Whatcom Gems: Eclipse Bookstore

By: Kaeli Hearn

There is something special about a local bookstore that is bursting at the seams with a variety of colorful book covers stacked from the wood floor throughout the creaky bookshelves and up to the ceiling.

This week I explored one of Bellingham’s unique gems, Eclipse Bookstore, located on 1104 11th St. in downtown Fairhaven. The store overlooks the bay through large glass windows that allow natural light to shine through.

The books are scattered all over the floor, shelves, the porch outside and all the ledges. The colorful book covers surround you invite you into the welcoming atmosphere of the bookshop. Two older women were wandering the aisles, laughing and enjoying looking at the different covers.

Eclipse Bookstore has a varied selection of genres of books. The more I walked around, the more I found. Although it is a bit messy looking from the outside, everything has a place and the owner pointed me exactly in the direction of what I was searching for.

The prices are extremely cheap. I did not see anything over $15 as I flipped through books. I explored the cooking, the autobiographies, travel, music and self-help book sections. The bookstore even has a box of $1 books outside on the porch.

One element that really drew me to this spot was that all the books are used. The owner told me that people sell their used books to Eclipse. Due to the fact that the books are used, the variety is particularly unique. No two books are the same, and I saw authors and titles I had never heard of before.

As I walked around, I glanced down at my watch and noticed I had been there for over an hour lost among the shelves and stacks of books. This bookstore is bound to be any book-lover’s delight. Not only is this hidden gem full of local charm, but the owner was extremely friendly, the aesthetic inviting and the books undeniably wonderful and unique.

I bought a Frank Sinatra biography for $6.95 and I already know it is going to be the best $6.95 I have ever spent.

Go with the expectation of a fun treasure hunt and for some good finds for an affordable price.

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