Member Blogs > Pistil Blog

  • Pistil Books' Annual Outdoor Book Sale - This Saturday

    Wed, 28 Aug 2019 10:23:00 Permalink
    Pistil Books’ Annual Outdoor Book SaleSaturday, August 3110 a.m. to 4 p.m.1415 E. Union on Capitol HillHundreds of books in all categories, including fiction, science, history, poetry, art, how-to, biographies, and more.  Many like new.Paperbacks $1, Hardbacks $2Free lemonade!Will be re-scheduled in the event of rain. Read More
  • Found In Books - Spring Edition

    Sun, 14 Apr 2019 07:14:00 Permalink
    Once again it's time to show off some of the things we've found in books that have crossed our desks here at Pistil Books. Our treasures this time include pressed flowers and leaves, lottery ticket, "Lighter of the Month Club" stickers from Bic, bookmarks (of course), a sheet on the "Seven Factors of Awakening", a Christmas gift card from France, a sheet on drying flowers, a French publisher's advertisement for books on "Esoterisme", an entry form for a drawing, a boarding pass, something written with a fountain pen and a flourish and a penny stamp, a Book-of-the-Month Club invoice, lyrics to Read More
  • Visionary Surrealism at the Pike Place Market

    Sun, 13 Jan 2019 03:05:00 Permalink
    Seattle artist Jon Strongbow has published a new book showcasing his fellow artists who sell their work at the Pike Place Market.  The artists he presents are part of  "an ongoing grass roots art movement that could be designated as Magic Realism, or Visionary Surrealism, or what is now called Low Brow Art or Pop Surrealism in some circles. It begins back in the 1970's when the Market started allowing artists and craftspeople to participate in the market, which had previously been dominated by farmers and flower growers."Some of the artists included are Tim Winstrom, Paul Sloan, Dharmic Engineers, Rob Read More
  • 25 Years Ago Today

    Sat, 17 Nov 2018 07:21:00 Permalink
    Pistil Books & News opened its doors to the public for the first time on November 17, 1993.  Our retail store was a former garage on Pike Street in an area that was in transition from "Auto Row" to retail and other businesses.  Cafe Paradiso had opened up in the same block just a couple of years earlier.  The Wild Rose, Seattle's only lesbian bar, anchored the corner, The Comet Tavern was nearby, and Ronnie's Upholstery occupied the basement of our building.Before we opened, Sean and a hired carpenter constructed our eight and ten foot high bookshelves.  Friends helped us Read More
  • Photos from Pistil's 25th Anniversary Party and Reading

    Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:55:00 Permalink
    We had a party at our home on Saturday celebrating the release of Rebecca Brown's new book, Not Heaven, Somewhere Else, as well as Pistil Books' 25th anniversary.  We had a great turnout of friends old and new, food, drink, cake, readings by Rebecca Brown and Stacey Levine, and music by cellist Lori Goldston.   Rebecca and Chris with the wondeful cake Chris baked featuring writer puppets like Virginia Woolf and Shakespeare. Stacey Levine reading from her book in progress.Lori Goldston.Rebecca Brown reads from Not Heaven, Somewhere Else.Socializing after the readings.Kam emceed the event. Read More
  • Pistil Books' 25th Anniversary, Book Release Party, and Reading

    Mon, 01 Oct 2018 01:38:00 Permalink
    Pistil Books' 25th Anniversary, Book Release Party, and ReadingReadings by Rebecca Brown and Stacey LevineMusic by cellist Lori Goldston  Rebecca Brown will read from her new collection of stories, Not Heaven, Somewhere Else.   PEN/West Fiction Award winner Stacey Levine will also be reading from her work. Books will be available to purchase.Saturday, October 13RSVP to pistil@speakeasy.netand you will receive an email with address and time on the day before this event.(Space is limited to 40 people, with 25 chairs, rest standing/sitting on floor.) You are invited to bring a beverage and/or snack to share.  We will have cake!   Read More
  • Pistil Books Outdoor Book Sale 2018

