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Almost every day, Elliott Bay hosts a free reading at 7 pm—often featuring a widely published touring author, sometimes highlighting someone integral to Seattle’s local writing scene. They’re open til 10 pm on weekdays, 11 pm on Friday and Saturday, and close “early” at 9 pm on Sundays. It’s a place to browse big titles and local zines, research, hang out, curl up in a corner, meet up with friends, buy gifts, and grab a coffee, beer or meal at the Little Oddfellows café in back, which is open whenever the store is. They haven’t lost any charm in the move from their expansive Pioneer Square building to the multi-level Capitol Hill location (but they have lost their large used books section). Head buyer/events coordinator Rick Simonson is a local gem, an avid reader, and unbelievably knowledgeable about both local and national literary news. Whether you’re looking for a perspective-altering reading or just a brief respite from Capitol Hill hubbub, Elliott Bay is your spot. (JULIA RABAN)