I've been a volunteer at Left Bank Books for a some time now and I don't intend to leave anytime soon. Left Bank captures the true spirit of righteous livelihood and commerce with conscience. Before I became a volunteer I was a regular customer and not long after I was invited to join the staff. We have an extensive fiction and political selection (new and used), but my most favorite part of the store is the books on Spirituality (we have books on wicca, buddhism, hinduism, taoism, freemasonry, atheism et al..). I love the fact that when a customer spends a good amount of money on our store (at around $100) we give him/her a free (no sweatshop, US made) shirt and some other random knickknacks like our uber cool bumper stickers and such. (when was the last time you spent $100 at Barnes&Noble and got anything for free???)
When you walk in you are greeted by a group of happy people. We're ecstatic to see our customers not because we have a shift manager who orders us around to act like we're really happy to see our customers but we do it for the love of it. We have about 7 paid "workers" and about 30 volunteers. Most of the paid workers have been at Left Bank for years and they're not burned out and grumpy because they're doing what they love to do and they're helping the community as well (we are also connected with Books to Prisoners and some of our members are active volunteers of Food not Bombs).
If you find yourself inside Left Bank Bookstore do everybody a favor and refrain from asking these questions (not in particular order):
1. where is the news stand? (duh, it's right across the street)
2. where is the closest Barnes and Noble/Borders?
3. where's the restroom?
4. do you know who wrote this book? it was released earlier this year and i can't remember the title or the author....
5. is this everything you have? (this one will guarantee to extract gangrenous comebacks from my good pal, collin)
Anyway, help save the indie bookstores in the Northwest. We're booksellers with hearts, we've been in the same location for more than 30 years and I'd like to thank the people who do their business with us.