William James Bookseller of Port Townsend, Washington

In a couple of weeks, we plan to take a little time off in a Victorian seaport town along the coastline of Puget Sound in Washington state. Not only is the history of the place fascinating, but the many Victorian houses and buildings are candy for the eyes.

William James Bookseller of Port Townsend, WA
Entrance to William James Bookseller

Past roamings in the center of town have uncovered a variety of shops we choose to haunt while visiting. Among them is a favorite bookstore. You may have guessed its name already: William James Bookseller.

Don’t let that tiny recessed entrance put you off. Inside are shelves and shelves and shelves filled with books until they have started stacking them on the floor. Not to mention tables and chairs and stepstools.

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Elegantly marked book sections

As you can see, the various sections are nicely labeled with signs written in calligraphy. And if you can’t find something, staff members willingly help you discover that book trying to escape your clutches.

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Possibly my favorite chair in the entire shop

Scattered about are big easy chairs, wooden straight-backed chairs, ottomans, footstools, and whatever you can find to sit on and take a breather.

This is a place that requires more than 30 minutes of browsing. We’ve actually gone in more than once a day and almost every day we’re in town.

William James is no one I’ve met. The two owners since we’ve visited are neither named William James. Yet, you feel a certain mystic element that tells you William James is wandering about the shop with you. Is this some new kind of high-tech security system perhaps?

Another wonderful attribute of this shop is their willingness to look for hard-to-find or rare books, if not in their inventory. I have set of the Anne of Green Gables books, and in a move I lost one. William James was able to find it for me at a very reasonable price. And once again my set was complete.

My husband collects a series of automobile books called Automobile Quarterly. Over time, William James has helped us add to that collection readily and with good pricing. And before I forget, they’ll buy your used books too.

One last look at why we find this area so charming and delightful to visit is the view of the water from our carriage house apartment we rent each time up:

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Looking out at Puget Sound late afternoon from our upstairs window
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Looking from the landing over the sound as the moon rises

These images don’t do the area justice. There is so much more to see and share. Perhaps we’ll uncover some treasures we’ve not seen before, and I’ll write another post after our trip.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this tiny peek inside William James Bookseller and Port Townsend.

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