Vote With Your Wallet at Seattle 7 Writers’ Holiday Bookfest

Now more than ever, we want to keep our money in the neighborhoods where we live.

In the shadow of this disastrous election, it’s almost impossible to think about Christmas. But whether you’re ready or not, the holidays are coming, and there are lots of people you love out there in the world who deserve a little happiness. Books are the best gift: They’re deeply personal, they help us empathize with one another, and they’re so much more meaningful than, say, a juicer. And books are especially the best gift for our current state of anxiety—they make us better, they’re fairly modest in price, and after they’re read they can be passed on to others in a free exchange of ideas. They’re democratic, they’re rewarding, and they provide a much-needed sense of escape.

So since we’ve decided you’re giving out books for the holidays this year, the question remains: How do you get them? Obviously, rather than buying them at a chain bookstore, you should support your local independent bookseller. Now more than ever, we want to keep our money in the neighborhoods where we live, supporting jobs in the area rather than airlifting our cash out of the local economy.

This Saturday, November 19, local writers’ organization Seattle 7 Writers is teaming with great independent bookseller Phinney Books to take over the Phinney Neighborhood Center to create a one-of-a-kind Seattle-centric book festival called the Holiday Bookfest. Proceeds benefit the Phinney Neighborhood Association and the Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas, a great nonprofit youth writing organization. And if you’d like to make your neighborhood a more literate place, feel free to bring some “gently used books,” which Seattle 7 Writers will then distribute to little free libraries around the city.

At the Holiday Bookfest you’ll find 25 area writers, including fantasy novelist Terry Brooks; the incredible New York Times columnist and historian Tim Egan; fiction writers Jim Lynch, Garth Stein, and Carol Cassella; short-story writer Donna Miscolta; and poet Ed Skoog. They’ll be there to talk, sign books, and make recommendations for everyone on your list. The only gift better than a book is a personalized book, after all, and this is your best chance to get a wide array of titles all in one stop.

Additionally, the latter half of the show will feature a lightning-round reading stage with local authors so you can try out new books in readings of 15 minutes or less before you buy. Readers include young-adult novelist Sean Beaudoin, historical-fiction author Megan Chance, and Steve Arntson, one of Seattle’s most underrated writers of middle-grade fiction.

Books indisputably make the world a better place. Writers are an important part of Seattle’s artistic community. And we could all use a little time with our good-hearted neighbors right now, to remember why we choose to live where we do and the beautiful, brilliant ideas that spring from the city around us. Seattle 7 Writers Holiday Bookfest, Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., Free. All ages. 3–5 p.m. Sat., Nov. 19. Paul Constant is the co-founder of The Seattle Review of Books. Read daily books coverage like this at

More in Arts & Culture

Students perform their original pieces prior to watching ‘Hamilton’ on March 14, 2018. Photo by Christopher Nelson
Seattle Students Find Empowering Lessons in ‘Hamilton’

High schoolers draw parallels between modern and historic struggles after watching the Broadway hit.

Full Upstream Music Fest Lineup Revealed

The reunited Jawbreaker joins Miguel, The Flaming Lips, and a myriad of local bands.

Pacific Northwest Ballet will perform Jerome Robbins’ <em>The Concert (or, The Perils of Everybody)</em> as part of its season-opening Jerome Robbins Festival in September. Photo by Angela Sterling
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2018–19 Season Balances Old Favorites and Premieres

The upcoming slate also feature a Jerome Robbins Festival.

Pick List: Moisture Festival, Seattle Youth Symphony, Nirvana at MoPop

Seattle’s best entertainment events this week.

Photo by Nicola Dove/IFC Films
The Scathing Commie-dy of ‘The Death of Stalin’

Armando Iannucci’s latest film provides razor sharp pseudo-historical satire.

Illustration by Taylor Dow
Healing Crisis

A feisty Mars and tender Chiron make for a complex new Moon.

<em>Come From Away</em> kicks off 5th Avenue Theatre’s 2018–19 season. Photo by Matthew Murphy
5th Avenue Theatre Reveals Its 2018–19 Season

Find hope in performances of musical favorites like ‘Annie’ and ‘Come From Away.’

Pick List: Lorde, Jason McCue, Melissa Kagerer

Seattle’s best entertainment events this week.

Stanley Tucci and Addison Timlin get too close in Submission. Courtesy Great Point Media/Paladin
Unlearned Lessons

While Stanley Tucci shines, ‘Submission’ feels uncomfortably pre-#MeToo.

Most Read