In the wake of another “record breaking” Cyber Monday for Seattle retailing giant Amazon, a new bookstore with a twist in how it organizes its shelves and helps its customers find new and useful things to read is preparing to open on Capitol Hill.
“You can find the topic you’re interested in. Or a book maybe you weren’t even looking for,” owner Kari Ferguson tells CHS about Oh Hello Again, her new “bibliotherapy” bookstore opening this week on 15th Ave E.
Bibliotherapy? Ferguson describes it as “the notion that novels and reading can help individuals process, work through, and deal with different issues and concerns in their lives.”
The approach means Oh Hello Again is organized by topics — “mental health, everyday problems, bettering yourself, relationships, travel, and many more” — but don’t expect shelves of self-help books. The sections contain a mix of novels, picture books, young adult books, and graphic novels that address the themes of the areas a reader might want to explore. Continue reading →
It’s a blend that should work out, mixing the 15-year-old creation of a Seattle coffee veteran with the energy of two Capitol Hill entrepreneurs who have a vision for growing cafe communities and independent book retail.
Fuel Coffee and its three locations in the 19th Ave E Stevens neighborhood, Montlake, and Wallingford is becoming part of the Ada’s family of bookshops and cafes. The merger is the outgrowth of conversations that started well before the outbreak and is ready to move forward now that reopening plans are taking shape, both sides say. It’s now a vision that seems even more clear after weeks of COVID-19 restrictions with neighbors sticking mostly to their nearby streets.
“Community is even more important,” Danielle Hulton says.
The new Fuel will be a flip of how the original Ada’s was shaped on 15th Ave E. Ada’s is a community built around books — Fuel shops will be built around coffee. Continue reading →
Elliott Bay Book Company is weathering the storm of the COVID-19 crisis with a shift to online sales and local delivery along with a healthy dose of positive labor relations. A smaller, simpler, Capitol Hill sister book retailer, Twice Sold Tales doesn’t get the nationwide love of Elliott Bay but it, too, is trying to hang on through the outbreak and the ripples of economic challenges. Continue reading →
Sean Carlson and Amy Candiotti, are the co-owners of Pistil Books. Their first store started where Bimbo’s currently sits.
CHS stopped by an E Union summer tradition last weekend that made for a most excellent warm-up for another big event coming this weekend that will also feature good deals and bargain hunting on special, one of a kind treasures. Sunday, you can join the fun at the 2019 Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day centered around Cal Anderson Park Alliance’s community sale. Check out capitolhillgaragesale.org for details.
Las weekend, the alley behind 1415 E Union was the center of the action as independent book retailer Pistil Books held its yearly book sale featuring “hundreds of books in all categories, including fiction, science, history, poetry, art, how-to, biographies, and more. Many like new. Paperbacks $1, Hardbacks $2″… and free lemonade! Continue reading →
Normally the story of the period of illegal incarceration of Japanese Americans is told as if they were homogeneous and of one voice. In fact, beyond obvious differences like living in the country or the city, or being American citizens or not, there were other discreet groups within the population of ethnic Japanese in America. An event this week at Elliott Bay Book Co. is a reminder of this diversity and one Capitol Hill family and its apartment building’s place in this history.
On Thursday, February 14 Elliott Bay is hosting a book launch event for Duncan Ryūken Williams’s book American Sutra. It’s the history of Japanese American Buddhists during World War Two.
Williams tells us that the largest group — and the least understood by other Americans — was the Buddhists. The racial discrimination we’re familiar with was not the whole story. It was exacerbated by religious discrimination as well. Buddhists were the focus of early FBI raids, their leaders were subject to separate imprisonment, and their religious activity was often suppressed. Continue reading →
For most of us, getting an email out of the blue from AT&T probably means that our bill is due. For Danielle Hulton of Capitol Hill’s Ada’s Technical Books, an email from the telecommunications giant this spring was an invitation to talk about a life and business changing opportunity.
“They’re evolving and want to be considered more of a tech company,” Hulton said of the conversations that started with that email. “In order to reach customers in places like Capitol Hill, a traditional retail store isn’t going to work.”
