The Best Bookstores in Seattle
Collected by Stephanie Perry , AFAR Local Expert
Amazon headquarters might be in Seattle, but the city still has—and proudly supports—many independent bookstores with enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff members. From general interest to children’s bookstores and even a cookbook store, you can feed your need to read at these bibliophile havens in Capitol Hill and beyond.
1521 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
For decades, Elliott Bay Books has been one of Seattle's best bookstores. So, a few years ago, when it was announced that the venerable institution was going to leave its historic Pioneer Square neighborhood digs, there was widespread...
2214 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
Open for over 35 years, this venerable independent bookstore has a good selection of adult fiction and nonfiction, but it really specializes in children’s and young adult books. Good karma alert: they offer free gift wrapping, plus discounts...
4553 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116, USA
Not to be confused with Pegasus Pizza (also in West Seattle) or Pegasus Coffee Bar, Pegasus Book Exchange is one of several used bookstores in the Alaska Junction. Trade in your old books and get store credit towards new-to-you ones. They...
4537 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116, USA
Just down the street from Pegasus Book Exchange, the Alaska Junction’s other used bookstore, Merryweather Books, is a small but friendly shop with a long history; it’s the new incarnation of Leisure Books, which was around for over 20...
4326 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
Not just a wonderfully large bookstore—although it is that—the University Bookstore is also a café and a fantastic gift shop. The two-level bookstore has a textbook section for students and general fiction and nonfiction for the...
Uwajimaya Village, 525 S Weller St, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
Located inside Seattle’s Uwajimaya Asian grocery store, Kinokuniya is a one-stop shop for Asian magazines, books, manga, stationery, and writing supplies. Even if you’re Japanese-illiterate, it’s a fun place to wander around...
218 St Helens Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
A Tacoma institution, King’s Books carries new and used books and specializes in local-interest books about the Northwest region. It’s also home to two resident cats, Miko and Atticus, who complete the cozy bookstore experience....
4709 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
Half Price Books isn’t an independent bookstore, but any place that sells used books is worth digging through for bargains—plus this store also carries calendars, music, DVDs, games, and gift items. The inventory rotates pretty...
3504 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
It’s basically a universally acknowledged truth that a true Seattle used bookstore must have a resident cat, and Ophelia's Books, in Fremont, is no exception. Well-organized and eclectic, they carry out-of-print and one-of-a-kind treasures....
7 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
In case the unthinkable happens and you run out of reading material while visiting Seattle, there’s an inexpensive solution at hand: Mercer Street Books. Located in Lower Queen Anne, this little used bookstore offers a general selection of...
92 Pike St # B, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Pike Place Market isn’t just fish-throwing and flower bouquets: it’s also home to Left Bank Books, a collectively owned and operated anarchist bookstore that sells primarily political and philosophical nonfiction, but also literary...
1501 Pike Pl #322, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
B L M F Literary Saloon is proof that there are treasures to be found for the patient visitor who wanders down to the less-frequented lower levels of Pike Place Market. For more than 17 years, J.B. Johnson has owned this cozy, lovingly curated...
425 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
At Ada's Technical Books and Cafe on Capitol Hill, a unique selection of largely tech-focused books shares a lovely, light-filled space (light-filled on the sunny day I visited, in any case) with a charming cafe. Get a cup of coffee and a pastry,...
4601 26th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
Yes, it’s true: the world’s biggest online bookseller has a brick-and-mortar store in Seattle. Located in the University Village, an upscale outdoor mall, the modestly-sized shop feels much like a typical bookstore with a few notable...
1007 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
Bookstore Bar & Café combines two of life’s great pleasures: books and booze. This hotel bar focuses on scotch and whiskey (over 130 varieties), though they also serve up carefully made craft cocktails; we liked the the Rum Daisy...
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