Thursday, October 29, 2009

Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone...

Thirty years ago I fell in love with a bookstore. I am 60 years old which means I have loved this store for half of my life--and I worked in it for 0ne-sixth of the time I have been on earth. My dream was that someday I would write a book that would be on the shelves of this place that I loved, and that dream came true. I was also allowed to read there, and the wonderful booksellers that make this store the object of desire for all bibliophiles put my book on their bestseller wall and made a window for it recently. I would be blissfully happy--except for the news that this bookstore is in peril. It may move; it could close. My heart is breaking.

The Elliott Bay Book Company is part of my bones and blood and history. When I think of where my home is in the world, first I think of my sons and then I think of Elliott Bay. For it to move from the building that it has made its home from the day it first opened its doors would be a deep sadness. For it no longer to exist would tarnish the rest of my life.

"It's so far from my house." "There's no parking." "It's in a neighborhood with too many street people." I've heard all of the reasons why people don't go to Elliott Bay--unless they have visitors from out of town and they want to show them one of the reasons why Seattle is a splendid place to live. But on the other hand, my sister in Alaska ordered my book in quantity from Elliott Bay because of their support for it--even though she could have found discounted copies in other venues.

Elliott Bay has a website ( and an 800 number. It has gift certificates that it will mail to anyplace in the world. It is easy to support this place--even if you live continents away.

If all of us who have ever spent an afternoon in this store--or who have grown up playing in the store's castle for children--or who have stood behind the podium in the basement's reading room--would buy one book from this store that has been there for us since the '70s, perhaps it will still be there for a new crop of readers in 2070. Thousands and thousands of people have received hours of enjoyment from Elliott Bay Book Company. Now it's time to show how much it
has meant to all of us. Please, please buy a book or three from this store while we still can.

1 comment:

Kim said...

My heart is with yours in so many ways on this. I've been making a list of all the books I've wanted over the past couple years, and I think it's time to dip into savings and make a big book order from EBBCo.