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Seattle Celebrates The Independent Bookstore On Saturday

Ariel Van Cleave
Fantagraphics Bookstore in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood


It’s supposed to rain again Saturday, so what better way to spend your day than inside a bookstore in search of your next novel? There will be 23 independent bookstores in the Seattle area taking part in an annual event celebrating the brick-and-mortar locations.

This year’s Independent Bookstore Day include the usual suspects, such as Elliot Bay Book Company, Third Place Books and Eagle Harbor Book Co.


But book lovers can also visit the stores that may not typically make your list, such as Ada’s Technical Books and the Fantagraphics Bookstore.


Larry Reid, curator and manager at Fantagraphics in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, says having a day devoted to independent bookstores is certainly good for business. It’s also good for the person who may want to dip their toe into a certain genre, but isn't quite sure where to start.


“I think a lot of times what a bookseller’s able to do is introduce you to new things you might not otherwise expose yourself to that wouldn’t necessarily show up in a computerized algorithm," Reid said. "One of the great things is to try to expand your horizons and read something you might not otherwise even be aware of.”


Reid says having a trove of new people showing up can be his moment to shine because he can ask someone questions about what kind of music, art or movies they like to steer them toward a selection.


“And sometimes I can tell by somebody just walking through the door what they’ll like, and I don’t know why," he said.


That personal touch will be on display at nearly two dozen other stores throughout the day. Each store will have its own way of celebrating with author readings, live music and even cake.


Ariel first entered a public radio newsroom in 2004 while in school at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. It was love at first sight. After graduating from Bradley, she went on to earn a Master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Ariel has lived in Indiana, Ohio and Alaska reporting on everything from salmon spawning to policy issues concerning education. She's been a host, a manager and now rides shotgun with Kirsten Kendrick as the Morning Edition producer at KNKX.