It's always inspiring to see when Seattle really goes to bat for its cultural institutions, and last night was a perfect example. The new Elliott Bay Book Company was packed with browsers and and a long line of buyers (certain to warm Brian Miller's heart). If you didn't make it to the opening party last night, pay a visit this weekend.
Perhaps you saw the movie version of this one?
What's most remarkable is how well they've managed to replicate the look and feel of the legendary space in Pioneer Square. The place is instantly at home in the neighborhood and instantly cozy to shop in.
But the high visibility and importance of Elliott Bay also got us wondering: Whose book gets the most shelf space? Which lucky title has the most number of copies displayed? The staffer we asked said she had no idea. But during our circuit of the store, we couldn't help but be struck by the ubiquity of one local author's work. And it's not the one whose breakthrough volume is pictured above.No, it's David Shields, whose fascinating new work of cultural theory, Reality Hunger, has gotten heavy coverage in the New York Times, and is, apparently, thought to be of particularly strong interest to the patrons of Elliott Bay.
Here's it is in the memoir/essay section:
Oh, and a few more copies here:
And then here it is out on the table display:
And look, it's up on the wall too:
His book may be an argument for pastiche, and against the ownership of words and ideas, but he seems to have come up with a singularly valuable brand. And while there are a lot of people enthused about the rebirth of Elliott Bay Bookstore, it's probably safe to say that few in Seattle are as "invested" in the success of the new enterprise at this point as Shields.