasion properly at Elliot Bay Book Company!

Elliot Bay Book Company is one of the best places in Seattle to peruse popular titles or pick up a new novel, because of its fun atmosphere, incredibly engaging and knowledgeable staff, and wide selection. I've wanted to make a day of venturing there for a long time, so I figured that a day dedicated to independent bookstores was the perfect excuse to take the Link train off of campus, and into the sunshine. 

There was both a Sounders soccer game and Mariners baseball game going on yesterday, so the Link ride down was a little crowded! But that's okay, because we easily got off at the Westlake Station stop... only to realize that we should have gotten off one stop before, for Capitol Hill (Oops). A 20-minute walk uphill notwithstanding, the transportation was fairly easy to maneuver, and it was a sunny day anyways, so no one was hurting for a good time regardless. Our city is full of plenty of gorgeous scenery! 

Once we finally made it to the correct neighborhood, it was obvious that Cap Hill was hopping. Plenty of people were walking around, and nearby cafes had an outpouring of people into the streets. We nudged our way through to get to Elliot Bay, and quickly entered paradise! 

We spent about an hour milling around and peeking at interesting things on shelves, and picking out books we thought the others would like. There were fun events going on in-store, and the vibe was honestly infectious: this store was obviously filled with people who loved books. I combed my way through tantalizing New Releases - obviously - as well as the Bargain, Biography, Humor, YA, and General Fiction sections. Of course, I inevitably returned to my usual aisles to find the real books I wanted - Science Fiction and Fantasy! 

 Other fun stuff we found: Literary Temporary Tattoos (our favorites were Jane Eyre and Hamlet; Paddywax Library Candles (I desperately wanted to pick one up, but they were $20!); and a card game called Marrying Mr. Darcy (which my sister thinks we're going to have to return for someday soon)! 

Keller found some titles she liked, too, but the only book Delaney wanted was a little out of her price range (Justin Trudeau's book, Common Ground, was almost $30!). After we checked out, we were informed that there was a special prize wheel we could spin towards the center of the store, because Keller and I had each spent over $40 that day. I got some cute chocolates from a local chocolatier, from Mercer Island, while Keller walked away with a reusable tote. 

While we were absorbed in admiring our new prizes, my sister heard the woman running the prize station tell us to hang around for a few more minutes for something cool. A few seconds later, a woman took to the central platform in the middle of the store's stairs to announce a Blind Date with a Book happening! 

We circled up with another one of the store's patrons, when the storewoman gave us some tantalizing hints about each of the books up for offer. I'd done these kinds of things at our local library before to check out new titles, but this was different: after the woman read off all of the bookish facts, she asked us a little bit about ourselves, so that she could set up the right people to read the right thing! 

Our Blind Book Dates: my sister's, Keller's, and mine!
They turned out to be A Hanging at Cinder Bottom by Glenn Taylor, What's Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi, and Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. 

Keller, my sister, and I all walked away with a brown-wrapped book, and I made them promise to not open it or take a peek before we were all able to sit down over mammoth slices of pizza at Sizzle Pie nearby. Unwrapping ensued, and each of us found ourselves in possession of an ARC for different recently published book! 

All in all, it was an amazing day spent in the sunshine, complete with a walk in the sun, exploring new places, picking up new titles, and eating some seriously delicious pizza. 

How did you spend #NationalIndependentBookstoreDay ? Let me know, in the comments below! 


  1. What a terrific event, and what a wonderful store! I love how they did the Blind Date with a Book. I wanted to do something for Independent Bookstore Day, too, but there weren't any participating bookstores nearby; the nearest were about an hour and a half from here, and sadly, I didn't have that kind of time. Oh, well, there's always next year!

    1. It was so fun! I know, the "Blind Date" was so interesting, and I can't wait to start it soon to see if it was a good match.

      And totally, there's always next year... and plenty of other bookish holidays to celebrate in the meantime! Happy reading. :)