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?”
” 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
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
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 Cuisine—
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.
Owner and Bookseller
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.
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?
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
Here, our booksellers share their December recommendations.
See More Staff Picks
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!
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
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.