Often times I ask myself "Why spend FULL retail price at this bookstore when I can go online and get up to 40% off the same item?" Of course online you don't get to feel the book, be surrounded by a certain warmth that only an old bookstore provides, nor can you be assisted by very knowledgeable staff -- Elliott Bay Books is all of this and more.
I have came in here looking for a whole host of items. For example, I was going to NYC for the first time a few years back. The staff hooked me up with this woman there, who was formerly from NYC herself and she recommended a great travel book and even places to visit.
Then a few weeks ago I was rushing about looking for a birthday present, when Elliott Bay again came to my rescue. I called, they knew immediately what cookbook I was talking about, and we even discussed the nuances between the different versions. Then she put the book on hold for me, and offered to wrap it once I got there. All this, and I didn't even need to be transferred to another person.
A must MUST see if you ever have 15 minutes to spare, or want to stroll through a one-of-a-kind locally owned bookstore.