So, in the rare case of a corporate giant making a mutually beneficial pact with a locally focused neighborhood merchant, Hulton, her husband and business partner David Hulton, and the growing crew at Ada’s joined up with AT&T and a champion barista for a coffee-focused adventure in small business that pretty much only could play out here on Capitol Hill. Continue reading →
Mayor Durkan congratulates 2018 Spirit of the Hill winner Tracy Taylor
Last week, “work” came up a lot as the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce recognized Elliott Bay Book Company’s general manger Tracy Taylor with its 2018 Spirit of the Hill award. Taylor will soon have even more work to do as she helps the Pioneer Square-born, 10th Ave resident bookstore expand with a new presence at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
“This is an award that recognizes not only hard work and dedication but love and passion,” Jeffrey Pelletier, principal at 15th Ave architecture and design firm Board and Vellum and chair of the chamber’s board said at the organization’s State of the Hill event held last Wednesday night at Queer/Bar. Pelletier said the State of the Hill winner is usually “someone who works hard and cares and oftentimes does it without thanks.” He called Taylor a “tireless advocate” and “a voice for small business.”
“I look around this room and I see how much work everyone in this neighborhood does to make sure that our neighborhood is a wonderful place to live, to work, to run a business,” Taylor said upon receiving the award in the seventh year it has been handed out.
Taylor tells CHS that the new Elliott Bay venture at Sea-Tac is a partnership with the Hudson Book Group to operate an EBBC satellite for travelers at the busy airport. Continue reading →
A week before Horizon Books was slated to vacate its old location on 15th Ave E, when things were looking most grim for the continued survival of this longstanding neighborhood institution, Brandon Letsinger jumped onboard to usher the shop into its new era.
Letsinger has deep roots in local bookselling — his first job out of high school was working at Horizon and his father, Dave Brown, is the proprietor of Recollection Books, which has shared space with Horizon for decades. Letsinger swiftly moved to cut a deal for a new location and began loading boxes into the underground “book bunker” at 1423 10th Ave, down the block from Neumo’s and beneath Super Genius Tattoo. He now runs the day-to-day operations, although owner Don Glover still drops in regularly bearing bags of more books.
“His one rule is he gets to keep bringing in books,” Letsinger says, “He’s probably one of the most prolific book scouts — with one of the best collections — in the western United States.” Continue reading →
What if we told you Horizon Books was still alive? We reported the 15th Ave E bookshop’s closure in 2009. Eventually, another book shop would take its place. But Horizon never really went away as it retreated below ground, squirreled away on 10th Ave in the middle of Pike/Pine. Over the summer, it looked like Horizon was about to say goodbye again before it sprang back once more in September.
Horizon Books will be showcasing the large, mostly figurative oil paintings of Seattle artist Rani Laik. We will also be featuring spoken word artists: *Jesse Bernstein whose poetry revolves around themes of life, death, race, relationships, love, family, social issues, and politics. *Gui Chevalier will be reading select poems from his 2016 book entitled “Radical Human” *Darwin Manning, among others. Live acoustic music provided by Jose Simonet. The event runs from 5-9pm with drinks and snacks provided.
Horizon’s ownership says it is now trying to build one of “the most strange & unique book bunkers in all of Seattle.” Stop by!
Lit Crawl Seattle is a series of uncommon literary events — readings, performances, panel discussions, and beyond — that take place in pubs, museums, cafes, libraries, and a host of other spaces throughout the Capitol Hill and First Hill neighborhoods in Seattle.
Lit Crawl receives funding from Shunpike and is a grant recipient of King County 4Culture and the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture.
With more than 15 venues, it’s a busy night. The Seattle Review of Books is helping out with a few suggested itineraries. Looking for the big crowd? Stop by Neumos sibling The Runaway for a session with Stranger reporters as they record a live edition of their podcast, Trust Issues:
Trust Issues is a podcast about facts gone wrong, hosted by Sydney Brownstone and Heidi Groover. Each week, we go down an online rabbit hole to discover a fake story, conspiracy theory, or alternate history of the galaxy and try to understand why so many people believe it’s true.