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January 2012 eNewsletter

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live." —Joan Didion

Island Books

Island Books

I have a daughter who is a senior in high school. This fall I got to watch her participate in the rite of passage called "the College Essay." This is the amusing little task where you get to sum up your life in three paragraphs. I thought of her quite a bit this winter when I encountered the annual holiday "What happened this past year?" recap questions from distant friends and relatives and the "How is the bookstore doing?" over-the-counter question. Well, the truthful and boring answer is that everyone is fine--healthy and reasonably happy--and the bookstore forges on quite well despite the headwinds but that's not the answer I give. I usually tell a story. A story about listening to the Grateful Dead with the kids on a late night drive on our California roadtrip. A story of hiking alone for sixty miles through a burnt out moonscape in the Okanagan. A story about the fun and friction of working with one's patient and understanding spouse during the loony holiday season. I love stories, telling them, listening to them, reading them. It is what I hope for when I get up in the morning and why I work in a bookstore. I truly believe, quoting Joan Didion, that "we tell ourselves stories in order to live." Stories are the best packages, the greatest gifts, the sweetest memory, and our deepest understandings. This New Year I resolve to write some more of these stories down. Just for myself, just in a journal, just to live.

Roger Page
Owner and Bookseller


Store Journal 

Reading-Related Rambles

If you haven't read our store journal yet, take the time. We post three times a week about all things book-related. Below are some of our most popular columns.

In My Day

In My Day

Roger shares some important love advice with his fifteen-year-old son. (Hint: it has to do with scanning a date's bookshelf.)

Death and the Penguin

After This We Save the Whales

James explains our participation in the coolest promotion ever: customers buy a great book; our store adopts a penguin. Seriously.

 Memorable Friendships

Memorable Friendships

Miriam reminisces and cheers for best friends in literature—and in real life.

Hooray Ann Patchett!

Hurray Ann Patchett!

The bestselling author opens her own indie bookstore and we applaud her rousing inaugural speech.



Get Kids WritingGet Kids Writing

Readers Make Good Writers

Practicing self-expression helps kids gives them a sense of who they are inside. At any age, but especially for the young, knowing yourself is the key to making good decisions, so we say expose kids to whatever helps instill the writing habit.



 Save on Journals

Start Your Diary for 2012

The most valuable record for historians turns out to be a diary of the mundane. So just write whatever comes into your head, and save 20% when you buy any blank journal.



 Diaries of Fascinating AdultsDiaries of Fascinating Adults

Stories That Moved Us

Be inspired by these memorable records of other people's lives.



Counter IntelligenceCounter Intelligence

Meet the Staff

Our booksellers share their January recommendations.



Island Books

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

Thurs, Jan 26, 7:30pm: Open Book Club: The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht 
Sat, Feb 4, 6:30pm: PJ Story Time with Norm Brecke
Sun, Feb 5, 3:00pm: Journal-making workshop with Watermark bindery

Booksellers in

the Jungle

Booksellers in the Jungle
Specifically, an Amazon Jungle. Here's further discussion on why "eReader" isn't synonymous with "Kindle," and how that phenomenon affects independent bookstores.

More from us

More from the NY Times

Google eBooks

Google ebooks

Did you know you can download eBooks and read them instantly from our website?


Open Book Club

Open Book Club

Island Books hosts an open book club run by our staff facilitator 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

Catch up on the titles dominating the indie bestseller lists, like P.D. James's unofficial sequel to Pride and Prejudice, and save 20% when you order online.


Annual Bestsellers

Annual Bestsellers

Browse the top-selling titles at Island Books in 2011.