Bookselling has held an uncharacteristically prominent place in Seattle newspapers and Web sites of late. Elliott Bay Book Company, the flagship retailer in the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood, is moving to the Pike and Pine corridor on Capitol Hill. Bailey/Coy Books, the longtime Broadway bookseller, has closed its doors. Everyone agrees that bookselling in Seattle is changing. But there’s plenty of disagreement about what the change means.
Here’s a roundup of relevant stories. This collection represents but a small fraction of the ink spilled and pixels lit about the changes afoot for bookselling in Seattle.
Peter Miller, owner of the iconic architecture and design store that bares his name, recently wrote a critical piece on Crosscut arguing that Amazon’s aggressive discounting has badly hurt independent bookselling.
This Seattle Times story on the Elliott Bay move summarizes the reasons for the store’s move.
The Times also profiled Elliott Bay’s new space.
Michael Lieberman, co-owner of Wessel and Lieberman Booksellers, the Pioneer Square bookshop specializing in new, rare, and used books and fine art, wrote one of the first stories about Elliott Bay’s move, which at the time of the story had not yet been confirmed.
Publicola, a Seattle news Web site, first reported on the imminent closure of Bailey/Coy Books in November. To mark its closing, Michael Wells, who bought the store from founder Barbara Bailey in 1993, organized a “wake” to celebrate the store’s history and raise money to cover closing costs.
Capitol Hill Seattle Blog recently posted a series of video clips from an interview it conducted with Michael Wells. Wells discusses changes in the publishing industry, bookselling, and the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
All hope for bookselling in Seattle, however, is not lost. Brave, tiny Pilot Books just opened its doors to Seattle. Pilot Books focuses on small press and independent literature.
- Adrian Lucia