I mentioned the new incarnation of used bookstore Twice Sold Tales in a weekend Suggest for the new Ballard Bauhaus yesterday, and I also went to check it out myself because the openness of Twice Sold Tales was just a promise when I last checked in a few weeks ago. But there it was! On the corner of NW Market Street and 20th Avenue NW, Bahaus's huge shiny windows, already crammed with smiling, Ballardy faces (and laptops and coffees), draw you in. Through the back of the cafe, you can enter the bookstore through a door that functions like a bookish portal.
The shop is small, sweet, and used-bookstore-smelling, the shelves a little bare still, not yet all the way packed with their smartly curated collection. I went in looking for three things: One, a new book that I'd be excited to read right away, the kind of thing I'd have to start immediately on the way home. Two, a used copy of Ender's Game, which I wanted to give to a friend without giving hateful homophobe Orson Scott Card any money. And three, on a whim, a book of B. Kliban cartoons to show the friend I was with, who'd never seen any Kliban before.
Check! Check! Check! All three were discovered within 10 minutes. The first ended up being Wallace Stegner's biographical novel Joe Hill, which has a great cover, starts out in Seattle (who knew?), and would seem to be a perfect read for the current political climate around here. I started reading it on the way home and couldn't get over Hill's will, a poem he wrote in prison on the eve of his execution that opens the book. ("My will is easy to decide/As there is nothing to divide...")
The second was snagged easily, on a big wall of science fictiony stuff that was being perused by exactly the sort of wonderful nerds who should be standing there. Five bucks and none of it going to a homophobe. Score! And then Kliban's Whack Your Porcupine was right nearby, on a shelf of comics, and I couldn't stop holding up the weirdest panels and reading the captions out loud, hoping nobody got offended by all the tits. (There were a lot of tits in it.) I didn't end up buying it because the Kliban stuff that I love best is really in his two other volumes.
But damn! Three for three! It's so nice to see another great used bookstore be awesome. This is the kind of transaction that is so wholesome and friendly and neighborhood-supporting, it hardly even feels like capitalism. The cafe + bookstore combo seems to be trucking along just fine for now, busy as shit. Check it out yourself sometime soon.