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These 16 Independent Bookstores in Seattle Are Sure Worthy of Your Time and Money

one of the best independent bookstores in seattle

Seattle is a city with an infectious love for literature and a thriving independent bookstore scene. Visitors to the city should not miss the opportunity to explore the many charming and unique bookstores that Seattle has to offer. From the iconic and the hip to the cozy neighborhood feel, each bookstore has its own character and is an excellent way to connect with Seattle’s vibrant literary community. Whether you’re a bookworm or simply looking for a cozy spot to read, these independent bookstores in Seattle are sure to provide an enriching and unforgettable experience.

A little appeal to my readers. It takes time to create these resources. These affiliates share a teeny weeny portion of their margins with me. No, you don’t pay extra at all. If in any way BWAB helps you in planning your trips, do consider using any of my links. That would make this website live a little longer. One booking at a time. Explore our affiliate shop. Or if you are particularly generous, consider tipping me.

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Open Books: A Poem Emporium

When You're in Seattle, Check out These 16 Independent Bookstores

Address: 108 Cherry St, Seattle, WA
Operating Hours: Wed-Sat 12pm-5pm
Website: https://open-books-a-poem-emporium.myshopify.com

Open Books: a poem emporium in Seattle is an inviting space for poetry lovers of all levels. This unique bookstore offers a wide range of new, used, and out-of-print poetry books, making it an excellent destination for both beginners and seasoned readers. The store’s collection of poetry books is curated with care and features both classic and contemporary works, as well as books by local and emerging poets.

Seattle’s beloved poetry destination has relocated to 108 Cherry Street, and it’s more magical and beautiful than ever! The historic Good Arts building is now home to an incredible selection of poetry books, both new and rare, making it a must-visit destination for travelers passing through Seattle. This one-of-a-kind bookstore has captured the hearts of poets and poetry lovers worldwide, and it continues to be a beloved hub for the poetry community. If you’re looking for a unique and enchanting bookstore experience, this shop is a must-visit. You’ll fall in love with its charm and the unparalleled selection of poetry books.

Mercer Street Books

Address: 7 Mercer St, Seattle, WA
Operating Hours: Mon-Sat, 12pm-85pm; Sun 12pm-7pm
Website: http://www.mercerstreetbooks.com

independent bookstores in seattle photo by sobrelivrosdaeduda

For book lovers visiting Seattle, a visit to Mercer Street Books is a must. This charming bookstore, one of the beloved independent bookstores in Seattle, located in the heart of Lower Queen Anne.

When you enter the store, take a moment to appreciate the beautifully curated collection of books, both fiction and non-fiction. Each shelf is well-organized, with detailed section labels, making it easy to browse through the vast selection of titles.

While perusing the shelves, make sure to look out for the unique bookends on each shelf, which add to the store’s cozy and welcoming atmosphere. Whether you’re a fan of classic literature or more contemporary works, there is something for everyone at Mercer Street Books.

Before you leave, don’t forget to take a peek at the store’s rare book section, which features an impressive selection of first editions and out-of-print titles.

Nook & Cranny Books

independent Seattle bookstore nook and cranny

Address: 324 15th Ave E #101, Seattle, WA
Operating Hours: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm
Website: https://www.instagram.com/nookandcrannyseattle/

This bookstore, is, without a doubt, the most adorable one I’ve ever set foot in. It’s thoughtfully arranged by “moods,” a concept that more bookstores should adopt because it made searching for books so much more enjoyable. On top of that, the owner was incredibly kind and helpful, which just adds to the charm of the place. I can’t get over how adorable it is!

It’s definitely worth checking out, as it’s a charming store with a fantastic selection of books, and the owner is one of the kindest individuals you’ll come across. It’s the perfect place to go to when you’re in the mood for a new read but aren’t quite sure what to go with. The descriptive labels on the shelves are incredibly helpful for making that decision! Moreover, they have a ton of fun non-book items as well.

While I was there, I noticed the owner was taking great care to limit the number of people inside the store, which was nice to see.

Lion Heart Book Store

Address: 1501 Pike Pl Apt 432, Seattle
Operating Hours: Wed-Mon, 10am-5pm
Website: https://www.pikeplacemarket.org/vendor/lionheart-bookstore/

Lion Heart Book Store is one of independent bookstores in Seattle.

