The other bookstore I visited in Seattle is Magus Books. Just steps from the University of Washington campus, Magus Books has an extensive collection of used books in this old, vine-laced bookshop.
The shop is especially strong in its older hardcovers. There are bookshelves full of well-cared for gilded spine collectibles and classic hardcovers complete with box sleeves.
They also carry a great collection of children’s novels from the early and mid-twentieth century. (I bought one of the ones on this shelf!)*
I really like how they mark the beginning of each section with related prints and images.
The day I was there I was especially drawn to their botany and birding and antique book collections, along with their impressive art books. I found one on Stuart Davis and another great one on Henry Moore that I wished I could fit in my luggage. Not to mention a couple more children’s novels and pocket books I really wanted.
One of the aspects I liked best about this bookstore is its knowledgeable and thoughtful staff. I had a great conversation with the man working there that day about various older book series they had on display, and really admired his expertise and low-key generosity.
I liked this bookstore and Elliott Bay Books for different reasons. The two are a terrific balance. Magus is another one of those bookstores I wish I lived close to. It’s the kind of place where I think if I dropped by every so often, I’d light on something different each time. And I have so much more I want to talk over with these booksellers about early 20th-century book publications.
*Yes, I did already violate my prohibition on buying books on this research trip. I really don’t have any spare room or weight in my backpack during these nomadic next few weeks, so I’ll have to ship this one home to myself before I leave Seattle…. Not buying books (or supporting these independent bookstores) is lousy!