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Seattle Independent Bookstore Day Is Back for 2021

The local seller celebration retains its book passport but is now both virtual and IRL, and runs for 10 days.

By Stefan Milne April 23, 2021

Madison Books is one of the stores participating in this year's altered Independent Bookstore Day. 

Image: Stefan Milne

This year Seattle Independent Bookstore Day is a “day” in the way that Seattle Restaurant Week is a week—not even slightly. The annual celebration of indie sellers was mostly canceled last year (pandemic). This year (still pandemic) it’s spread across 10 days (April 24–May 3) and straddles online and brick and mortar—all to make the typical tsunami of book people more of a gently lapping tide. 

While every year boasts readings and other events, the big deal has been the passport challenge. If you visited every bookstores on the list, you got a 25 percent discount on all purchases at participating stores for a year. In 2019, that meant bouncing around the area—Bainbridge, Poulsbo, Seattle—to 21 different stores. Nevertheless, hundreds completed it. 

This year’s altered event is rather less arduous: If you make a purchase—of anything, either online or in person—at 10 of the participating stores over the 10 days, you get a tote bag and the title of Seattle Independent Bookstore Day 2021 Champion. It is not the big discount of yore. But it’s not a bad reminder to support some of these stores since we want to keep them around. 

April 24th (the actual bookstore day) will also see a smattering of virtual events. The national Independent Bookstore Day hosts a Zoom panel on modern romance writing (“Beyond Fabio”), for instance, and Jeff VanderMeer reads via Elliott Bay Book Company.

Here are the participating stores (click here for links and more info):

  • Ada’s Technical Books (Capitol Hill)
  • Arundel Books (Pioneer Square)
  • Book Larder (Fremont)
  • BookTree Kirkland (Kirkland)
  • Brick and Mortar Books (Redmond)
  • Eagle Harbor Book Co. (Bainbridge Island)
  • Edmonds Bookshop (Edmonds)
  • Elliott Bay Book Company (Capitol Hill)
  • Fantagraphics Bookstore (Georgetown)
  • Island Books (Mercer Island)
  • Liberty Bay Books (Poulsbo)
  • Madison Books (Madison Park) 
  • Magnolia’s Bookstore (Magnolia)
  • The Neverending Bookshop (Bothell)
  • Open Books: A Poem Emporium (Wallingford)
  • Paper Boat Booksellers (West Seattle)
  • Page 2 Books (Burien)
  • Phinney Books (Phinney Ridge)
  • Queen Anne Book Company (Queen Anne)
  • Secret Garden Books (Ballard)
  • Third Place Books (Bothell)
  • Third Place Books (Ravenna)
  • Third Place Books (Seward Park)
  • The Traveler (Bainbridge Island)
  • University Book Store (University District)
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