Discover Lion Heart Book Store, an indie gem with an eclectic selection of new and used titles in a charming setting. The owner is known for his kind and generous nature, and is a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of topics. Despite not finding what I was looking for on my first visit, the owner was gracious and welcoming, encouraging me to return.

When I did, I was delighted to find the same warm and friendly atmosphere, and this time I was able to purchase the books I wanted. It’s worth noting that the store enforces a mask policy due to the owner’s mother being ill, but it’s a small sacrifice to support this wonderful business and the owner’s family. If you’re looking for a bookstore that leaves a lasting impression, Lion Heart Book Store comes highly recommended.

B L M F Literary Saloon

B L M F Literary Saloon is one of the most loved independent bookstores in Seattle.

Address: 1501 Pike Pl #322, Seattle, WA
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun, 10am-9pm
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bookslikeamotherfucker

B L M F Literary Saloon is a cozy haven on a beautiful day. The shelves are filled with a wide variety of books and the lighting is just right, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

However, accessing the books you want can be a bit of a challenge. The books are stacked in tall piles, which can be a bit intimidating to navigate. Fortunately, the staff is helpful and will assist you in finding what you need.

The Pike Place Market is home to many shops, but B L M F Literary Saloon is the ultimate book haven in my opinion. Located on the bottom level, this shop has an exceptional collection of books that are curated well and easily browsable. It’s a great example of a used bookstore done right.

Along with a record store, pop art shop & galleries, rummage shop, photo booth, and psychic, it fits perfectly in the gem that is this level of the Market. When looking for books, I recommend shopping small and shopping local by starting here.

Left Bank Books Collective

Address: 92 Pike St # B, Seattle, WA 9
Operating Hours: Mon-Sat, 10am-7pm; Sun 11am-6pm
Website: https://www.leftbankbooks.com

Left Bank Books Collective  is one of the best independent bookshops in Seattle

This volunteer-run bookstore in the Pike Place Market area is committed to promoting social justice and leftist politics. The store has a wide selection of books on topics like feminism, anti-racism, and labor rights.

This charming little bookstore I stumbled upon was a real treat. Although small, it had a distinctive feel to it that left a lasting impression. Their collection mainly consisted of new books, although natural sciences seemed to be less represented. However, the social sciences, humanities studies, and literature sections were home to many hidden gems.

What I found particularly noteworthy was their longstanding Books to Prisoners program. It’s an opportunity to purchase books at discounted prices, which can then be donated to the prison library. It’s a small gesture, but one that can make a big difference in the lives of those behind bars.

There were a few cozy chairs and seating areas where you could comfortably lose yourself in a good read. All in all, it was a delightful, peaceful spot that offered a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle outside.

Lamplight Books

Lamplight Books is one of the

Address: 1514 Pike Pl # 14, Seattle, WA
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun, 10am-5pm
Website: https://www.instagram.com/lamplightbooks

Located behind Las Agave, this bookstore is a hidden gem in the heart of Pike Place Market. While it may not be the easiest place to find, the collection of books available is wonderfully diverse, and there are some truly unique finds to be had here.

In addition to their new book offerings, they also have sections dedicated to used books and $1 books, making it a must-visit spot for any book lover or anyone in the area looking for a relaxed browsing experience. If you’re in the market for more used books, be sure to check out Lamplight Books, another independent bookstore in the area. While they specialize mainly in used books, it was fantastic to see some out-of-print titles and cookbooks by some of Seattle’s most famous chefs, such as Tom Douglas.

The store has a relaxed vibe, and being located inside the market, it provides a peaceful respite from the crowds outside. Whether you’re looking to buy a book or simply kill some time, this is a fantastic find.

Twice Sold Tales

Address: 1833 Harvard Ave, Seattle, WA
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-8pm
Website: https://www.twicesoldtales.com

photo by scattereddancers

Twice Sold Tales is one of the best used Seattle bookstores known for its great selections and

Twice Sold Tales, one of our favorite independent bookstores in Seattle, is an absolute gem of a used bookstore, bursting with character and an impressive selection of books. It’s the kind of place where you can easily while away hours browsing the shelves, taking in the endless literary treasures on offer.

