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May 2012 eNewsletter

"Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are."
Mason Cooley

Island Books

Island Books

     My first “job” when I came to Seattle in the summer of 1979 was working for my best friend’s startup “company,” making string hammocks in an apartment on Capitol Hill. The Guilt Free Hammock company consisted of my friend Rich and myself with occasional assistance from his gainfully employed girlfriend. After toiling away for weeks on a homemade loom, we proudly obtained a low stall in Pike Place Market and hung out our sign. I think we had five hammocks. In that festive atmosphere of hawkers and gawkers we somehow managed to sell a couple of hammocks in a week. Thinking we'd had enough of success, we then went on vacation to the beaches of Olympic National Park with our remaining inventory.

     When explaining this “lifestyle” to my relatives back East, I told them that “people tend be a little more inventive when they land in this corner of the country.” This is a line I would repeat year after year as the parade of startups such as Microsoft, Costco, Starbucks, and Amazon emerged.

     People are more inventive here. Interesting stuff pops up when you combine rain with a fertile ground of artists, Boeing engineers and Norwegian fishermen. We even planted the icon of inventiveness here—The Space Needle. The Needle and Seattle’s history of self invention is the subject what may be one of the best and most entertaining books of the year. We are very proud to host Mercer Island-born and -raised Jim Lynch for a reading and signing of his new book Truth Like the Sun on May 16th At 7pm. We tell and sell a lot of stories in our old bookstore and this one is very special. It’s our story. Don’t miss this evening!!!

Roger Page
Owner and Bookseller


Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's DayWe Love You, Mom!

Our handpicked gifts—including fine jewelry, chocolates, bags, soaps, candles—are the perfect way to show Mom how much you care. Pair one with a book and you're bound to be her favorite kid.



Seattle in FictionSeattle in Fiction

Seattle in Fiction

Seattle has long had a reputation as one of the most literate municipalities in the nation, so it's not surprising that the area has more than its share of authors. The city's been the setting for fictional crime (as in the mysteries of J.A. Jance and Earl Emerson), romance, and drama.



Music on the PageMusic on the Page

Music on the Page

On a regular basis, the ears of music lovers incline toward the Northwest. We love to listen, obviously, but we're readers first and foremost, so we also love books about the songs, the artists, and the movements they inspire. Crack these covers and you can almost hear the voices and the instruments.



The Mystery Island Books Artist

Surprise of the Year

We're proud to share this wonderful gift left hidden on our own shelves. Regular customers will recognize the image as a transformed version of the Island Books logo. Pieced together from a Shakespeare play, this piece of book art rests on a pedestal made out of copies of Jane Eyre and Robinson Crusoe. To the anonymous artist, thank you. We remain in awe.



Store Journal

Reading-Related Rambles

Recognize the guy in the picture? Read more about him when you catch up on our National Poetry month specials, like the history of one of the foundation stones upon which our store is built, a suggestion for the cure for poetrylessness, and musings on magnetic poetry.

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



Counter IntelligenceCounter Intelligence

Garry's May Pick: 

America's Great Debate

We read a lot, and despite ourselves, we're guilty of playing favorites. For example, this month Garry's excited about the epic story of the Compromise of 1850 and California's admission to the Union. Here, our booksellers share their May 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
Sat, May 5, 6:30pm:  P.J. Story Time with Ken Hammer
Wed, May 16, 7:00pm: Reading and book signing with Jim Lynch, author of Truth Like the Sun
Fri, May 18, 7:30pm: Open Book Club: Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon

Poetry Contest Winners!

Poetry Contest

In honor of National Poetry Month, we sponsored a poetry contest (along with the Mercer Island Arts Council) on the theme of "What I Can Touch" that ran all April long. We received emails and took submissions over the counter throughout the month, and now that May is here, we're ready to announce the winners.

See Details

Seattle History

Seattle History

2012 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Seattle World's Fair, as chronicled in the latest novel from Jim Lynch, Truth Like the Sun. He's visiting us in May, remember--don't miss it. Anyway, it's a good time to look back at the history of the metropolis.


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 Jodi Picoult's latest novel, and save 20% when you order online.




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