June Is Bustin' Out All Over

A crowd of doubtin' Thomases was predictin' that the summer'd never come, but it's comin', by gum, we can feel it come. Or so say Rodgers and Hammerstein, and they're hardly ever wrong.

We're kicking off June with a pair of visits from old friends of the store. Author Aida Kouyoumjian will be here on the first, and musicians MaryLee and Nancy will be joining us on the second. Dori Jones Yang shares her new novel with us in person in the middle of the month, and Charles Neff will bring a jazz combo with him the following week to celebrate the publication of his latest thiller. Before June ends, we'll also host our first Open Book Club meeting of the summer to discuss Edmund de Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes.

We have plenty more reading to carry you through the month, too. Browse our June eNewsletter for graduation gifts, summer reads, staff picks, and info on our Ticket to Read program.

Now Is the Month of Maying

Maybe you're looking for a reason to pay Island Books a visit. If so, Jim Lynch's appearance on May 16th gives you an awfully good excuse. He's touring in support of his new novel, Truth Like the Sun, which paints a dual portrait of Seattle, showing it as it was in the 1960s and as it is in our current century. Lynch is a Mercer Island product and a gem among Northwest writers, and this latest book may be his finest yet. 

Give these other a-May-zing books a try, too.

April, Come She Will

Come she has, in fact. Time for spring break, spending time in the garden, and National Poetry Month. In honor of that last one, we're sponsoring a poetry contest open to young and old alike. Be a part of it! Submit your own verses and read those written by your neighbors--the poems will be on display in the store all month long.

April is also a great opportunity to reacquaint yourself with poetry in general. You can start with this list of recently published work if you like. Don't neglect the prose, though. There's a great lineup of fiction and nonfiction on our shelves to choose from, as always.

Spring in Our Steps

It's the season of new growth and rejuvenation, of haggadot and Fran's chocolate eggs. We've got those items on hand if you need them, and we're doing some other things to help celebrate spring, too.

We're commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Space Needle on Wednesday the 21st of March with a not-to-be-missed appearance by the authors of the beautiful and informative history book The Future Remembered.

On Saturday the 24th, we're celebrating a different birthday, that of our esteemed owner/operator, Roger Page. We won't say whether he's older or younger than the Space Needle, but we will say that you're the ones getting a gift. Bring in your special Roger Dollars that day and get a substantial discount on purchases. 

And don't forget to check our events calendar for our usual book club meetings and Saturday Story Times. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Browse our unique gifts to find the perfect way to say "I love you." We're sitting on a treasure trove of thoughtful presents, including fine jewelry, chocolates, bags, soaps, candles, and more. Don't forget the card!

Valentine's Day

Learn More About Our Featured Products


Watermark Bindery

Watermark Bindery:

The Watermark Bindery was founded in 1973 by John Hansen, a Seattle aspiring writer who found himself unable to buy a notebook he enjoyed writing in. Each book is made from fine materials and sewn by hand, so they lie flat when open. The covers are made with selected handmade papers from around the world, each different from the next. Pages are archival, chlorine-free paper with a deckle edge. The result is a blank book you will enjoy and really use. Use them as journals, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, photo albums, guest books, and more. Write something on the first page to someone special, or fill a photo album with pictures for a unique gift.


Joli JewelryJoli Jewelry

This gorgeous limited edition vintage jewelry is made mostly from ’20s-’60s period glass, ’40s-’80s plastics including celluloid and Bakelite, and semi-precious stones like new jade, coral, agates, carnelian, onyx, amethyst, and more. 


Silk ScarvesNeeru Kumar Silk Scarves:

Neeru Kumar is one of the top weavers and designers of India, whose products enjoy worldwide acclaim and popularity. Classy and refined, her handwoven silk scarves have a refined sense of aesthetics and sophisticated use of color.