Adding to the charm is the presence of resident bookstore cats, who add an extra layer of cozy appeal to the whole experience. The staff are also incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, always on hand to offer suggestions or lend a hand in tracking down a particular title.

But what really sets this bookstore apart are the prices. They’re truly unbeatable, and with a bit of patience and a keen eye, you’re bound to come across some real gems. Overall, Twice Sold Tales is a book-lover’s paradise that you won’t want to miss out on.

Magus Books

magus bookstore is one of the best independent Seattle bookstores to check out

Address: 1408 NE 42nd St, Seattle, WA
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-8pm
Website: https://www.magusbooksseattle.com

At Magus Books, quality is the name of the game. The booksellers are deeply committed to upholding a first-rate selection, fostering an inviting ambiance, and delivering exceptional customer service.

As soon as you step through the door at Magus, you can’t help but feel a certain special something that sets it apart from the bustling sidewalks of the U District. Whether you call it an aura or a vibe, the Magus crew knows how to exceed their customers’ expectations, and they have a blast doing it.

Located just steps away from the vibrant and picturesque University of Washington campus, Magus exudes a charm and elegance that can only come from decades of dedication. The towering bookshelves, brimming with beloved works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, invite visitors to explore at their leisure, without any pressure or rush, and simply enjoy the experience.

The team at Magus holds the U District community in the highest regard. Their presence, nestled around the corner from Cafe Allegro and Bulldog News, contributes to a unique neighborhood atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else in Seattle, one that’s sure to keep you coming back.

Elliott Bay Book Company

Located in Capitol Hill, Elliott Bay Book Company is a Seattle institution that has been around since 1973. The store is known for its impressive selection of new and used books, and its author events are always worth attending.

Elliott Bay Book Company is a delightful independent bookstore located in the area that offers an enjoyable selection of reads recommended by the staff, and a charming café situated within its walls.

The café is incredibly adorable and provides a cozy atmosphere to read or study. While there are many seats available, it’s important to note that the café can become quite crowded during weekends. It’s an ideal spot to stop by on a lazy weekend morning, grab a cup of coffee, and browse through the store’s diverse selection of books.

Address: 1521 10th Ave, Seattle, WA
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun, 10am-10pm
Website: https://www.elliottbaybook.com

Elliott Bay Book Company  is one of the best Seattle bookstores

This bookstore is simply incredible! It’s like being transported to a heavenly place where you could easily lose track of time and spend an entire day (or more!) exploring the shelves. The staff is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, adding to the welcoming atmosphere. And let’s not forget about the café – their coffee and baked goods are simply delicious! It’s hard to express just how much I love this iconic bookstore, but I will say this: if you’re in the area, it’s an absolute must-visit.

Third Place Books

Third Place Books is not your average bookstore, it is a hub for creating a community around books and the ideas they hold. With its flagship store founded in 1998 in Lake Forest Park, Third Place Books has since expanded to the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle in 2002 and the Seward Park neighborhood in 2016.

The bookstore boasts an impressive collection of over 200,000 new, used, and bargain books in Lake Forest Park, and over 40,000 books in Ravenna. It’s a welcoming and inviting space that offers much more than just books. Whether you want to browse, relax, read, eat, or chat with friends, Third Place Books is the perfect spot to do it all. You can lounge, laugh, play, talk, listen, and simply watch the world go by in this comfortable and safe environment.

Third Place Books  is one of the independent bookstores in seattle

Address: 6504 20th Ave NE & HP4H+7Q Seattle,
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-8pm; 9am-9pm

Ada’s Technical Books and Café

Ada’s Technical Books & Cafe is not your average bookstore. As Seattle’s premier technical bookstore, it has created a vibrant community of science-minded individuals who share a love for literature. But that’s not all. Ada’s also boasts a vegetarian cafe, serving exceptional specialty coffee at all of its locations, with a special focus on coffee at Fuel Coffee.

