I just took a short tour of the new Elliott Bay Book Company space on 10th Ave, next to Oddfellows. Progress has been made, but it's still a long way from finished. In the photo on the left and the photos after the jump (click to enlarge), you can see the bays that have been added to the main floor, providing large nooks for bookshelves. The central aisle will have free-standing bookshelves, too, which will give now-cavernous space a nice, twisty feeling. Much of the lighting has been installed—and with the natural light from the skylights, not much additional light is necessary for daytime browsing.
More progress has been made on the mezzanine level, though. Nearly half the store will be on a new second floor they've installed since the last time I was in the space. The travel, foreign language, and bargain books will most likely be up there, although no sections have been definitively placed. Finally, it appears that they've decided on a definitive closing date for the Pioneer Square location: Wednesday, March 31st will be Elliott Bay's last day in Pioneer Square. They're shooting to have a grand opening celebration at their Capitol Hill store on April 15th, although they expect and hope to open before that date.
After I checked out Elliott Bay, I walked not even half a block to Horizon Books/Recollection Books
, under Atlas Clothing at 1423 10th Ave. The long, wooden walkway down to the bookstore bore a strong resemblance to Elliott Bay's wooden floors, and the narrow shelves of precariously stacked used books barely contained in sections will make a nice complement to Elliott Bay's (hopefully) organized collection. Since Elliott Bay has said they're not going to carry used books, Horizon/Recollection's meandering stacks and pulp paperbacks could be experiencing a new life of their own. 10th Ave is about two months away from becoming a Seattle book browser's paradise.
- Hopefully, they'll fix this before they open.