    Mon, 10 Sep 2018 05:25:00 Permalink
    On Saturday we held our annual outdoor yard sale/book sale.  I scheduled it a month ago when Seattle was experiencing heat in the 90's combined with smoke from wildfires and didn't expect that I would be worried about rain in the first week of September.  Saturday was gray and cloudy and I felt a couple of raindrops fall, but luckily we made it through the day without showers.We had a steady stream of browsers and customers the whole day.  People were sitting on stools and cushions reading, chatting, and drinking lemonade.  We were visited by a mix of people who Read More
  • Smoky Summer Night

    Thu, 16 Aug 2018 12:22:00 Permalink
    Kam, our friend Barbara, and I had dinner on the balcony this evening.  The city has been very smoky for the past two days from forest fires burning, and the air is deemed "unhealthy."  This smoky atmosphere happened last year too, and a headline on the local paper suggested this might be the "norm" for Seattle summers now.  It makes for a pretty red sunset anyhow.For dinner tonight we had hummus, tzatziki, feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, grilled sweet peppers, avocado, artichoke hearts, pita bread, and sparkling wine.What we're reading:I am reading a monograph on Joseph Urban, the art deco theater Read More
  • Confront Digital Oligarchs and Defend Net Neutrality

    Sun, 22 Jul 2018 12:23:00 Permalink
    Here is a link to an important editorial on Democracy Now. Read More
  • Summer Supper

    Fri, 13 Jul 2018 11:42:00 Permalink
    Kam, the Pistil Books photographer and music specialist recently got a day job, which means our work lunches have transformed into work dinners.  This week for dinner we had sockeye salmon sandwiches on ciabatta with pesto, spinach, heirloom tomatoes, and sweet onions, along with potato salad and kombucha to drink.What we're reading:Wonderful meal and evening. I I just finished PG Wodhouse’s last book, published when he was in his 90s, called Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen, which is a Bertie and Jeeves book. And I am slogging my way through Byron’s Childe Harold.--KamI am reading One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry who Read More
  • A New Leaf

    Thu, 14 Jun 2018 01:14:00 Permalink
    Last week my friend Patricia and I went for an evening walk in the Union Bay Natural Area, which is an area along the shore of Lake Washington a bit north of Husky Stadium behind the UW playing fields.  It's a wonderful place to walk without many other people around.  The area is a former landfill that has been/is being restored to a more natural state with rustling grassland, big trees, wetlands, and is full of wildlife, especially waterfowl: ducks, geese, eagles, osprey, and herons.  We saw a blue heron catch and swallow a fish, which bulged in its throat Read More
  • Found in Books

    Wed, 06 Jun 2018 04:53:00 Permalink
    It's been a while since I've posted photos of some of the ephemera found in books, and the envelope holding such objects has grown fat.  Included this time are the usual bookmarks (from bookstores and torn from handy sheets of paper), gift tags, drawings, tickets, and personal notes.  In one card someone writes, "Now that I know from the medical examiner's report the severity of her AVM condition, I wonder if M--- knew or at least had a premonition of fatality.  Just after her first MRI she intensified her study of Buddhism which focuses on preparing in this life for one's Read More
  • Reading and Eating

    Thu, 31 May 2018 12:48:00 Permalink
    Today for lunch we had tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches (with sharp cheddar and horseradish), curried tempeh salad, and Pink Lady apple slices.  And red wine.  The day started out cool and gray, but by lunchtime the sun had come out and we were able to sit on the balcony.Here is Kam sitting in the sun outside the bookstore door.What we're reading.My new books [aquired from Pistil, of course] include Boswell’s Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, In the Shadow of Vesuvius, about the artistic repercussions of the excavation of Pompeii’s ruins in the 18th century, and a collection Read More
  • Lunch on the Balcony

    Wed, 23 May 2018 08:04:00 Permalink
    Today for Pistil Lunch we had saag paneer, brown rice, cucumber and scallion raita, and salad (arugula, romaine lettuce, yellow carrots, green onions, golden beets, radishes, cherry tomatoes, and pumpkin seeds).  A colorful lunch!  Amy, Sean, and Kam were present and it was a very warm day, so we ate on the balcony and tried to identify the bird songs we heard.  We have a robin's nest under the side balcony this year.What we're reading:I am reading Ancient Man by Hendrick Willem Van Loon, a popular writer of the 1930s, and the Chrysalis of Romance by Inez G. Howard, a Read More
  • What We're Reading - May 17

