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Impress Your Date With Ten Seattle Spots of Literary Worth

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Photo by Joe Mabel

There are currently seven UNESCO Cities of Literature and some people in Seattle are trying to make Seattle the eighth. Will you be ready if and when it happens? Why not combine your desire to be at the forefront of local literature with your desire to go on a date for once? Prove you're no dummy by taking someone to one or all of these Seattle spots of literary significance. While you're at it, you can debate whether having sex makes you smarter, or being smarter makes you have better sex (list compiled by Elizabeth Tudor).

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1. Blue Moon Tavern

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712 NE 45th St
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 675-9116
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According to the About page on their website, it's still 1999, but that was a really crazy year, right? Open since 1934, Richard Hugo, Allen Ginsberg, Carolyn Kizer, Dylan Thomas, Theodore Roethke, and students needing to get wasted have hung out here.

2. Open Books: A Poem Emporium

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2414 N 45th St
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 633-0811
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Over 10,000 new, used, and out-of-print poetry books and books about poetry line the shelves of this 500 sq. ft. shop. It's one of three of our nation's poetry-only bookstores. The others are The Grolier Bookshop in Cambridge, MA, and Innisfree Poetry Bookstore in Boulder, CO.

3. Ada's Technical Books and Cafe

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425 15th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 322-1058
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Who's Ada? The mathematically gifted Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, was Lord Byron's only legitimate daughter. She corresponded with Charles Babbage, the known inventor of the Difference Engine, and translated notes for his memoir about the Analytical Engine. She is considered to be the first computer programmer.

4. Richard Hugo House

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1634 11th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 322-7030
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Who's Richard Hugo? Born in Seattle, Hugo lived in the Northwest, and the majority of his poetry reflects the economic despondency of the Northwest, especially Montana. "In the world of imagination, all things belong." –Hugo. If you're a writer, you need to get involved here.

5. Escala Condominium

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1920 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

You probably won't be allowed in, but you can stand in the street and look up, or creep around the lobby. If you've never read the book, it's okay. Christian Grey seduced Anastasia Steele, S&M style, in the penthouse here that sold in March 2013 for $6.2M.

6. Seattle Central Library

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You and your date could spend hours in here making out, opening random books, or whispering illicit sentences to each other. Or just admire Seattle through the glass and steel architecture up top.

7. Westwood Village Barnes & Noble to meet Terry Brooks

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2600 Southwest Barton Street, Westwood Village Shopping Center
Seattle, WA 98126

Terry Brooks is an epic fantasy author who has written over 23 New York Times bestsellers. He makes an annual appearance at the West Seattle Barnes & Noble, and lives somewhere nearby. According to the store, it’s the only author appearance they have each year.

8. Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame

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325 5th Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 770-2700
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Isaac Asimov, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Ray Bradbury are among those honored chosen by EMP members. Explore the museum, and end up admiring a wall of glowing heads.

9. Ouroboros Press

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843 Hiawatha Place South
Seattle, WA 98144

You will find their beautiful hardcover esoteric books in museum stores, occult shops, and bookstores all over Seattle. Who works at this mysterious press? Perhaps you could knock on their door and find out…

10. Book Larder

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4252 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 397-4271
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How many community cookbook stores could there possibly be in the U.S.? There's one here in North Fremont perfect for working out some early date jitters. Peruse the shelves together to find a recipe for tonight's meal or stick around to watch a famous (or semi-famous) chef cook a meal instead.

1. Blue Moon Tavern

712 NE 45th St, Seattle, WA 98105

According to the About page on their website, it's still 1999, but that was a really crazy year, right? Open since 1934, Richard Hugo, Allen Ginsberg, Carolyn Kizer, Dylan Thomas, Theodore Roethke, and students needing to get wasted have hung out here.

712 NE 45th St
Seattle, WA 98105

2. Open Books: A Poem Emporium

2414 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103

Over 10,000 new, used, and out-of-print poetry books and books about poetry line the shelves of this 500 sq. ft. shop. It's one of three of our nation's poetry-only bookstores. The others are The Grolier Bookshop in Cambridge, MA, and Innisfree Poetry Bookstore in Boulder, CO.

2414 N 45th St
Seattle, WA 98103

3. Ada's Technical Books and Cafe

425 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112

Who's Ada? The mathematically gifted Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, was Lord Byron's only legitimate daughter. She corresponded with Charles Babbage, the known inventor of the Difference Engine, and translated notes for his memoir about the Analytical Engine. She is considered to be the first computer programmer.

425 15th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112

4. Richard Hugo House

1634 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Who's Richard Hugo? Born in Seattle, Hugo lived in the Northwest, and the majority of his poetry reflects the economic despondency of the Northwest, especially Montana. "In the world of imagination, all things belong." –Hugo. If you're a writer, you need to get involved here.

1634 11th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

5. Escala Condominium

1920 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

You probably won't be allowed in, but you can stand in the street and look up, or creep around the lobby. If you've never read the book, it's okay. Christian Grey seduced Anastasia Steele, S&M style, in the penthouse here that sold in March 2013 for $6.2M.

1920 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

6. Seattle Central Library

Seattle, WA 98122

You and your date could spend hours in here making out, opening random books, or whispering illicit sentences to each other. Or just admire Seattle through the glass and steel architecture up top.

7. Westwood Village Barnes & Noble to meet Terry Brooks

2600 Southwest Barton Street, Westwood Village Shopping Center, Seattle, WA 98126

Terry Brooks is an epic fantasy author who has written over 23 New York Times bestsellers. He makes an annual appearance at the West Seattle Barnes & Noble, and lives somewhere nearby. According to the store, it’s the only author appearance they have each year.

2600 Southwest Barton Street, Westwood Village Shopping Center
Seattle, WA 98126

8. Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame

325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Isaac Asimov, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Ray Bradbury are among those honored chosen by EMP members. Explore the museum, and end up admiring a wall of glowing heads.

325 5th Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

9. Ouroboros Press

843 Hiawatha Place South, Seattle, WA 98144

You will find their beautiful hardcover esoteric books in museum stores, occult shops, and bookstores all over Seattle. Who works at this mysterious press? Perhaps you could knock on their door and find out…

843 Hiawatha Place South
Seattle, WA 98144

10. Book Larder

4252 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

How many community cookbook stores could there possibly be in the U.S.? There's one here in North Fremont perfect for working out some early date jitters. Peruse the shelves together to find a recipe for tonight's meal or stick around to watch a famous (or semi-famous) chef cook a meal instead.

4252 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103