The Office at Ada’s is a neighborhood resource that provides a great place to work, whether it’s for the day or for the long term. And if you’re looking for a unique and intimate event venue, The Lab at Ada’s is the perfect choice. With its versatile space, it’s an excellent location for workshops, birthday parties, wedding receptions, and holiday parties of any kind. Ada’s Technical Books & Cafe is much more than a bookstore, it’s a thriving community and a must-visit destination in Seattle.

Address: 425 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun, 8am-8pm
Website: https://www.adasbooks.com

 Ada's Technical Books and Café  is one of the independent bookstores in seattle

Queen Anne Book Company

Tucked away in the heart of Queen Anne, this lovely independent Seattle bookstore is truly a hidden gem. Surrounded by charming coffee shops and bakeries, it’s the perfect spot to peruse some interesting reads. The selection is quite diverse, with offerings ranging from novels to classics, humor books to psychology.

For tourists in Seattle, this is an especially delightful spot to check out. The store is located at the end of Queen Anne Coffee Co. and offers a great selection of books across all genres, as well as magazines, postcards, greeting cards, and other gift items. All in all, it’s a cute neighborhood bookstore that’s well worth a visit.

Queen Anne Book Company is an independent bookstore in Seattle.

Address: 1811 Queen Anne Ave N #103, Seattle
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun, 10am-6pm

Secret Garden Books

Many locals adore supporting independent bookstores throughout Seattle, and Secret Garden Books is many’s favorite in Ballard. Even though some live in NE Seattle, they still order books from SGB because they enjoy it so much. The staff is fantastic, offering excellent recommendations and hosting book release events with local authors.

If you’re in Ballard, you must visit this bookstore – I’ve never left empty-handed! Every time I visit, I have a wonderful experience. The friendly staff welcomes me, and they have an excellent selection of new books and occasional sales. It’s definitely worth visiting the next time you’re in Ballard!

Address: 2214 NW Market St, Seattle, WA
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sun-Sat 10am-5pm
Website: https://www.secretgardenbooks.com

 Secret Garden Books  is one of the independent bookstores in seattle

Phinney Books

Phinney Books is a charming neighborhood bookstore with a well-thought-out layout and an appealing color scheme. Despite its modest size, the store boasts an extensive selection of new books, including dedicated sections for children’s and young adult literature.

Alongside books, they also offer a variety of small gifts, such as puzzles, stuffed animals, and greeting cards. I particularly appreciate the events they host, such as book clubs and a subscription service. Although I would have appreciated a greeting from the person at the counter, she seemed lost in thought. All in all, I am pleased to have stumbled upon this store and will certainly keep it in mind for my next book search.

Phinney  Books is one of the independent bookstores in seattle

Address: 7405 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle,
Operating Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 12-5pm
Website: https://www.phinneybooks.com

Arundel Bookshop

This bookstore is truly lovely. While the quantity of books may not be vast, they have an impressive selection of rare books that focus on human stories and artistic ideas. The building itself is situated in Pioneer Square and has an old-world charm that makes you feel like you’ve traveled back to the 1920s, but with a modern and clean twist.

The shop has a charming appearance, and the interior design and architecture are stunning! Before browsing, they offer hand sanitizer. They limit browsing time to 30 minutes, which is mostly what I did.

Address: 322 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-7pm
Website: https://www.arundelbooks.com

Arundel Bookshop is one of the independent bookstores in seattle

Seattle’s independent bookstore scene is a reflection of the city’s eclectic and creative culture. Each store has its own distinct personality, ranging from small specialty shops to larger, multi-level establishments. Many of these stores also host regular events and book clubs, providing opportunities for readers to connect with each other and the local literary community. Supporting these independent bookstores not only provides a unique shopping experience but also helps preserve the tradition of physical bookselling and cultivates a sense of community within Seattle.

A little appeal to my readers. It takes time to create these resources. These affiliates share a teeny weeny portion of their margins with me. No, you don’t pay extra at all. If in any way BWAB helps you in planning your trips, do consider using any of my links. That would make this website live a little longer. One booking at a time. Explore our affiliate shop. Or if you are particularly generous, consider tipping me.

Find hotel deals on Booking.com or Hostelworld.
Skip the queue and book your tours and tickets on Viator.
Find flight deals on Trip.com or Expedia
Rent a car on rentalcars.com

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

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