Independent booksellers put a trusted human filter between you and the overwhelming flood of books that are published every week. After just a brief conversation, they can help you find the perfect novel to suit your mood, track down the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for relative, and introduce you to a writer who will literally change the way you understand the world.
But 2020 has been an impossibly difficult year for bookstores precisely because that human connection has been difficult to forge. Coronavirus has kept us in our homes and away from the indoor spaces that invite us to spend long stretches of time browsing. This all amounts to one true statement: If you want Seattle’s world-class community of independent bookstores to still be as vital as it is now on the other end of the pandemic, you’d better give them your business this Christmas season.
To help you support your local bookstore while remaining COVID-safe, I asked five bookstores that have been featured in the Neighborhood Reads column over the last year to recommend a favorite book that they’re guaranteed to have in stock this holiday season. When all combined into one impressive stack — nearly 8 pounds of book, all told — they make up a Seattle Independent Bookstore Gift Basket, the perfect gift for every local bibliophile on your holiday shopping lists. These books are guaranteed to provoke and inspire and comfort — and buying them from Seattle-area independent bookstores helps to ensure that you’ll experience many years of inspiration, provocation and comfort to come.