Lake Forest Park's Third Place Books, a success story in the world of independent bookstores, is throwing itself a 10th-anniversary birthday party Monday, Nov. 10.

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Ten years ago this month, local developer Ron Sher took a chance — he opened an independent bookstore in an era when independent stores were closing all over America.

Ten years later, independents are still struggling, but the owners and staff of Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park are in a celebratory mood — their location in a shopping mall is a magnet for book lovers, with an inventory of 200,000 new and used books and a full schedule of author readings and book events that draw overflow crowds, even on a weeknight.

Sher has extended his concept of bookstore-as-community-gathering place with Ravenna Third Place Books, a similarly themed store in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood, and has plans to open another bookstore in a project he’s developing in Bremerton.

Third Place will throw itself a birthday party at 7 p.m. Monday, offering up cake, food, wine and the stimulating company of several local authors, including Garth Stein, Stephanie Kallos, Ivan Doig, Matt Ruff, Ann Rule and Nancy Pearl, to name a few. Third Place is at 17171 Bothell Way N.E. in Lake Forest Park (206-366-3333;

Mary Ann Gwinn,

Seattle Times book editor