Wide World Books and Maps
1911 N. 45th Street
Seattle, WA 98103
when I visited there over 10 years ago. It seems to have moved around the corner. Wonder if it's changed much.
Any traveler, armchair or otherwise, would have been drawn to this turquoise building with red and yellow trim and flags of various nations flying over the door. The windows were full of African art, world music CD's, and a gloriously blue globe of the heavens. Inside, I came across a display with a handwritten sign noting “The Most Interesting Books in the Store,” which included such topics as Jobs and Study Abroad, Cheap Airfares, Women’s Travel, The Disabled Traveler, and many more. There was a special display on Africa, including a shelf of African literature. There were travel sections on nearly every state and region in the country, plus almost any international destination you might be dreaming about. There were foreign-language tapes and books: French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Indonesian, and Vietnamese, among others. The maps were irresistible: regional maps of France, European cities, Nepal, East Africa, Istanbul. There were poster maps and atlases, and travel books for children. Maps covered the walls above the shelves. Stools for sitting and browsing were scattered among the freestanding displays down the center of the store. Returning to the front of the shop I found various traveler’s goodies – headbeds, pouches and backpacks, journals and cards, walking sticks, and international electrical adapters for such places as Great Britain and the South Pacific. Travel videos and a small book on cybercafes could keep you on the road at home. At the front desk, you could find information about Eurail passes and traveler’s meetings; and sign up for Wide World Books and Maps e-mail newsletter. The store shared a connecting door to the Teahouse Kaun Yin, where you could sit and sip and dream of all those faraway places with the strange- sounding names.