Ada's Technical Books Felix Tran

Book Smart

Seattleites are passionate readers. Here are nine shops that embrace the city’s status as a UNESCO City of Literature.

By Aleenah Ansari
A person wearing an orange jacket and yellow beanie pulls out a book with a white cover from a bookshelf filled with books.

Ada’s Technical Books Felix Tran

A local treasure since 1973, Elliott Bay Book Company (1521 10th Ave) in Capitol Hill hosts frequent author readings and carries titles about every imaginable topic, from hiking the Olympic Peninsula to baking the perfect loaf of sourdough. The neighborhood is also home to Ada’s Technical Books (425 15th Ave E), which leans into its self-proclaimed “geeky” personality with a rich selection of science-minded titles and interesting events, including cocktail mixology workshops. Twice Sold Tales (1833 Harvard Ave) is known for its encyclopedic collection of used titles and its several charming felines who roam the aisles.

A fave among the five terrific booksellers in Pike Place Market, Lamplight Books (1514 Pike Pl) specializes in hard-to-find literary works. Arundel Books (322 First Ave S) in Pioneer Square cuts a dashing profile with its beautiful archways. Look here for rare, out-of-print fiction and poetry, an array of children’s books, and prints from local artists. In Ballard since 1977, Secret Garden Bookshop (2214 NW Market St) offers efficient shipping, which comes in handy if that pile of books you bought won’t quite fit in your luggage.

Fremont’s Book Larder (4252 Fremont Ave N) specializes in new and vintage cookbooks and offers frequent cooking classes. What began as a literary collection for its owners’ daughter, Estelita’s Library (241 Martin Luther King Jr Way S) is a socially conscious Central District bookstore that celebrates diversity, community, and social justice. And at West Seattle’s family-owned Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California Ave SW), you can pick out an engaging read to enjoy while lazing at nearby Alki Beach. This cozy emporium also stocks colorful cards and prints from local artists.


Seattle’s best every month in your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Book Your Trip

Partner Advertisements