Thursday, January 12, 2006

Used Bookstores

Below in the comments, Dilexit Prior asks what good second-hand bookstores exist around Vancouver.

Let me start, however, on the Island. The one I mentioned in my prior post, the Haunted Bookstore in Sidney is almost certainly the best in the province. It has extremely good selection, and a selection of a high caliber, and very reasonable prices. I always find something well worth buying. By far and away, it is the best bookstore among the ones I will mention. Victoria used to have a number of bookstores of similar caliber- Renaissance Books, Poor Richards, Wells- all have closed over the past few years. Grafton Books in Oak Bay and Sorenson Books on Cook street remain places worth visiting if you find yourself in Victoria.

In Vancouver, MacLeod's Books on Pender downtown is extremely large, and has a good selection. It tends to run to the expensive side of things, and I rarely find notable books there. Criterion Books, opposite MacLeods is similarly expensive, but worth visiting, if only to check out some of their nice Chestertons. Lawrence Books, on W. 41st at Dunbar, is my favourite in Vancouver. More reasonable than MacLeod's, Lawrence has a similarly broad selection, and fits the musty, close-set bookstore image to perfection.

I'll finish my recommendations there, with the caveat that I haven't visited many of the bookstores in the suburbs- if you know of good bookstores out there, let me know.


Blogger Marian said...

Ms Lawrence, the owner of Lawrence Books, was my highschool librarian, which makes me sort of scared to ever go in there (even though she seems to no longer recognize me, and is a perfectly nice person). I envy you the unhindered access.

Speaking of other used book places, Hermit books was pretty good, but closed after the building caught on fire. Kestrel books was ok as well, and oddly enough was also in a fire, but will reopen, I think. The only other place I can think of off the top of my head is the one on that weird acute corner where Main street branches off into Kingsway, just a couple blocks North of Broadway.

January 13, 2006 12:40 PM  
Blogger gabriel said...

It's unfortunate I can't remember which of Hermit and Kestrel was on Broadway- was the other on Dunbar?

You're quite right, Marian, that the bookstore on Main is worth visiting- I've only been once, and I'd actually forgotten about it.

January 14, 2006 10:24 AM  
Blogger DilexitPrior said...

Thanks for your guys' recommendations. Maybe I'll go check out a bookstore or two when I'm escaping from the suburbs to go into town later this week.

January 15, 2006 11:56 PM  

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