    Thu, 17 May 2018 12:02:00 Permalink
    I am reading a monograph on Lionel Feininger, the German painter, fifty of whose early canvases were trapped behind the Iron Curtain for much of the 20th century. I am also reading Voltaire‘s fable The Princess of Babylon. As a diversion, I just began Lucia in London, by E. F. Benson.--KamAt lunch today at Amy and Sean’s place, the discussion ranged from real estate adventures in Snohomish County to Marcel Proust, a favorite of fellow guest, Kam.  My bookish allusion was to Philip Levine’s collection What Work Is (Knopf 1991; winner of the National Book Award), wherein may be found Read More
  • A Spring Lunch

    Wed, 16 May 2018 07:02:00 Permalink
    Last week we did not have Pistil Lunch because Sean and I were on a little trip to Portland,OR and then to the ocean on the Long Beach peninsula for one night.  Kam held down the fort and took care of the bookstore while we were gone.Today's lunch was attended by Amy, Sean, Troy, Kam, and Sue Perry, a friend and painter.  When we operated our brick and mortar retail store we always had art shows in our book shop, and Sue was the first artist whose work we displayed when we opened in 1993.  Recently she has been working Read More
  • Food for Thought

    Thu, 03 May 2018 01:37:00 Permalink
    Today at lunch Kam and I were joined by local artist Jon Strongbow who came by to pick up a book he ordered.  Kam and Jon have only met each other a couple of times, but they must be fashion soul mates as this photo taken outside our front gate attests:The day was bright and sunny and we were able to sit on the balcony.  For lunch today we had a salad with romaine lettuce, red cabbage, yellow carrots, cherry tomatoes, and toasted pumpkin seeds; served with this we had roasted golden beets, grilled onions and sweet peppers, olives, pepperoncini, Read More
  • Lunch and Books

    Wed, 25 Apr 2018 07:44:00 Permalink
    On Wednesdays, we have "Pistil lunch" for whomever happens to be working that day and sometimes guests.  After a rainy spring, we've had a gloriously sunny week here in Seattle.  Consequently, our lunch moved today from the round table in front of the gas fireplace to the red Formica table in the nook off the kitchen, which has a door opening onto our sunny balcony.  Our meal was only slightly marred by the yappy little white dog in the yard across the alley...Today it was just Kam and Amy and we had fried rice (with carrots, celery, onions, peppers, shitake Read More
  • Etsy Shop Spring Sale

    Sun, 25 Mar 2018 06:58:00 Permalink
    20% off your order of $20 or more on orders placed through our Etsy shop, now through March 29. Read More
  • Elegant Endpapers

    Sun, 18 Feb 2018 09:31:00 Permalink
    ffepAka: FFEP or ffepfront free endpaperA common abbreviation for Front Free EndPaper. Generally, it is the first page of a book and is part of a single sheet that also spans across the inside of the front board (called the front pastedown) via a fold along the gutter with the purpose of connecting the boards to the stitched textblock.As a result of this purpose, the paper quality of the ffep is generally of a heavier weight than those used for the pages of the book, and is often decorative.[] Read More
  • A Coupon for You

    Mon, 22 Jan 2018 01:04:00 Permalink
    Here is a coupon code good for $5 off any order of $30 or more placed on our website:  brillig9679We have recently added a good number of art exhibition catalogs to our inventory, as well as a number of vintage children's books.My favorite recent children's book added to our shop is The Snail Who Ran  written and illustrated with beautiful black and white illustrations by Dorothy P. Lathrop. The story of a snail, a mouse, and an eft who are granted wishes by a fairy in the night.Color frontispiece of this wonderful 1934 children's book. Read More
  • More Book Plates

    Mon, 25 Dec 2017 11:44:00 Permalink
    Happy Holidays!  It started snowing here in Seattle on Christmas Eve and it continues to fall this morning.  We are planning a Christmas Day urban hike and expect to see some snow people on our walk.I hope everyone found at least one book under the tree, if you participate in this part of the season.   Will you put your name in your new book(s)? We come across book plates in our inventory, though they are usually of the mass produced kind that you can buy in a bookstore or stationery store in a box, with a blank space for your name Read More
  • Presenting Works by Two Seattle Artists: Jon Strongbow and Tim Fowler

