April 3, 2010

Billy Collins
Our Story Begins
Tobias Wolff

Hallelujah – Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle is one of the great cathedrals of North American bookstores and the gospels of Billy Collins and Tobias Wolff are always well-worth reading. Robert Charles and I recently visited Seattle, where we spent one evening browsing the cedar-scented stacks of this inspiring bookstore just a few days before they began their move from their nearly 40-year home in Pioneer Square to a new location in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Choosing to buy and read books by Collins and Wolff seemed to match the occasion of a “final visit” that evening. Are any two writers more of a sure bet than these gentlemen? (No leaps of faith required here.) Billy Collins writes with an evocative, crystal clarity. Tobias Wolff’s stories always register as real and often feature his signature, from-now-on-nothing-will-ever-be-quite-the-same powerhouse moments. Elliott Bay Book Company is scheduled to be resurrected and re-open on Thursday, April 15. Good luck to them – and happy reading to you.


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