“Building Community -- One Cup, One Book, One Note at a Time.” Our business motto captures the essence of Couth Buzzard Books. We are so much more than a bookstore: we also are a cafe, performance space, and most importantly, a key community gathering hub for North Seattle. For over 30 years, The Couth Buzzard has served the diverse needs of our surrounding communities, overcoming many setbacks, hardships and challenges to become the popular multipurpose facility we are today.
After 20 years at our original location, The Buzzard lost our lease – and re-emerged in 2009 under a new model. We expanded to include a cafe, and performance space where local musicians, poets, writers, comedians, dancers, artists, and other performers could come to share their talents and passions. The Couth Buzzard has also evolved to become a vital community gathering space known for fostering creativity, supporting activism, promoting free speech, and forging new relationships and friendships. Here are just a few of the events that have a home in our space:
- Creative writing groups including the all-levels, all-ages Couth Buzzard Writers’ Group and the Poets’ Table.
- Multiple reading groups, including the long-standing Couth Buzzard Book Club and Buzzard Whodunit Mystery Book Club
- Local author events featuring authors such as David Shields, Nick Licata, Peter Mountford, Mary Purdy and others.
- Current Events discussion groups.
- Concerts every weekend, including many in conjunction with the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society, ranging from local heroes to internationally acclaimed artists.
- As part of Greenwood's annual Halloween celebration, we give away hundreds of books each year to local children.
- Environmental advocacy groups including the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and pro-bicycle Greenways group.
- Weekly board game nights where players can find a partner for everything from chess to cribbage, and learn the ancient game of Go from a highly respected local teacher.
- All age and skill level music jams featuring a broad range of styles -- from jazz standards, improv, and Americana to Celtic, Brazilian Choro, and more.
- A yearly Jazz Festival where both seasoned performers and emerging artists celebrate the genre’s history and discover its future.
- A weekly all-ages Community Open Mic that encourages and supports participation from all members of the community.
- A safe place for children to learn and play -- we proudly host a Girl Scout troop, PJ Library’s storytime and singing session, and an open mic for the talented kids of the Bureau of Fearless Ideas.
- The monthly Couth Buzzard Comedy Show, focused on giving both up-and-coming and established comedians, with an emphasis on minority voices, a place in the comedy scene.
- Language conversation groups including French, Spanish and Gaelic.
Couth Buzzard Books overcame many struggles, challenges, and setbacks to arrive where we are today. Owner Theo Dzielak faced personal tragedy. The store bounced back from a series of burglaries and the devastating gas explosion that damaged The Buzzard and many Greenwood businesses. And of course, the Buzzard shares many challenges with other Seattle small businesses struggling to survive – sharp increases in rent, license fees and taxes, supporting our employees with fair wages, the effects of new health and environmental regulations, the ongoing need to repair and replace aging equipment, and many other costs.
As a independent bookstore, we also face the unique challenge of being part of an endangered industry: according to data from the American Booksellers Association, nationwide retail book sales are on the decline. Though there is data supporting that independent bookstores have a nominally better chance at survival, in Amazon-dominated Seattle, this may not prove true. Several prominent indie retailers, including Seattle Mystery Bookstore (open almost 30 years) and Zanadu Comics (open 42 years), have permanently closed, and others like World Wide Books and Maps (the oldest travel bookstore in the nation) are struggling to keep their doors open.
We are confident in and excited about our future because of our broader, community focus. More importantly, we believe in the diverse communities who continue to keep The Buzzard flourishing: thank you for helping to create what makes Couth Buzzard so special to us and to others. For many, our store is a second home, and we want to keep our space open to all, our events no- or low-cost, for many more years to come. To achieve this, we are asking for your financial support in order to continue serving this community.
FOR ALL DONATIONS UP TO $100, YOU WILL RECEIVE AN EQUAL AMOUNT IN STORE BOOK CREDIT!!! Donations above $100 still receive $100 in store credit Store Book credit does not expire and gives you 50% off used book purchases, 10% off new book purchases.
The credit will be established under the name you use on GoFundMe and can be claimed in-store anytime after the donation is made. We also have several other amazing rewards including books, CDs, original art pieces, and more. (Sorry, we are cannot ship reward items -- all rewards are for store pickup only.)
CLICK HERE TO VIEW MORE INFORMATION ABOUT REWARD ITEMS.
Thank you for supporting Couth Buzzard Books, our future, and your community!