Ada's Technical Books and Cafe Makes a Smart Splash in Capitol Hill

A revamped technical bookstore brings science and math to the masses
bookstores seattle magazine ada's capitol hill seattle

Ada’s Technical Books and Café (Capitol Hill, 425 15th Ave. E; 206.322.1058; seattletechnicalbooks.com) invites browsers to touch, inspect and discover—just as a scientist might. Named after Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer, the bookshop has recently relocated to a sleekly renovated old home (designed with Seattle architects Board and Vellum and built by Model Remodel) on bustling 15th Avenue East. Don’t let the technical focus discourage you; while hard-core scientists, mathematicians and programmers will be in heaven, there’s plenty of popular appeal too, with books ranging from cryptography to culinary science to The Hunger Games. Before flipping through pages, however, you’ll likely be distracted by the gadgets topping every bookshelf. LED embroidery kits, Space Age jewelry, wooden puzzles and beakers full of colorful liquids tempt even the least technically minded. Anyone is welcome to join Ada’s general science, classic sci-fi and nonfiction book clubs (on 1/30, discuss Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Word for World is Forest). Heavenly hot chocolate and a bountiful cafe menu make it that much easier to spend hours here.

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