This is the story of how a shopper in the middle of a cold, rainy Seattle winter came across a book.
It was the best of both worlds: a book that would change someone’s life and a book you wouldn’t have to look for anywhere else.
“I think it’s so hard to find books that change people’s lives,” says Rachel Bowers, the owner of the bookshop Changing Hands, located in the Ballard neighborhood.
Bowers started her business when she was 23, and her customers are a mix of teens and adults, from all walks of life.
“People who are in therapy, people who are struggling, people in their 20s, 30s, who are starting to feel that they’re losing their minds and that they need to take control of their lives, they all come here for books,” she says.
Bower’s bookshop has been in business for almost three years, and it’s the first of its kind in Seattle.
“It’s not a niche bookshop, it’s not really a boutique bookshop,” she adds.
“We are a community bookstore.
We’re here for everybody.”
Bowers opened her bookstore with her mother, who had a passion for literature.
“She started her first bookstore in the ’50s and she was like, ‘This is what I want to do for my daughter and her kids.
This is what they want to read.
I think that’s what she wanted,'” says Bowers.
“So, she opened her second bookstore in 1998, and that was it.
She was like ‘This book is what she wants to read.'”
The bookshop is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and there’s a wide variety of books to choose from, including novels, memoirs, nonfiction, art, and more.
But Bowers also has a huge selection of “bestsellers” that she’s been able to find through a few different channels.
“The bestseller list is not a secret, so that’s just the way I think it should be.
I mean, that’s the way we book, and we’re not afraid to share that with everybody, because we’re really passionate about it,” she explains.
Barts bookshop serves a diverse customer base: it sells to people who want to start new lives, as well as people who have been in relationships with someone for a while.
But that doesn’t mean that people can’t find a book to help them deal with the loss of a loved one.
“One of the great things about this community bookstore is that it’s a safe place to go for books.
I’ve had a couple of clients who have found books and said, ‘I really need to start a new chapter.
I’m so confused,'” she says, adding that they were shocked by what they found.
“What they’re finding is a lot of different things that they’ve never seen before.
And the books are all really helpful.
So, we feel like we’re a safe community to go to.
And there are a lot more books available than there were a year ago.
And, it doesn’t matter how old you are.
You can find a good book here, because there are so many different types of books.”
Bower also points out that there are book clubs, too.
She says that people in her bookshop are often asked to sign up for reading groups, and she tries to make it a good experience for all the members.
“You want to be able to share your books and to share them with the people you love.
That’s really important,” she continues.
“Because you can’t do it alone.
You have to work with a lot people and you have to learn how to collaborate.
You need to have a group, because otherwise you can go somewhere else and you can do whatever you want.”
The book shop is also known for being open to all types of people, including gay people.
Burser is open to the idea of a gay book club, too, but that’s not the case at Changing Hands.
“My main concern with changing books is that gay people don’t read,” she notes.
“They’re just looking for the next best thing to read.”
Changing Hands is a new space in Ballard, and the bookseller hopes to become a community bookshop in other parts of Seattle.
Bows bookshop will be open throughout the summer, but she says that she’ll also open a second location in Seattle in the coming weeks.