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January 2013 eNewsletter

After owning books, almost the next best thing is talking about them." —Charles Nodier

Island Books

Island Books

The founder of Island Books, Lola Deane, was in the other day. She lives on Shaw Island but still shops here once a month or so for grandchildren and book club reads. She told me a story about another bookstore in Alaska where a customer was asked by the bookseller, “Can I help you find something?” “Oh, no,” said the customer, “that’s the really fun part of coming here!” At its best, visiting and browsing at our bookstore has always been a treasure hunt. It was nice to be reminded of that at the beginning of our 40th year.

I bring up this story because this month we are sharing our Top 40 list and have a display of the hot-selling titles from last year. I have an increasingly cranky view of this yearly exercise. It seems that all the  press, media, blogosphere is focused on telling us what is most popular. What’s cool, what’s now, what everybody else is doing.

I take particular joy in those customers that dig into our corners and come to the counter to buy an odd  copy of the The Georgian Bawdyhouse, or My Fifty Years in Seattle’s Medical Dental Building, or Hoosh: Roast Penguin, Scurvy Day and Other Stories of Antarctic Cuisineall of which sold in that bubbly month of December. We have 20,000 titles in  our ol’ cedar-lined chest of a bookstore. Come dig for treasure. Find your own fun.

Roger Page
Owner and Bookseller



The Big Bestseller List!

Remember when Casey Kasem used to count down the biggest music hits of the year? We've been doing the same thing for almost as long, but with books. Here we present the top titles of 2012 as chosen by the best judges of all, our customers. 




We Say Settle

Every January, a chorus of voices, including our own consciences, tell us it's time to renew, reassess, and remodel ourselves. That gets tedious. At a certain point, you have to take Popeye's motto--"I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam"--to heart. You're not so bad the way you are, you know?



Store Journal

The Gift of Story and Light

We've told stories galore on our blog in the last few weeks, and taught a lesson or two as well. Who can forget Roger's parable of the old coat, for example? We also revealed which books were nearly our favorites, and tried to build a bulwark against any threat to childhood innocence. 

By the way, did you know you can get our Store Journal by email?




Kay's December Pick: NW

We read a lot, and despite ourselves, we're guilty of playing favorites. For example, this month Kay's excited about NW.

Zadie Smith's brilliant tragi-comic new novel follows four Londoners--Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan--as they try to make adult lives outside of Caldwell, the council estate of their childhood. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their London is a complicated place, as beautiful as it is brutal, where the thoroughfares hide the back alleys and taking the high road can sometimes lead you to a dead end. Depicting the modern urban zone--familiar to town-dwellers everywhere--NW is a quietly devastating novel of encounters, mercurial and vital, like the city itself.

Here, our booksellers share their December recommendations.

See More Staff Picks


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

Upcoming Events
Thu, Jan 10, 7:30pm: Y.A.B.F.A.B.: The Giver by Lois Lowry
Thu, Jan 31, 7:30pm: Open Book Club: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Sat, Feb 2, 6:30pm: PJ Story Time with Colleen Squier

The Short Version

Winter Sports

Island Books is sponsoring a short story contest, with "short" being the operative word. We're looking for the best original fiction that clocks in at 1000 words or less. Prizes! Publication! Fame! Fun!


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.More

20% Off Indie Bestsellers

Catch up on the titles dominating the indie bestseller lists and save 20% when you order online.



Did you know you can download ebooks and read them instantly from our website? Or that we sell ereading devices? Click through for more information, or just drop in to find out in person. You'll be glad you did.