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:01:00 Permalink
    We are pleased to be selling works by two different Seattle artists.In a series started in 1992, Jon Strongbow's detailed black and white line drawings of Seattle cityscapes juxtapose realistic architectural renderings with scenes embracing indigenous cultures from all over the planet, including extinct and endangered species.   There's even a drawing with the old Pistil Books & News storefront on Pike Street in the background.Pistil Books is carrying his two new books, City of Spirits and Mystic City: On our Etsy site, we are also carrying block prints by Tim Fowler, self-taught Seattle based artist, who works in woodcarving, mosaic sculpture, Read More
  • The Sleeping Princess: Camera Studies By Gordon Anthony

    Tue, 24 Oct 2017 06:30:00 Permalink
    This adorable kitty photo is from a book called The Sleeping Princess, which is a photographic record of Sadler's Wells Ballet's 1939 production of Tchaikovsky's ''Sleeping Princess'' based on ''The Sleeping Beauty'', under the direction of Nicolas Segueeff and starring Margot Fonteyn and Robert Helpmann. Read More
  • Pistil Books Annual Outdoor Book Sale - August 26

    Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:56:00 Permalink
    Saturday, August 2610 am to 4 pm1415 E. Union, in the alleyon Capitol Hill in SeattleMore books than ever - around 2,000 books in all categories including fiction, science, history, art,music, nature, do-it-yourself, poetry. Many like new.Paperbacks $1, Hardbacks $2Free lemonade!(Will be re-scheduled if raining.) Read More
  • Plants and Their Children

    Thu, 13 Jul 2017 04:17:00 Permalink
    This lovely book from 1896 is a child's reading book about plants.According to the author, "A child's reading book , it seems to me, should secure for the child three things,--practice in the art of reading, amusement, and instruction." Read More
  • Pleasing Pastedowns

    Tue, 09 May 2017 11:28:00 Permalink
    Here are some more visually appealing endpapers: Read More
  • Engaging Endpapers

    Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:31:00 Permalink
    Endpapers are the leaves of paper fixed to the inside of the front and the back cover of a book.  Often endpapers are blank, sometimes they are colored, but best of all they are decorated.  A common decoration is a map.  Marbled endpapers are often seen in older books, especially those with decorative bindings.  Or endpapers may be illustrated with scenes from the book.Here are a few examples of engaging endpapers that have passed our way recently.From "The Fantasy of Pieter Brueghel."From "The Friendly Beasts", illustrated by Nicolas Sidjakov.From "The Red Pony."From "Bedtime Stories", a 1951 Junior Elf book.Map endpapers Read More
  • Making an Orchestra

    Wed, 29 Mar 2017 04:38:00 Permalink
    This week, your correspondent cut up a first edition signed copy of 1931's Making an Orchestra by Dorothy Berliner Commins.  How could he do it? Only because someone in the 30's had already begun the cutting!  He was simply completing a work in progress.  And what a work-- kind of a cross between an obsessive-compulsive disorder (not that there is anything wrong with that) and a Kafka novel (ditto).Printed on good-quality paper that hasn't been seen since the war, this book features drawings of all the members of a standard symphony orchestra, and a few outliers, meant to be cut Read More
  • Museum of Weird Books: The Poodle

    Wed, 04 Jan 2017 08:42:00 Permalink
    It is no surprise that man's best friend has many volumes devoted to him/her/it.Nonetheless, with the passage of time, certain tomes achieve the status required for incorporation in Pistil's Museum of Weird Books. To wit:  Poodle Books.The Poodle, 1984 incarnation: Has the poodle had its day?  In 2017, your correspondent judges that the soi disant Labradoodle is more   popular than his sire.  To contemporary eyes, the poodle of 1971 looks like a marshmallow confection (and that goes for the moustaches of the poodle handlers as well).The poodle of 1966 looks like certain big-haired celebrities we can all call to mind.The future Read More
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