Elliott Bay Book Co., Parkplace Books and Bailey Coy Books share hot sellers this Christmas, just in time for last-minute gift buying.
The clock is ticking in the hunt for stocking stuffers and gifts, especially if you’re still digging out from the past week of snow. Where to turn in these final hours?
Bookstores are a good bet, with their coffee-table tomes and paperbacks, stationery and knickknacks of every stripe.
Like the green Grinch dolls kept near the register at Bailey Coy Books on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Or the endless array of calendars (golden retrievers are this year’s hot seller) at Kirkland’s Parkplace Books.
“We just love all the customers that come in this time of year, it’s really fun to help them pick out gifts for people. It’s got such a good feeling to it,” said Tracy Taylor, general manager of Seattle’s Elliott Bay Book Co.
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Before the holiday rush, Taylor and her roughly 40 employees begin swapping notes on books in different genres, expanding their repertoires to better aid customers mystified over what to get a favorite aunt or a new in-law.
Books in the “Twilight” teenage vampire romance series are hot this year, as well as “Annie Leibovitz at Work,” a chronicle of the famous portrait photographer at work. In fiction, Ivan Doig’s “The Eleventh Man” and “Sea of Poppies” by Amitav Ghosh are big sellers.
“People are almost punch drunk come Christmas Eve,” said Michael Wells, owner of Bailey Coy Books. Beyond the Grinch dolls, he says Justin Racz’s “50 Relatives Worse Than Yours” has become a go-to stocking stuffer.
“Everyone has some relative they’d rather not see this time of year,” he said.
As for books, he recommends anthologies to those who are truly clueless.
“There’s ‘The Best American Travel Writing’ and ‘The Best American Comics’ and ‘The Best American Short Stories,’ ” he said. “If you really don’t know the person you’re buying for and just have a vague idea what they like, those always work really well.”
He likes Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” as a hostess gift. When in total doubt, he suggests a hard-bound copy of “A Christmas Carol.”
Last week, Parkplace Books was clean out of “The Weather of the Pacific Northwest” by Cliff Mass, University of Washington atmospheric sciences professor, but co-owner Mary Harris hoped to have more copies in before Christmas.
Other popular titles: “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin; books on president-elect Barack Obama’s reading list (including Jon Meacham’s “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House”); “Guernica,” by local sports journalist Dave Bowling; and “The Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society,” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
For kids, she’s noticed “Science Fair” by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson and “Gingerbread Friends” by Jan Brett flying off the shelves.
Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618 or firstname.lastname@example.org