Another Year of Making a Difference

As we head into our sixth year, it seemed like a perfect time to share why we do what we do.

As an indie bookstore, we can curate our own inventory to make sure we are meeting the needs and interests of the local community. Also, having a curated selection allows us to have a much deeper knowledge of the books on our shelves, which makes it easier to make personalized recommendations to shoppers who visit the store. It’s all about the personal and welcoming environment we set out to create in 2017. We love helping local authors, too. Many new and self-published authors turn to indie booksellers for support with organizing events and stocking their books—two things that are not nearly as easy with large, chain retailers. We love hearing from readers who appreciate having us as a buying option vs the impersonal online frenzy. And the atmosphere of a small town bookstore that cares cannot be manufactured. Building a quality reputation takes time. Keeping the doors open takes a great amount of effort, savvy and tenacity topped with a scoop of good fortune. We are fortunate indeed and very grateful that your loyalty has enabled us to be the bookstore we set out to be. THANK YOU!

Do Bookstores Matter?

We’re happy to say the answer is an undeniable YES! If ever there were a test to see if they, in fact, do – 2021 would certainly have contributed the litmus paper. The pandemic brought people back to essential ways to stay connected, stay informed, learn and find escape all while confined to their home or in some cases a room. Book popularity increased both as resource material and gifts to both self and others. And while it’s true that online sales of books soared, we learned first hand that customers stay loyal to their local bookstore. Yay! We are so very grateful to each and everyone of you who helped us continue to keep our doors open. We loved that when given the choice of ordering online or coming in or calling us, you chose the personal touch. You let us know that we mattered to you. Nothing is better than that. In the words of our captain: “We have done well in our fifth year of business and it is all due to your appreciation and loyalty to our independent bookstore.” Here’s to meeting the challenges of the year ahead and celebrating being there for each other. Thank you!

La Conner Tops the List!

It’s no surprise that La Conner ranked Number One on the list of the 15 Most Charming Small Towns in Washington recently announced in Touropia. Whether you’re a local or a traveler from back East, you’re in for a treat when you visit our town. From unique cultural museums to delish seafood, you’ll find plenty to delight the senses. A broad range of options keeps shoppers happy, too. Everything from thrift store bargains to boutique brands are ready and waiting. And then there’s that unique bookstore. That’s US! We love it here and are happy as clams to be THE bookstore for our historic waterfront community. Summer is always a happy time at Seaport Books as customers get to also enjoy the delights of Gilkey Square while browsing our shelves. Wherever you hail from, we hope you’ll stop in to see us soon and soak up the smiles. Keep safe and keep reading!

The Solace Found in Books

If ever there was a time to remind ourselves of the comfort to be found in books – this certainly seems like one. Books can and do help build a bridge towards understanding, acceptance and compassion. Books can raise awareness and point direction. They can provide reassurance in tumultuous times and inspire us to seek answers. We have in our hands the opportunity to learn from the masters and walk alongside explorers. To see through the eyes of someone in pain and grasp the fragments of daylight that bring them hope. Biographies are a perfect genre to start on your journey. Whether you are looking to discover new dimensions or just make it through the night, reading about the path traveled by another human offers a way to meet your needs. We have selected a stellar collection of biographies and autobiographies and are always happy to recommend new ones. Take a look at just a few of our current titles. Here’s to making 2021 a year of learning, healing and new beginnings!

Meet the Author – Volume 1

There’s nothing quite like the energy in a bookstore. Whether you are looking for a specific title, reconnecting with a beloved series or just browsing the shelves – there’s always something special in the air. That’s especially true during a ‘Meet the Author’ event. Boy, do we miss our monthly gatherings. So, until we are able to host those once again, we’ll be introducing you to some wonderful Northwest authors via this page. Yay! First up: Meet biologist and award-winning author, Marcy Cottrell Houle. As well as being featured on NPR and national television programs, her work has been published in the New York Times, Reader’s Digest and Nature Conservancy Magazine

Houle-Author-photoTalk about a breath of fresh air! Even over the phone Marcy exudes an inviting, cheerful and positive demeanor. Speaking from her farm on Sauvie Island (just outside of Portland), we chatted about her passion for writing in a style that is both informative and inspiring. From her debut in 1991 with Wings For My Flight: The Peregrine Falcons of Chimney Rock to A Generous Nature: Lives Transformed by Oregon published in 2019; Marcy’s books incorporate a message of hope that overrides all else regardless of how dire or challenging the situation. Whether the subject is the falcons she studied at Chimney Rock or the welfare of her parents so movingly shared in The Gift of Caring: Saving Our Parents from the Perils of Modern Healthcare; the reader can sense the presence of an intelligent, caring individual who’s known heartache and setbacks and yet remains an advocate for a more natural, kinder world. Her newest book, The Gift of Aging: View from the Mountaintop (currently in the final editing stage and due to be published in 2021) promises to be a continuation of the author’s expertise at depicting the human experience with a positive and encouraging lens. When asked what message she’d like to share with our readers, Marcy quoted from Generous Nature: “The power to change the future lies in your heart … what matters is to try.” And what is the author reading during this pandemic time? Frederick Douglass, Brian Doyle’s latest and for “escape and courage” Harry Potter. Gotta love that.

