Santoro’s Books is Greenwood’s full-service, independent bookstore. We offer an excellent selection of new books and old favorites, frequent-buyer discounts, and discounts on book club selections and school orders. You’ll find great deals in our collection of publishers’ remaindered books for children and adults. If we don’t have what you’re looking for, never fear — special-ordering from us is fast and reliable. Just send an e-mail note with your requests to: We’re always happy to make reading suggestions, and we encourage you to enjoy browsing through our store.


Good-bye, Greenwood!


The gang’s all here (left to right): Jeff, Stephanie, Gretchen, Carol, Marla, and Liz.


Santoro’s Books: The Next Chapter

By Carol Santoro

This May will mark our ninth year of bookselling in the Greenwood/Phinney neighborhood — and for me, 29 years as a bookstore owner. We moved to this neighborhood in 2005 from Wallingford. After the lease negotiation at our first location (across from Ken’s Market) fell through in 2008, it was looking as though I might need to close the store. But the owner of Metropolis, Terry Heiman, came forward to tell me that a new space would soon become available just north of his store. He also informed me that the landlord there was very easy to work with (and he was right). The thought of having to move the bookstore again was daunting, but the neighborhood came through. On moving day, people showed up with hand trucks and wagons, and we moved all the books in 45 minutes. Forty-five minutes!! Then people stayed to help us shelve all of those volumes. We reopened in 48 hours, which was an impressive testament to the neighborhood’s support of this store. Add to that all the times that people have looked up books online and made the effort to order them through us, and you’ll find a very grateful store owner. Essentially, you gave me and my staff an extra six years as booksellers. I can’t thank you enough.

(Left) Santoro’s moving day, 2008

But after 29 years it is time for me to make a change. I have decided to close the retail side of Santoro’s Books and continue as a wholesaler, servicing only the school accounts we have developed over these past 10 years. Do not despair, though: Our good news is that we have found a buyer for the retail operation. His name is Tom Nissley. He’s the author of A Reader’s Book of Days as well as being a neighborhood resident. Tom and his wife, Laura, are set to assume ownership of the store in early May, and after some remodeling they will reopen the store in early June as Phinney Books. Yes! We’ll still have a neighborhood bookstore.

(You may learn more about Tom Nissley and Laura Silverstein in this article that recently appeared in Shelf Awareness.)

Now, as you know, we never pass up an opportunity for a celebration. Accordingly, we invite you to join us for a farewell party on Santoro’s last day, Saturday, May 3, from 5 to 7 p.m. I hope you’ll be able to stop by the store to indulge in a sparkling beverage and let us thank you for your years of support. The new owners will be on hand, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy getting to know them, as I have. The details of this farewell party are below, as are answers to some questions you might have about the transition.


Frequently Asked Transition Questions

• Can I still place orders with Santoro’s Books?
YES! We will continue to take orders until Thursday, May 1, provided we can have the books delivered by Saturday, May 3, our last day.

• Are gift certificates still valid?
Santoro’s gift certificates must be redeemed by our last day of operation: May 3, 2014. That includes any store credits resulting from an exchange or return.

• What will happen with the Frequent Buyer Program?
The owners of the new Phinney Books will continue the Frequent Buyer Program. If you are close to receiving a credit, please try to use that before we close, since we were the beneficiaries of all those purchases.

• What’s next for Santoro’s Books?
Santoro’s Books will be fulfilling bulk orders for schools and other organizations. We offer discounts, 21-day billing, and free shipping within the greater Seattle area. A minimum of 15 books (assorted titles) is required. You can still reach us at this e-mail address:


Don’t Miss Our Book Reviews

If you haven’t checked up on this Web site’s Book Reviews page recently, please note that we’ve been adding critiques of new works there. Among the numerous titles under consideration: The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton; Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World, by Matthew Goodman; Norwegian by Night, by Derek B. Miller; and Topsy: The Startling Story of the Crooked-Tailed Elephant, P.T. Barnum, and the American Wizard, Thomas Edison, by Michael Daly. Click here to find out what other books our staff members have relished reading lately.



Santoro’s Bestsellers – March 2014

1. Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
2. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics,
by David James Brown
3. Norwegian by Night, by Derek B. Miller
4. How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City, by Joan DeJean
5. Little Failure, by Gary Shteyngart

1. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra
2. A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki
3. Americanah, by Chima Adichie
4. Eccentric Seattle: Pillars and Pariahs Who Made the City Not Such a Boring Place After All, by J. Kingston Pierce
5. Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson


Quote of the Month

This month’s quote is from a children’s book:

”Morris slowly walked inside and discovered the most mysterious and inviting room he had ever seen. It was filled with the fluttering of countless pages, and Morris could hear the faint chatter of a thousand different stories, as if each book was whispering an invitation to adventure. Then his new friend flew up to him and landed on his arm. It held itself open, as if hoping to be read. The room rustled to life. And so Morris’s life among the books began.

”Morris tried to keep the books in some sort of order, but they always mixed themselves up. The tragedies needed cheering up and would visit with the comedies. The encyclopedias, weary of facts, would relax with the comic books and fictions. All in all it was an agreeable jumble. Morris found great satisfaction in caring for the books, gently fixing those with fragile bindings and unfolding the dog-eared pages of others. Sometimes Morris would become lost in a book and scarcely emerge for days.

”Morris liked to share the books with others. Sometimes it was a favorite that everyone loved, and other times he found a lonely little volume whose tale was seldom told. ‘Everyone’s story matters,’ said Morris. And all the books agreed. At night … Morris Lessmore would once again write in his own book. He wrote of his joys and sorrows, of all that he knew and everything that he hoped for. The days passed. So did the months. And then the years. And years … and Morris Lessmore became stooped and crinkly. But the books never changed. Their stories stayed the same. Now his old friends took care of him the way he had once cared for them, and they read themselves to him each night. Then one day he filled the last page in his book. He looked up and said with a bittersweet sigh, ‘I guess it’s time for me to move on.’ The books were sorry, but they understood. Morris put on his hat and took his cane. As he went to the door, he turned and smiled, then waved good-bye. ‘I’ll carry you all in here,’ he said, and pointed to his heart.

”The books were quiet for a while. Then they noticed that Morris Lessmore had left something behind. ‘It’s his book!’ said his oldest friend. Inside was Morris’s story. All of his joys and sorrows, all that he knew and everything that he hoped for. Then the books heard a small, expectant sound. There in the doorway was a little girl. She looked around with wonder. Then something fantastic happened. Morris Lessmore’s book flew up to her and opened its pages. The girl began to read. And so our story ends as it began … with the opening of a book.”

~ William Joyce in The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore


Thank You for Supporting Neighborhood Stores.

Santoro’s Books is located at:
7405 Greenwood Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 784-2113