Elliott Bay Book Company - Seattle, Washington - The Hotspot for Seattle's Literary Scene


The Elliott Bay Book Company is located in the heart of the historic Pioneer Square District in Seattle, Washington and is a well-known hotspot of the Seattle literary scene. The Book Company is home to over 150,000 titles, set on cedar shelves in a series of inviting, exposed-brick walled rooms. From author readings, book clubs, to publishing their own book newsletters, this bookstore covers every angle a booklover could imagine.

The bookstore is an independent and family-owned store that was founded in 1973 by Walter Carr in the space that currently houses our children's section. In 1976, with the generous support of the Globe Building's owners and numerous friends, the store moved to the building in the corner and took residence on the current home site at 101 South Main Street. That space made up the store's first two rooms. In subsequent years the bookstore grew, room by room, to occupy the various nooks and crannies that are in existence today.

The store is grand in appearance and boasts a large main floor, smaller multiple levels, and the constant sound of creaking wood as you walk along the wooden floor. The selection at the store is vast. Practically any topic can be found here, and the selection within each topic is extensive. Their choices would rival any of the major book chains. They also have sections of used and rare books, and offer a buy-back service to people wishing to sell their books. Store credit is their preferred method of payment, but cash can be paid for estate or library sales.

The store also has a caf, on the lower level that not only serves a variety of tea and coffee, but more substantial items such as smoked salmon and a Moroccan steak sandwich. The caf, was founded in 1979 and recently underwent a major renovation. Tamara Murphy of Seattle's esteemed Brasa oversaw the re-do of the caf, space and menu. Sandwiches, soups, salads, specials, baked and other sweets, coffee, tea, wine and beer are all provided for one's culinary pleasure. Breakfast, lunch, light early dinners, and whatever falls in between, seven days a week are served here.

Elliott Bay also has author events almost every day of the month. They host readings and discussions with patrons and are usually held in the evenings so the working crowd can participate. Along with the author events, the bookstore hosts a number of reading groups. They meet once a month on Tuesday evenings.

The stores offers special order services, book club presentations, a fine selection of books on tape, signed first editions, magazines and journals, hand bound books, limited editions, and much more. A knowledgeable staff is on hand who do their best in meeting its patrons every need. Since the early 1970s, the store has strived to offer both breadth and depth in the books they carry in numerous sections throughout their store. If there are titles that they do not have, they will gladly try to special order them for its customers.

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