Scrabble NecklacesScrabble Necklaces

Scrabble Tile Necklaces from In Small Packages:

These fun, funky pendant necklaces, each made by hand, using reclaimed Scrabble tiles, are reversible with charming images on the side opposite the letter (pick out the first letter of your loved one's name!).




Functional and fun to carry, Baggallini bags are well known for their distinctive color pallets, fun fabrics and lightweight durability.


My Mother's ButtonsMy Mother's Buttons:

These one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories are made from antique and vintage buttons from around the world, which date back as far as the early 1800s.



Lucia Candles and Soaps:

Lucia's sophisticated candles and soaps use 100% natural vegetable and botanical oils and vegetable-based colors that will leave your skin feeling clean and soft. The gorgeous packaging is printed on recycled paper with vegetable based inks. 


MoleskineMoleskine Bags:

Bringing the personality of the legendary notebook to the classic over-the-shoulder urban carryall, the Moleskine bags are robust and flexible pieces to accompany your travels, whether near or far. This family of contemporary travel bags is designed for life on the move.





Ringing In The New

Another page in the calendar has turned and a new year is underway, hopefully one that brings positive change while retaining the best elements of the old one. That's what we're always trying to do here--offer you new books and new ways of interacting with us without altering the essence of our store.

Our first author event of the year happens on Friday, January 6th, as Julie Marie Wade visits the store to read from her lyrical essay collection Small Fires. Mother and daughter parse reconciliation and celebration, all in an attempt to answer the question--what have you given up to become who you are?

Speaking of calendars as we were above, all 2012 calendars are currently 50% off, and all holiday-themed books and cards are also discounted 50% while they last. This is the time those commendable people who are more organized than most plan ahead, stock up, and save. We hereby resolve to become people like that. As soon as we get through this pile of reading we're working on, that is.

The Greatest Gift Is A Passion For Reading

It's the season of glad tidings and warm hearts, but also of inclement skies and cold temperatures. The barometer and the thermometer may be falling, but our store is always warm and dry, and the activity level is rising. New books are arriving every day, along with a surprising variety of toys, games, housewares, and other items. Check out our gift page or better yet, drop in and see everything that's on the shelves.

In our ongoing attempt to recreate at least a bit of the real-world Island Books on our website, we're launching a new feature. Something we take a good deal of pride in is our ability to find the right book for the right person. Collectively we have over 100 years of bookselling experience (we suspect it may be more than 150 years, but saying that makes us feel old) that we can bring to bear when recommendations are needed, and we're giving you the opportunity to ask for our help online. Visit our Ask the Booksellers page, make a post on our Facebook wall, or just send us an email to ask us tough questions about books for tough customers.

Giving Thanks and Giving Back

Big doings this time of year--it's book fair season! Each year we help raise funds for schools across the island and beyond, pre-K to high school and everything in between. Over the years we've given back almost $300,000 to the community, and we couldn't do it without your help, so check the schedule and drop in to do some shopping (and enjoy drinks and hors d'oeuvres, perhaps) when the time is right. It's a great opportunity to take care of holiday necessities and luxuries.

Speaking of holidays, we've got your culinary interests covered, too. Check out some seasonal cookbook highlights and don't forget there are hundreds more to choose from on our shelves, virtual and otherwise.


The Frost is on the Pumpkin

All manner of events are cropping up on the calendar in October, including our Reading Group Book Night on October 18th. $10 paperbacks that evening only! We've also got Sharon and Julie Kramis on tap with their latest Cast Iron Skillet cookbook, and Kim Allison is in town with her new memoir.

We'd also like to remind you to sign up for our new eNewsletter, which is debuting this month. We respect your email privacy and hope to keep you updated on book news, store happenings, and our quirky tastes.

In even more high-tech news, we're now offering eBooks on our site. This is a very exciting development that lets you read anywhere you go on almost any platform, whether it's a desktop, smart phone, or dedicated reading device. You'll be surprised how easy they are to use, and how inexpensive they are. Find out more here


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