6 Indie Bookstores in Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is home to six independent bookstores―BLMF Literary Saloon, Chin Music Press, Golden Age Collectables Lamplight Books, Left Bank Books, and Lionheart Bookstore ―each with its own unique focus and vibe. Whether you’re looking for a bestseller or searching for an out-of-print title, helpful shop owners and staff are there to point you in the right direction.
1. BLMF Literary Saloon
Looking for poems written by cats? A Star Wars travel guide? Maybe a book on how to survive a sharknado? You can find those and more at BLMF Literary Saloon located in the Lower Levels of Pike Place Market.
Books fill the windows, line the shelves, pile around the floor and frame the checkout counter behind which you can usually find owner and operator JB.
Originally JB only planned on buying and selling books for two years but “two years became five, five became 10 and now I’m a lifer.” JB has currently owned his shop for 26 years and counting!
All book recommendations are individually tailored, so if you’re looking for something to pick up but don’t know what to read, ask JB he’ll find the perfect book for you.
2. Chin Music Press
As soon as you step into Chin Music Press you’ll find yourself in a carefully curated world of books and art. The natural light pouring from the large windows and the soft, tranquil music playing in the background create an open gallery-like feel to the space.
According to co-founder Yuko Enomoto, Chin Music Press publishes books they feel are worthy of being read, creating visual and tactile works often from first-time authors.
Current recommendations include; Fur Coats & Backpacks: The Travel Cats Hit the Trail by author and artist Mari Ichimasu and Should You Lose All Reason(s) by Justine Chan.
Find Chin Music Press on Market Level 3, Thursday – Monday, 11 am-5 pm.
3. Golden Age Collectables
Golden Age Collectables is the oldest comic bookstore in the world! Founded in 1961, they sell new and vintage comics, manga, television & movie scripts, and children’s books.
You can also find collectibles, figurines, Funko toys, board games, and vintage Star Wars toys and posters gracing their shelves.
Find Golden Age Collectables on Level 3. They’re open every day starting at 9:30am.
4. Lamplight Books
Searching for a rare, out-of-print title? Tucked away in the Sanitary Market Building, Lamplight Books has specialized in used books since 2003.
“It’s always fun in the bookstore. It’s one of my favorite places to hang out,” says Joe Fridlund who took over ownership in 2013.
Literary translations are the main focus of Lamplight, although you will find plenty of popular fiction, nonfiction, classics and vintage kids books here too. Pull up a stool, relax and spend a while scanning the spines for your next literary journey!
5. Left Bank Books Collective
On a nice sunny day, light filters through the windows of Left Bank Books Collective, illuminating the cozy reading nook on the second level of the store overlooking Pike Street.
Founded in 1973 as a self-proclaimed “anarchist book store,” Left Bank Books Collective does not have a single owner but is instead run by a collective of volunteers who meet bi-monthly to discuss shop operations and describe the store as “probably the best place on Earth.”
Serving up revolutionary literature, fiction, poetry, periodicals, zines with over 10,000 new and used books, there’s no shortage of radical inspiration.
6. Lionheart Bookstore
If you find yourself drawn into a store where the owner sings, recites poetry, or makes guests laugh, you’re probably in the Lionheart Bookstore.
David Ghoddousi is the fifth caretaker of Lionheart, which has been located in the Market’s Lower Levels since 1961.
Carrying children’s books, poetry, philosophy, local history, and more, Lionheart is open every day of the week, so come on by!
Honorary Mention: Metsker Maps!
Metsker Maps on 1st Avenue offers a wide variety of travel and recreational guidebooks, emphasizing recreational books for the Pacific Northwest. They also carry state and worldwide travel maps along with a large secletion of globes, nautical charts & books, maps and world globes!