Year established? 1973
Employees? 35 full-time employees
Square feet? about 14,000 square feet
What can you tell us about the new neighborhood? We are located in Capitol Hill equidistant from the famous Molly Moon ice cream parlour and Cupcake Royale so it’s a pretty ‘sweet’ location (ouch!). The neighborhood is very lively. We are across the street from the Gary Manuel hair institute and are squeezed between Basic Plumbing, a bath house and the Oddfellows Cafe. A half block down from us is Cal Anderson Park so on sunny days people sit out and bask in the sun. The staff has organized a late- night kickball team which plays against other businesses in the neighborhood.
Besides the obvious books and shelves and fixtures, what did you bring with you from the old space that you couldn’t live without? We have kept the original cedar shelving that was in the original location and the floors are still creaky here. We brought our store string ball with us and it weighs about fifty pounds now. I believe we have a picture of Tracey Ullman licking it when it was much smaller.
What are some of the major differences between the old space and the new space? The biggest change in our new neighborhood is the night life. People are out late here eating and strolling. We’ve extended our hours even later than we anticipated and the customers keep coming in. The Elliott Bay Cafe, run by Tamra Murphy and adjacent to our old location, opened an annex in the bookstore so you don’t even have to leave for lunch. They make amazing food and are specializing in crepes.
How many staff recommends do you offer? While we have thousands of staff recommends cards all over the store, about one hundred titles are specially featured on our staff recommends shelf at any given time.
Most popular section? Fiction. However, after the move, we are finding that our children’s section is growing very rapidly.
Will you name a couple of books that have been popular handsellers at EBBCo recently? We’ve enjoyed selling Awkward Family Photos, by Mike Bender, a collection of those horrid family photographs that everyone has. The Passage by Justin Cronin is a staff favorite right now, and we just keep restocking the Steig Larsson books. We are just starting a young adult bookclub for the first time this month. We will discuss The Hunger Games and we are all excited about the third in that trilogy, Mockingjay, which comes out in August.
What’s the most popular magazine you sell? We started carrying Fantastic Man, a men’s fashion magazine, and it flies off the shelf.
A children’s book you love to give as a gift? My favorite children’s book to give as a gift is Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon. It’s a beautiful story about a young child who finally gets her turn to go out in the woods late a night with her father to catch a glimpse of the owls. It’s quiet and mesmerising and it has been around forever, but not many people are familiar with it.
Who are your regulars? While it was hard to move away from a lot of our regular customers, we see many of them at our new location. We have found that many of those regulars work downtown, but live in Capitol Hill, so we have the best of all possible worlds.