Community Matters

There is nothing better than knowing we are making a difference in the community. That was and continues to be our goal. As always, hearing feedback from readers and customers helps keep our team energized. We focus on service and strive to bring you the very best titles, authors and opportunities to discover the new and relish the old.

Experiencing a small town bookstore can be such a unique treat. If you haven’t been in for awhile, be sure to stop by and browse. Looking for something special? We love to offer suggestions and/or help you find that perfect book.

Thank you for staying connected and helping us to keep our doors open and faces smiling!

Why We Do What We Do

“A couple of weeks ago my husband and I came into your beautiful shop looking for books for our granddaughter. You recommended Alan Bradley, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. It was a huge hit! Thanks so much for the recommendation. (Now she wants the entire series.) Just thought you’d like to know you make a real difference! Please tell your staff how much their services are appreciated.”

That light that comes on in a child’s eyes keeps us getting up and opening the bookstore every day! We so love to hear that what we do makes a difference . . . for readers of all ages. It’s how we connect and build community. It’s how we keep relating to each other in turbulent seas. It is that book on the shelf that brings us hope and renewed spirit in big and small ways. Thank you to all our customers near and far. We’re here because of you and for you. Here’s to happy reading!

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!

We’ve Come A Long Way Baby

This month marks the beginning of our 5th year! Opening new doors is a gamble at best. SO much goes into just getting a business up and running. Finding the best location, getting the space and layout ready, choosing a name, deciding on the theme, ordering the inventory, creating a logo and signage, bringing the team on board, etc., etc. And then holding your breath to see if customers show up and can you make enough to pay the rent. Month after month, you ride the waves of being an indie bookstore. Ups, downs, squalls and lulls. And then, let’s throw in a pandemic to see if we really can keep it afloat! Happy to report that so far so good. We love our location on Gilkey Square and we love being an integral part of the community. Even in tough times, people are finding us on foot and Facebook. Whether it’s an order via phone line or on line, we’re staying connected. And in our book, that says it all! Thank you and here’s to another 5 years for Seaport Books!

Meet The Author – Vol 2

“You’re NOT too old!” If you have something you want to try – start now. That was the one message author Kay Jennings wanted to share loud and clear with our readers. And she should know. After 45 years in corporate communications, Kay decided it was time to stop writing for other people. So, in 2018 at the age of 70, she published her first book, Shallow Waters. It was SO well received that at the age of 71, she published a second one, Midnight Beach. The response was even better this time and the author shows no signs of slowing down.

Speaking with us from her home in Estacada, OR, Kay shared her ordeal of having to evacuate her home for six days during the recent wildfires. “The single most terrifying experience of my life!” When asked if that horrendous scare would have an effect on her writing, the answer was a resounding yes. In the throes of her third book, Kay has been inspired to weave a natural disaster into the story line. Current working title: Code Tsunami. Seems perfect given that her mystery-suspense Port Stirling series is set alongside the Oregon Coast.

What has the author been reading during these pandemic months? “I have 22 books on my nightstand.” A huge fan of British mysteries, the she is obsessed with UK author Elly Griffiths and the Ruth Gallaway series. Also high on her list is the goddess herself, Louise Penny (she’s on Book 14) along with Anne Cleeves whose Shetland Island series inspired Kay’s Port Stirling series. She has just started reading Agent Running in the Field by 94 year old John Le Carre and recently finished and enjoyed Becoming by Michelle Obama.

A member of Sisters in Crime, Willamette Writers and Oregon Writers Colony; Kay is also a master gardener. She enjoys life on her rural property which is complete with ponds, veggie garden and, most especially, her corner office where she writes with a view of it all.

Kay shared that the main thing she misses from the personal bookstore appearances are all the great questions from the audience. SO – we welcome any questions you may have for her. Feel free to email us and we’ll happily compile questions and post the answers for other readers to enjoy as well.

With fond memories of boating on the Swinomish, Kay looks forward to returning to Skagit Valley some day. And we look forward to welcoming her when she does!

In the meantime, we currently have both of Kay’s books in the store (reviews posting here later this week). Stop by to pick up or contact us for free shipping. Note: Always a good idea to call ahead to make sure the books are ready.

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!

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.