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February 2014 eNewsletter

                                           "If you have never said 'Excuse me' to a parking meter or bashed your shins on a fireplug,
                                               you are probably wasting too much valuable reading time." —Sherri Chasin Calvo

Island Books

In late January, Seattle hosted a  conference for many of the best and most interesting booksellers in the country. As part of the week-long event, there was a bus tour of local bookstores. We had the opportunity to meet and welcome a fascinating assortment of entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, booksellers, and booklovers in our own home. In my thirty years in the business, I can't remember a time when I sensed so much energy and excitement from my cohorts.
New little stores are popping up in Brooklyn, Atlanta, Pennsylvania, and Portland. Old stores are expanding and changing. Booksellers are twittering and snapchatting. Food trucks are circling. One store is offering guided trips to Italy, another offers summer camps for kids. There are catered dinners on farms with authors, cowboy concerts, and community-wide Where's Waldo searches. We compiled fun and useful ideas to ponder and germinate. The creativity, independence, and range of expression on display was stunning.
Most delightful was the resurgence of the neighborhood store. Island Books has always strived above all to listen and stay connected to our community. We offer a place nearby of entertainment, comfort, and illumination, and all of you give back with your enthusiasm, kindness, and local dollars. This has been the tide that keeps our boat afloat. The crowd that has been our 12th man. The fun we've been having all these years (in the playhouse, on bookfair evenings, and over the counter) had started to feel like something of a rare item in the  countrywide big-box landscape. To hear that spirit reverberating across the independent bookselling community lifted our spirits.
But back to that tour of booksellers that came through our store. We took a great deal of pleasure hearing our guests gush over our splintery cedar shelves, dusty typewriters, groovy store journal, and huge wall of picture books. You forget occasionally when you live with something or someone for a long time how much you love it. I guess that's why they invented poetry, chocolate, and Valentine's day: to remind us how lucky we are to have the people and places we hold dear. So this month, we'll do our best to remember and celebrate our love for this old humble island bookstoreand how swell it is.

Roger Page

Owner and Bookseller

Nancy's Valentine's Day Gift Recommendations


Beyond Our Books

Valentine's Day has always held a special place in my heart for the ephemeral, like candies and doilies with poetry and sentiments. Photos and memories in paper scrapbooks with chocolates and candy hearts have graced our Valentine morning table for years...


There's Nothing Like French Romance


Oh La La

If there's one thing the French know, it's how to faire l'amour, or as we say in English, "make love."  It should be a given that when you're looking for love, Paris is the place to start. Whether your taste runs to the sweet or the salty, books set in France are an inexhaustible trove for romantics.



Roger's February Pick

This month Roger encourages people to read The Wind Is Not a River by Brian Payton. A tale of survival and the lengths we will go to in order to return to those we love, the novel alternates viewpoints between John, a World War II journalist who finds himself stranded on a Japanese-occupied Aleutian island, and his wife Helen, who leaves their home in Seattle and travels to Alaska hoping to find him.

See More Staff Picks

For Literary Kids


Playing With Words

Many children's books serve precise portions of well-balanced adventure, romance, or comedy exactly as the customer ordered, but the dish ends up tasting bland. The best books come with a little garnish on the side and a sprinkling of style to give them spice. The authors of the titles we've listed here never forget that when you're eating your words, it's OK to play with your food.



Reading-Related Rambles

Lately, we've been wondering what the kids are really reading these days, how the Pacific Northwest is home to some major literary powerhouses, which are the best first lines from beloved memoirs, and how we feel about the controversial movie poster for The Fault in Our Stars. There's more deep thoughts where those came from, so if you're intrigued, sign up to get our Store Journal by email.



3014 78th Ave. SE

MI, WA 98040

(206) 232-6920

Store Hours

Mon-Wed: 9:30 - 7:00

Thurs: 9:30 - 8:00

Fri: 9:30 - 7:00

Sat: 9:30 - 6:00

Sun: 11:00 - 5:00


Island Books

Upcoming Events
Wed, Feb 12: Giving from the Heart: A Benefit for Mercer Island Youth and Family Services
Thurs, Feb 13, 7pm: Clare Hodgson Meeker, Kathy Opie, Laura Foreman, and Lindsay Pyfer, authors of Secret Histories
Wed, Feb 26, 7pm: Margaret Wrinkle, author of Wash
Thurs, Feb 27, 7:30pm: Open Book Club: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Klein
Sat, March 1, 6:30pm: PJ Storytime with Norm Brecke

Island Books

Shelf Talkers

Our Recent In-House Book Reviews






Hild by Nicola Griffin

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Under The Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

Blinding by Mircea Cărtărescu

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert


Imperfect People Find Love Too

Imperfect People Find Love Too


Love isn't only for the beautiful or the brilliant. Often the more oddball the characters, the happier the romance.


Open Book Club

Open Book Club






Island Books hosts an open book club that meets the last Thursday of each month at 7:30pm. All are welcome to attend, and if you purchase your book here in the store you'll always get a 10% discount.


20% Off Indie Bestsellers

20% Off Indie Bestsellers






We always offer a 20% discount on the top ten bestsellers in non-fiction and fiction for the week, as reported by independent booksellers across the country.


Island Books | 3014 78th Ave. SE | Mercer Island | WA | USA | 98040