Their three locations are located in Lake Forest Park (founded 1998), Ravenna (2002), and Seward Park (2016). These stores are the brainchild of the visionary Seattle developer Ron Sher, and the founding concept is described as “the deliberate and intentional creation of a community around books and the ideas inside them.”
The name—Third Place Books—comes from a concept originally described by the sociologist Ray Oldenberg. His theory argues that each person needs three places, a home (first), a workplace or school (second), and a place for community to interact (third) like a pub, town square, or other gathering place. Third Place Books locations, along with the restaurants and pubs they host are an embodiment of this philosophy.
Third Place Books has a wide variety of visitors ranging from local high school students to seniors. They see an intrinsic value in community connection, and see books as a tool for self-improvement and fulfillment. A large demographic of their audience is individuals and couples in their 30’s, making a trip to the bookstore for a new read and a cup of coffee.
With a well developed selection of children’s books and social media accounts directed specifically at young readers, the primary audience also includes Seattle parents and their blossoming readers.