feeling cozy at Third Place Books
The other day, I taught my two-year-old nephew the word blustery. “Blus-ter-y,” he said in small, measured breaths, sounding out the word.
“Yes,” I said. “Today, Seattle is blustery.”
I love these last few days of wild weather. Windstorms make me happy. Today it returned to flat grey, but the weekend gloomed and blew. And when it’s as stormy as the skies can be here, I like to go to a bookstore.
Third Place Books in Ravenna, to be exact.
We’re blessed with great bookstores in Seattle. Did you know that there are more independent booksellers in Seattle than in all of Manhattan? We haven’t been gobbled entirely by Barnes and Noble here, thank goodness. I’ll take the Elliott Bay Bookstore any day, with its lovely wooden floors and spiral staircases. And some time, I’ll have to write about the joys of being there. But right now, it’s Third Place that’s calling to me.
Filled with spacious light, new books and used both, and wide aisles for browsing, Third Place makes me feel at home immediately. The cookbook section alone, with its welcoming chair and rows of beautiful books stretching to the ceiling, demands part of my paycheck. And stroll through the store slowly for glimpses of photographs of famous writers in relaxed poses. Writers and readers share the space with equanimity.
And of course, there’s the Honey Bear Bakery at the back. Many will tell you that this version of the Honey Bear isn’t nearly as good as the one that used to exist. That may be so, but I never went to that sacred space. I’ve only had warming bowls of tomato soup and strong cups of coffee at this one, as I sat at large, scarred tables and watched the sunlight dance across my shoulder. I never feel rushed there. Everyone gathers to read and talk, and the laid-back employees never ask you to move it along. And besides that, there’s a working fireplace in the restaurant. What more could you need?
So on the next blustery day, I’ll probably be lingering at Third Place Books, eating a bowl of soup, sitting by the fire, and reading some Jane Austen. Come join me.