Charles Petzold

Visit Ada's!

July 22, 2011
Roscoe, N.Y.

I love bookstores, and it's thrilling to see a new bookstore as intelligently conceived and as well-stocked as Ada's Technical Books at 713 Broadway East in Seattle.

Ada's is, of course, named after Ada Lovelace — the woman who helped explain Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine to the public and who is responsible for publishing what is widely acknowledged to be the first computer program (albeit for a machine that existed mostly on paper). The store is devoted to technical books, not only those thick colorful softcovers we're accustomed to seeing, but also books about math and science, including some used books of historical value.

During a visit to the Seattle area last week, I had the pleasure of sharing a few thoughts and signing some books at Ada's. Here are some pictures from the event. (I'm the one wearing the tie with 0's and 1's all over it.) Authors are accustomed to tiny turnouts and peculiar questions in bookstore appearances, but the turnout for this was quite comfortable, and the questions were wonderful.

I mentioned Ada's to a few people at Microsoft, and they had either never heard of the bookstore, or had heard of it but never gone. What are you waiting for? By all means, check it out, and help support one of the greatest inventions ever — the independent bookstore.