Favorite Bookstore: Sadira Stone's is King's Books of Tacoma, Washington - A Reader & Writer Hub
King's Books in Tacoma, Washington offers multiple reader groups, book clubs, author events, book arts festivals, and is a hub for community activism.
Even with so many online book vendors, there’s nothing like browsing through a colorful indie bookstore. Here in Tacoma, Washington, King’s Books welcomes readers, writers, and local artists with a huge, well-curated collection of new and used books, as well as thirteen book clubs, plus writers’ groups, author events, art fairs, and more.
King’s Books, Tacoma, Washington
Located downtown on St. Helens Avenue, King’s Books occupies 4500 square feet and offers over 100,000 new and used books, making it the largest new and used bookstore in the Tacoma area. A member of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association and the American Booksellers Association, owner sweet pea Flaherty has a finger on the pulse of our reading community.
sweet pea Flaherty peruses the romance section of King’s Books.
An activist in college with a background in women’s studies, sweet pea ran the Women’s Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. But sweet pea’s favorite place to hang out was bookshops, of course, which led to holding two bookseller jobs at once—one in a used bookshop, the other in a feminist bookstore. In 2003, sweet pea followed the previous owners of King’s Books from Madison, Wisconsin, to Tacoma and took over the business in 2010, expanding the shop and adding new books to the shop’s offering.
King’s Books’ collection has “a little bit of everything,” with a special focus on social justice, female authors, and authors of color. The children’s collection is especially popular, offering young readers books with strong female protagonists as well as characters from a wide variety of backgrounds. Rather than having a “Diversity Section,” King’s Books strives to showcase diversity in every section of the bookshop.
King’s Books, Tacoma, Washington
“We have the most specific book clubs of any bookstore in the country,” says sweet pea. Among the readers groups that regularly gather here are
The Queerest Book Club Ever (for LGBTQ+ youth)
Shakespeare Reading Group
Spanish Language Book Club
Banned Book Club
Night Owl Nature Book Club
Seeds: A Queer Latinx Book Club
Sword and Laser Book Discussion Group (for sci-fi and fantasy readers)
Feminist Utopia Book Club
Classics Book Club
Talking Politics Book Club
Buddhism Today Book Club
CLAW: Cartoonists League of Absurd Washingtonians
and the Sister Cities Bookclub, which reads recently published/translated books from our 14 sister cities
In addition to book clubs, King’s Books hosts a numerous author events, a haiku club, NANOWRIMO write-ins, poetry events, and a thrice-yearly Artist/Craft fair, conveniently scheduled the weekend before Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Valentine’s Day. An annual highlight is Wayzgoose, a community letterpress and book arts extravaganza where visitors work with local printers to print their own posters, T-shirts, and stationery. You can also make paper, bind books, and browse all sorts of print- and book-themed artwork. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Confession: I bought most of my Christmas gifts at King’s Books this year. In addition to books, they have a great collection of games, puzzles, and other cool gift items.
Meet Herbert, shop cat since 2015. He’s a sweetheart and will gladly share his book recommendations.
Is there a booklover who hasn’t fantasized about running a bookshop? I asked sweet pea about best and worst aspects of the job and was surprised to hear that one doesn’t get to read on the job. In fact, sweet pea relies on audiobooks these days, especially novellas. On the plus side, sweet pea enjoys connecting readers with books, especially kids. “Kids’ bookselling has come a long way, and it’s a pleasure to connect kids with books that represent them,” not just the usual titles about “white boys and dogs.”
As for adults, sweet pea enjoys tempting adult readers away from their prejudices against certain genres, such as science fiction, YA, or romance. A good book can be a “gateway drug” to a new genre. As a bookseller, sweet pea likes to challenge perceptions.
Speaking of romance, King’s Books is working to expand their offerings to romance fans. In a recent staff challenge, every employee read a recently published romance story and reported back to the group. “Training staff to interact with romance is also a thing,” sweet pea says. “There’s something within romance to appeal to anyone.”
As part of their effort to better meet the needs of romance readers, King’s Books is preparing for two events: the first annual Bookstore Romance Day on August 17, and a multi-author romance event the week before Valentine’s Day 2020. While plans are not yet finalized, you can count on more than books galore and author readings (including yours truly)—possibilities include dance performances, bespoke love letters, and more!
King’s Books, Tacoma, Washington
Thanks to Night Owl Reviews for the chance to share my favorite hometown bookshop.
And thanks to sweet pea, Herbert, and the good folks at King’s Books for indulging our curiosity and showing us the wonders that await visitors to this marvelous bookstore. Next time you visit Tacoma, Washington, be sure to stop by!
Link to King’s Books website: https://www.kingsbookstore.com
Runaway Love Story - The Book Nirvana Series 2
She hates average...he's as average as they come.
High school history teacher Doug Garvey is trying to enjoy his last few weeks of summer vacation, but receiving his final divorce decree hits him harder than expected. After a brief fling fizzles, he fears love just isn't in the cards for him. If only he could find someone who's real, someone interested in something beyond herself…maybe a new running partner who can keep up with his more carnal appetite. When sexy, straight-talking Laurel runs across his path, he dares to hope again.
He's done with social-climbing posers...she's ambitious and has big dreams
Fired from an art gallery, Laurel Jepsen shelves her pursuit of an art career in San Francisco to help her beloved great aunt Maxie move into assisted living. While out on a morning run, she's harassed by a group of teens until a tall, broad-shouldered hottie steps in, pretending to be her boyfriend with a kiss that makes her wish it were true. But she's only passing through, not looking for a relationship.
Their fierce chemistry burns up the sheets—and the couch, the shower, the forest—but falling in love would ruin everything. Laurel can't stay in Eugene, and he can't leave. Doug's only hope is to convince her the glittery life she's after could blind her to the opportunities already in her path.
Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. After leaving her teaching career in Germany, she finally tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance and cozy mysteries from her home in Washington State. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, plays guitar badly, and gobbles all the books.