Whether you’re a voracious or casual reader, these independent bookstores in Seattle are a must-visit.
These local indie bookstores are hidden gems in Seattle. Even if nowadays most of us resort to buying books online without human contact, nothing will ever be as comforting or as special as listening to the literary recommendations from the bibliophile sitting behind that enormous mahogany desk.
There are several days throughout the year that are ideal for visiting your local independent bookstore. On August 9th every year, bibliophiles can gather to enjoy National Book Lovers Day. And the last Saturday of every April, we celebrate Independent Bookstore Day. Readers from around the city get together and compete in a contest of who can visit and buy the most books from indie retailers in the least amount of time.
And of course, you don’t need an excuse to visit one of these bookstores any day of the year! We highly recommend making a rainy day activity out of it (not hard to do in Seattle).
These are our favorite independent bookstores in Seattle:
1. Open Books
Where: 108 Cherry Street, Seattle, WA 98104
What: Open Books is the sole poetry-only bookstore in Seattle. You’ll find new, used and out-of-print poetry books that you can enjoy reading while getting cozy on one of their couches. Note: They recently moved to their new location in Pioneer Square!
Hours: 12-5pm Wednesday through Saturday
2. Ophelia Books
Where: 3504 Fremont Ave N Seattle, WA 98103
What: Ophelia has been open in Seattle for over 20 years, selling used books of all genres. Located in the heart of Fremont, this bookstore is definitely a diamond in the rough. You’ll need at least an hour to go through its broad selection.
Hours: 12pm -7pm daily
3. Left Bank Book Collective
Where: 92 Pike St Seattle, WA 98101
What: At walking distance from Pike Place Market you can find Left Bank Book Collective. A small bookstore that has a selection of over 10,000 books divided into 70 sections. They specialize in independent, radical and small-press titles.
Hours: 10am-7pm daily (6pm closing time on Sundays)
4. Magus Books
Where: 1408 NE 42nd St. Seattle, WA 98105
What: Located in Seattle’s vibrant University District, Magus is the spot to choose if you’re looking to sell your book collection or find the perfect unexpected gift. You can choose between a broad product range that goes from antique books to reading accessories and essential oils.
Hours: 10am-8pm daily
5. Mercer Street Books
Where: 7 Mercer St Seattle, WA 98109
What: The warm service of staff at Mercer Street Books and their quaint decoration will make you feel right at home. Walking through the aisles is almost an adventure and you’ll always be able to take a literary treasure with you at great prices!
6. Secret Garden Books
Where: 2214 NW Market St Seattle, WA 98107
What: It’s pet friendly! I repeat, you can browse through books in the company of your pup. With more than 40 years of experience in the indie bookstore industry, The Secret Garden is a safe bet when looking for new, used and antique children’s books.
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-6pm; Sat & Sun 11am-5pm
7. Elliott Bay Book Company
Where: 1521 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
What: This independent bookstore in Seattle has been independently owned since its founding in 1973. It has been in its Capitol Hill location since 2010, where you can visit to enjoy author readings and other events, coffee and bites at the attached Oddfellows Cafe, and over 150,000 titles.
Hours: 10am-9pm daily
8. Twice Sold Tales
Where: 1833 Harvard Ave, Seattle
What: This quaint bookshop is full of used books, cozy nooks, and friendly resident cats. They’re located about a two-minute walk away from the Capitol Hill Light Rail station.
Hours: 11am-8pm daily
9. Third Place Books
Where: Lake Forest Park (17171 Bothell Way NE); Ravenna (northeast corner of 20th Ave NE and 65th Street); and Seward Park (northwest corner of Wilson Ave S and S Farrar Street)
What: This general-interest bookstore sells new, used, and bargain books at its three different locations in Seattle. With an emphasis on fostering community, Third Place Books offers more than just reading material. You’ll find events, three restaurants, a community room, and more at their Lake Forest Location; and you can enjoy food and drink at attached cafes, bars, and restaurants at their Seward Park and Ravenna locations.
Hours: varies by location
10. Queen Anne Book Company
Where: 1811 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle
What: This charming bookstore in Queen Anne has an outdoor patio that is ideal for sitting with a book and drink from neighboring Queen Anne Coffee Company on sunny days. Luckily, it’s equally cozy inside for those rainy Seattle days.
Hours: 10am-6pm Mon-Fri; 10am-5-pm Sat & Sun
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Featured image by Free Photos from Pixabay
Originally written by Emma Colosia and updated with additional reporting by Kelly Dougher