We look forward to welcoming Marcy to La Conner sometime in the future. Meanwhile, connect with her by starting with her first book which is now on our shelves. Thank you, Marcy. Here’s to winged flights of wonder for us all!

Celebrating Community Spirit

SEAPORT BDWho would have thought that we’d be starting our 4th year in the midst of a pandemic?! But here we are. Along with thousands of independent bookstores across the globe, we have had to shake off the nerves and focus on a solution to staying in business. We had to figure out the answer to: when the doors are ordered closed, how does a walk-in operation survive? It is very much a two-part answer. First – we had to shift into full time phone and online orders. Second – we had to have customers continue to virtually come our way. The good news? Both seem to be working. And the even better news? The interaction with customers has been personal, heartwarming and encouraging.  From the doctor who bought each staff member a gift certificate for the book of their choice; to the mom wanting to know the best books for her children; to the son ordering a cookbook for his mom – so many people connecting with love across the wires. They’ve expressed thanks for our selection help, sadness at not being able to visit in person, and thumbs up for hanging in there. The healing power of books is something Seaport Books has always known to be true. During times of crisis, that power is doubled by the community spirit that holds each and every page. Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to being here for you today, tomorrow and beyond!

Eight That Are Great

imagesAs the experts assemble their lists of the best in literature from 2019, we prepared our own little list of favorites. Here are our top eight title picks for 2019:

Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth, Rachel Maddow, non-fiction

Testaments, (sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale), Margaret Atwood, fiction

Deep River, Karl Marlantes, local historical fiction

Daisy Jones and the Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid, historical fiction

Me: Elton John, autobiography

The Tortoise from Anacortes, Claudia and Bob Hogan, children’s books

Sins of the Fathers, J. A. Jance, local fiction

A Pilgrimage to Eternity, Timothy Egan, history/memoir

Agree? Any misses? We always love hearing from our customers so let us know what you would or wouldn’t include. Call our store or send us a note. Here’s to great new titles to share and explore!

Treasuring the Freedom to Read

Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark_thumbnailIt’s hard to imagine not being able to read any book of your choice. Harder still to realize that a huge number of favorites were once banned from the shelves. The Color Purple by Alice Walker; The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou; Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – the list goes on and on. And banning books is not just a part of history. Every year, thousands of titles are challenged by individuals and groups. Most often occurring at the library level, common concerns tend to center around racial themes, profanity, sex, violence, witchcraft and religious views. We at Seaport Books celebrate the freedom to read and recognize that along with all the other freedoms we enjoy, this one shines a bit brighter in our hearts. Here’s to keeping the light on! Explore more information about banned books including an annual list of top ten banned titles as far back as 1990:  ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Great Summer Reads

Every season is the right season for good books. There’s something about Summer, however, that invites readers to relish and savor and explore even more. Perhaps it’s the delicious feel of laying a blanket out on the grass and reading away to your heart’s content. Or the fun of finding the perfect romance to read at the beach. And who doesn’t love exploring a cozy bookstore discovered on a summer road trip? Hey wait. We’re a cozy bookstore! That means we’ll be welcoming lots of folks in the next few months and we couldn’t be happier. Our shelves are brimming with books lovingly selected to offer the best in local authors, local lore and local highlights. So, whether you are already familiar with our store and want the perfect books for your stay-cation or you’re on the road and visiting us for the first time; we look forward to helping you find just the right books to satisfy a luscious Summer season of great reads. Safe travels, happy reading and see you soon!

PS: Want a head start? Visit our Choice Reads and Staff Picks page.

Art photo courtesy of The New Yorker Magazine, 2019.

Celebrating A Love Story

PhotoGrid_1554834738477.jpgAs we head into our THIRD year at Seaport Books, we’re celebrating all the love that brought us here. The love of good books. The love of discovering new titles. The love of meeting and encouraging local authors. The love of book clubs and discussions about great reads. The love of introducing young adults to amazing stories. The love of working as a team to provide great customer service. The love of children smiling at picture books. The love of seniors reconnecting with a favorite title. And the love of being a vibrant part of the community.  Thanks to all of you who appreciate and support our efforts. From the feedback we keep getting, it seems the love story is a mutual one. Here’s to happily ever after!