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January 2016 eNewsletter

                      "Whatever teaches us to talk to ourselves is important. We can speak to each other across time."
                                                                              —The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Island Books

The holiday season is coming to a close, and as the new year rolls around, it is time for Nancy and me to say goodbye to you all and begin another chapter of our lives. When we began to plan for our retirement we promised ourselves that we'd stick around until the shop was balanced on both wheels. Now it's time to let go of the seat and watch Island Books pedal confidently into the future. We're happy our beloved store will continue to thrive.

Partings seem different as we grow older. They come more frequently now. Parents pass, neighbors move, children grow up and move out. More often but no easier. Maybe harder, because of all the memories.

Nancy and I have more wonderful memories of Island Books than I could possibly convey. I started solo 31 years ago, we married and joined forces shortly thereafter, we had bookseller children, and now they are off on their own. The store has been our second home. It has seen a book signing with our chickens, hundreds of late nights of amateur carpentry, cases of wines, book fairs, author readings, two thousand Harry Potter disciples at midnight with brooms, Roger Dollar Days, weeks of selling by candlelight with a pencil during the semi-annual power outages, and more fun and riches than anyone could ask for.

You all have been so generous to us. We've been given quilts, loyalty, friendship, amusement, and kindness. Most of all we have been given stories. Every customer comes to the store with a story and searching for a story. We had the true privilege of sitting at the center of that whole huge community of tales. There were nights we went home and thought our hearts would burst.

 I have a recurring dream now. Nancy and I are on a empty station platform waiting for a train destination unknown. It's dark and we are alone. Just as the train arrives, two old fellas walk up and join us. One is named Wistful and the other is named Blessed. They are both going to accompany us on our journey.

We will miss you all, with your stories and cheery faces.

We hope our paths cross again, on the streets of Seattle or perhaps shopping in that special store we all know and love. 

Roger and Nancy
P.S. If you drop us a line with your contact info at, we promise if nothing else a letter next holiday season. It will be nice to stay in touch. 


Our Most Popular
Titles of 2015

You can always peruse our archive our of annual bestsellers, and last month we gave you our favorite books of the year. Now comes an even more revealing best-of list, straight from the best judges of all: our customers.




Miriam's January Pick

As the first books published in 2016 hit our shelves, Miriam recommends Elizabeth Strout's new novel, My Name is Lucy Barton. Fans of Strout's Olive Kitteredgeand The Burgess Boys will find similar insightful writing in a story that brings a mother and her estranged daughter Lucy together during a hospital recovery. Conversations between them about Lucy’s coming of age and anecdotes from her childhood community demonstrate the longing and depth of emotion that have characterized their relationship.

See More Staff Picks


Reading-Related Rambles

It's no surprise our December blog posts were mostly holiday-related. In addition to our musings on Hanukkah and Christmas reading, Miriam presented our almost-favorite books from 2015 and James held a competition for a free copy of A Muse and a Maze, which left many puzzling over a riddle that will make your head spin.


To keep up with our newest posts, 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

Wed, Jan 13, 10:30am:  
Storybook Corner
Wed, Jan 20, 10:30am:  
Storybook Corner
Sun, Jan 24, 5pm:   
Jennifer Longo, author of Up to this Pointe
Wed, Jan 27, 10:30am:  
Storybook Corner
Wed, Jan 27, 7:30pm:   
PLEASE NOTE NEW NIGHT IN 2016: Open Book Club: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Kids Know Best

Kids and Teens: Top 40 of 2015

Here are our top-selling kids and teens books from 2015. 


Open Book Club: (Note New Night)

Open Book Club

To kick off 2016, we're tackling Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize winner, The Goldfinchwhich raises many questions that bear revisiting. Come and share your thoughts.

Island Book's open book club meets the last Wednesday of every month at 7:30pm. Our staff facilitator chooses both fiction and nonfiction titles. 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.