Bookstores Still Treasured in West Sound

"The more that you read, the more things you know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." ~ Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut"

Bookstores In Kitsap and West SoundEverywhere we go these days, we see people looking at their phones, their tablets, their laptops, their e-readers. Electronically generated information and entertainment are part of our daily lives. We love the convenience of it and the portability.

And yet, in the West Sound, there is a sincere, continued appreciation for a good, old-fashioned book. A real book — with a lovely cover, paper pages that smell, and that familiar feeling and weight of it in your hands. The tactile satisfaction book lovers desire is strong throughout the Kitsap Peninsula and lucky for us, a wealth of bookstores can be found in every town and neighborhood.

Antique leather-bound books are part of an estate acquisition going to auction at No. 7 Books in Port Gamble.
Antique leather-bound books are part of an estate acquisition going to auction at No. 7 Books in Port Gamble.

When many corporate bookstores faltered a few years ago, countless people thought it was the end of books forever. But diehard book fans knew better. E-readers have their place and are here to stay, but books aren’t going away — and book lovers are successfully operating a wonderful selection of new, used and vintage bookstores through the the region.

Mostly Books in Gig Harbor has been open for 45 years in a shop that is less than 700 square feet.

“We see a lot of people who still just love to hold a book in their hands,” says owner Jo Graffe. “Local business is so important to us.”

Geri Schempp agrees. Her used bookshop in Port Orchard is in its 17th year and offers more than 80,000 used book titles.

“We have a very loyal customer base, but we get new customers every day too,” Schempp says.

Keeping a bookstore viable in this day and age takes some ingenuity. Suzanne Droppert has owned Liberty Bay Books in downtown Poulsbo for 19 years. She has also added a cozy coffee and espresso shop at the back of her store.

Eagle Harbor Books offers a variety to its customers.
Eagle Harbor Books offers a variety to its customers.

“We are a community gathering place and we want our customers to feel that. We host book clubs, offer free Wi-Fi, have story time twice a week,” she says. “We are trying to meet the needs of our community.”

Similarly, staff at Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island clearly know how important their local residents are to the store.

“People on Bainbridge Island are huge readers,” says René Kirkpatrick, one of Eagle Harbor’s three owners. “We build personal relationships with a lot of our customers and know what they like. We have a frequent buyer program, book club discounts, a delivery service, and offer a cyber-Monday discount for online sales.”

Liberty Bay Books welcomes customers with its new espresso and bakery.
Liberty Bay Books welcomes customers with its new espresso and bakery.

Specialty bookstores also have found a niche and the West Sound has several. Used, Christian, Jewish, travel and children’s bookstores are all part of the variety, and their selections are vast.

Vintage kid's books at No. 7 Books in Port Gamble.
Vintage kid’s books at No. 7 Books in Port Gamble.

“We have the largest selection of mystery and sci-fi in North Kitsap,” says Rik Scott of the Bookery, a used bookstore in Kingston. “And Jeff (co-owner Jeff Wiley) is a walking inventory of our nearly 20,000 volumes.”

Books for children are another niche market. Although most bookstores in the West Sound offer a children’s section and many have story time and special events, the only children’s bookstore is located in Poulsbo.

Danya Simkus of Port Gamble's No. 7 Books has spent a lifetime as a book lover.
Danya Simkus of Port Gamble’s No. 7 Books has spent a lifetime as a book lover.

Button Bright Books is a lovely little place, all about the kids. Kim Doyle’s background as a children’s librarian, combined with her work with The Book Stop used bookstore just down the block, was the catalyst to open Button Bright Books. The store offers new and vintage as well as parenting and teaching books, and hosts occasional local author events. Children’s parties with story time can be booked 48 hours in advance.

An even more unusual niche store is No. 7 Books in Port Gamble, where you can find collector’s editions, autographed copies, unusual manuscripts and estate collections.

“I was raised in Eastern Europe with a very book-oriented upbringing,” says owner Danya Simkus. “My evolution of bookshops has come down to this. For collectors, the details are very important.”

Clearly, the West Sound abounds with books — and if you love the feel of a book in your hand, you can find a cherished copy for yourself, a gift or a collection.

West Sound Bookstores

Gig Harbor

Mostly Books (new)
3126 Harborview Drive • • 253-851-3219

Gig Harbor Book Co. (used)
3226 Harborview Drive • • 253-970-9899

No Dearth of Books (used)
7803 Pioneer Way • • 253-853-3355

Dightman’s Bible Book Center (Christian)
5500 Olympic Drive A106 • • 253-858-9477

Port Orchard

Book’em (used)
2289 Bethel Road • • 360-874-0841

Paper Backs Plus (used)
1618 Bay Street • • 360-876-7224

Jacob’s Treasures (Jewish and Christian)
1700 SE Mile Hill Drive Suite 132 • • 360-895-0300


Joy & Peace Christian Books (Christian)
55 State Hwy 303 • 360-479-3474


Pages (used)
9000 Ridgetop Blvd • • 360-692-3352

Barnes & Noble (new)
10315 Silverdale Way • • 360-698-0945


Liberty Bay Books (new)
18881D Front Street • • 360-779-5909

The Book Stop (used)
18954 Front Street Suite 100 • • 360-779-9773

Button Bright Books (children’s)
18850 Front Street NE Suite B • • 360-930-0161

Port Gamble

No. 7 Books (collectible and estate)
32319 NE Rainier Avenue • 360-881-0489


The Kingston Bookery (used)
10978 WA 104, Suite121 • • 360-297-7380

Bainbridge Island

Eagle Harbor Books (new)
157 Winslow Way East • • 206-842-5332

The Traveler (travel books/maps)
265 Winslow Way East #B1 • • 206-842-4578