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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

October 21, 2009 at 4:34 PM

World class bookstore may leave historic Globe building in Pioneer Square

elliotbooksjoey2102109m.jpg11:46 a.m. [Click images to view larger]
elliotbooks102109m.jpgI met Joey Velazquez at Elliott Bay Book Company this morning. He likes to come here often and was aware that the beloved Seattle bookstore may be relocating. “It would be a big loss to Pioneer Square. It’s heartbreaking. It brings a lot of business into this area of the city,” he said.
Velazquez, an artist and photographer who has travelled the world, said this is his favorite bookstore of all the places he’s been. “It has an international feel. I like the way it’s laid out. It’s very welcoming and the employees are very helpful. They just let me use one of their computers to look something up because I didn’t bring my laptop,” he said.
Bookstore staff has been hearing from many customers like Velazquez. “They don’t want us to go,” said Karen Maeda Allman, manager of author events. “People love the building. They love coming to the store and have been showing their support.”
This was my first time at the bookstore since moving to Seattle three years ago, so I can’t call myself a regular customer. But I share Velazquez’s view. The atmosphere here reminded me of the bookshops along Charing Cross in London, where I spent a couple of months after college to learn English. I especially enjoyed visiting them on foggy and rainy days like the one we are having today. Seattle and London have a lot in common when it comes to fall weather.
The historic Globe building at 1st Avenue and Main Street was built in 1890. Before stepping inside the bookstore I did a sketch from across the street, dodging the rain under the Quizno’s awning.

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