Seattle Independent Bookstore Day did it again! Such a festive day for all us ‘Willpower in a bookstore? What’s that like?’ folks to celebrate, support, and enjoy the excellent indie bookstore scene we’ve got here.
My mom and I went for it again—we took the challenge and went to 17 indie bookstores yesterday so we are Seattle Independent Bookstore Day Champions once more! (And can continue to get that lovely 25% off for another year.)
Here’s a recap of our adventures:
We did a similar route as last year, meeting up on Bainbridge Island (I took the ferry, Mom drove up on the peninsula side), doing an outer swing then zagging around in the metro area, trying to avoid probable Viadoom* traffic areas (successfully!) and be efficient, but also sure we got to each store before they closed.
*For non-Seattleites: the Alaskan Way Viaduct downtown is closed for 2 weeks, which just started. Highway 99 runs on the Viaduct. There are about 90,000 vehicle trips per weekday on 99. There is only one North-South freeway alternative and its usual traffic hovers somewhere between bad and horrendous. So it could have been a major impediment to our day, but wasn’t! (At least not for us). Who knows what Monday’s commutes will hold but the impending workweek concerns us not in this post!
Twitter was pretty lively with both #independentbookstoreday and #SEAbookstoreday action. My favorite early morning tweet:
* I missed out on the cool stencil and the Neil Gaiman coloring book (wow those sold out fast) but did get the Ann Patchet The Care and Feeding of an Independent Bookstore: Three Instructive Essays, in which she says:
“You may have heard the news that the indepedent bookstore is dead, that books are dead, that maybe even reading is dead—to which I say, “Pull up a chair, friend. I have a story to tell.”
We both got Alice in Wonderland temporary tattoos. Mine was “I took a kettle / large and new” and Mom said, “I don’t get it” and I’m like “Well…Alice in Wonderland…” and then hers turned out to say, “‘I’m afraid I don’t quite understand,’ said Alice.”
In between stop #3 (Edmonds) and stop #4 (Mercer Island) we saw a bald eagle soaring around all majestically elan. That’s Seattle for ya.
*Seattle Arts and Lectures tweeted a sneak-peek of a few of the Summer Book Bingo squares so Indie Bookstore Day folks could make a strategic purchase or two—the Jim Lynch one will work for either ‘local author’ or ‘recommended by an indie bookseller’. (‘By a SAL speaker’ is the other one they previewed.)
Next up was Queen Anne Book Company where I got Miss Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stevenson because of the Staff Picks shelf description of it, plus delightful sentences like these from the first few pages: “She found a table and ordered coffee and buns and chocolate eclairs for she had an unsophisticated palate and a good digestion” and “”Come along, come along,” he said, quite unnecessarily, for Miss Buncle was coming along very well, and the train was not thinking of starting.”
And, my mom apparently won their raffle!
I also picked up the great (and, quite sadly, late) C.D. Wright’s recent book of essays about poetry, which from what I’ve read already is just phenomenal. An excerpt from the beginning and the end of “In a Word, a World”:
I love them all.
I love that a handful, a mouthful, gets you by, a satchelful can land you a job, a well-chosen clutch of them could get you laid, and that a solitary word can initiate a stampede, and therefore be formally outlawed […]
[…] My relationship to the word is anything but scientific; it is a matter of faith on my part, that the word endows material substance, by setting the thing named apart from all else. Horse, then, unhorses what is not horse.
Open Books was one of the places where our calmness was noted, and we were joking about having had no panic-inducing moments like last year—when I thought I had forgotten to get my passport stamped at Phinney Books and we went rushing back thinking they had closed already but they hadn’t yet, and anyway they HAD stamped it just on the wrong spot, and they wrote a hilarious little post-it apologizing to Elliott Bay for stamping on their space, and it stayed on my passport when I turned it in at the end of the day, so when the SEABookstoreDay folks later tweeted a photo of all the champions’ passports lined up together I could tell which of the 42 was mine.
And then John turned around and whaddyaknow he totally stamped the wrong spot on someone’s else’s passport and had to write a post-it note apologizing to the other bookstore. The tradition continues!
I am totally curious how many champs there are this year compared to last, and how many repeats — I suspect quite a few! I also saw (thanks to social media) that there were at least a couple other mother-daughter teams, and several with kiddos (you go, young readers!). Hope they do a party for the grand champions like last year so we all get to meet. I also hope yesterday’s booksellers got to put their tired feet up today and bask a little in all that Independent Bookstore Day love—you totally deserve it.
And that brings us to the end of the 2016 Seattle Independent Bookstore Day adventures for me and my mom. Now on to all the reading…and since if I were you I’d be wondering: Miss Buncle’s Book is the one I chose—after a preposterously long time staring at the stack this morning trying to decide—to start first.