Seattle is famously a bookish town (it’s all those gray, rainy days, perfect for stay-at-home reading), and every week brings visiting authors. But while plenty of big literary names make their way through Town Hall, Elliott Bay Book Co. and the Seattle Public Library, other book events abound in your own backyard.

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Looking for a literary event — an author reading, a panel discussion, a book club? You’ve come to the right city.

Fall Arts Guide

(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)
(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)

Seattle is famously a bookish town (it’s all those gray, rainy days, perfect for stay-at-home reading), and every week brings visiting authors, from far away or maybe just across town. For the biggest names, check out Seattle Arts & Lectures (their upcoming season at Benaroya Hall includes Doris Kearns Goodwin, Alice Walker, Zadie Smith, Barbara Kingsolver and many more), but you’ll also find prominent authors dropping by Hugo House, Seattle Public Library, Town Hall  and the city’s biggest bookstores: Elliott Bay Book Co., University Book Store (Seattle, Bothell, Mill Creek and Tacoma) and Third Place Books (in Lake Forest Park, and in town in Ravenna and Seward Park).

That’s the obvious advice; here’s some that’s less so: Find a bookstore near you and get on its email list; you might be surprised at the number of events even a tiny independent store might host. (And the events are usually free.) Just one example: the cozy BookTree in Kirkland, which offers writing workshops, a monthly book club, fiction and poetry readings and numerous other events.

We’re lucky to have many independent bookstores in the area, selling new, used and specialty books. Secret Garden Bookshop in Ballard, for example, specializes in children’s books; Fantagraphics, in Georgetown, publishes and sells comic books and graphic novels. Neighborhood bookstores thrive on a close-knit community of regulars; find a friendly one near you (see the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association’s website, pnba.org, for a directory of member stores) and make it your home.