January 3, 2009

I don't want to live in a world without bookstores

From the Toronto Star's Vit Wagner.

I couldn't have said it better myself:

No offence to those of you who buy all your books online, but whenever anyone asks why I invariably prefer to purchase my reading matter in a bricks-and-mortar establishment, I have one simple answer: because I don't want to live in a world without bookstores. Bookstores like Book City, Ben McNally Books, Type and Pages (my personal favourites) are not only convenient places to browse unhurriedly for literature of almost every sort, but they are also among the few retail establishments where you can go to get out of the rain and snow, or arrange to meet a friend, without being made to feel like a loitering indigent. No one is saying you have to buy all of your books in a store. Just some. Consider it part of your resolution to get out more.

I'll add Bakka and the Toronto minichain BMV to the list of bookstores. I'm a huge proponent of supporting local business ecosystems, the places that keep our communities vital and employ our family, friends and neighbours.

(A world without CD/record/music stores would be a poorer place too.)


David J. Fiander said...

What's important about the excerpt is that he (and you) list good independent bookstores. I would be perfectly happy to live in a world without Indigo-Chapters. I go into the local Chapters pretty regularly, but I never really buy anything there. But every time I go into Wordsworth, the small indie bookstore in downtown Waterloo, I spend far more than I should, even though it has a fraction of titles that Chapters does.

It just has the good stuff.

John Dupuis said...

Absolutely, David. Think globally, shop locally.

I'm also lucky to have a BMV near my house, but it's a used/remainder shop. I don't really have a good independent book store anywhere near my home or work (unless the univ bookstore counts...), so I do end up buying a lot at Indigo.

Glendon Mellow said...

I agree with your choices too, especially Bakka, BMV and Book City. The monster BMV on Bloor is excellent.

Book City opened a Queen St west location on my walk home. Perfect to stop in and look around.

Book City is also great about ordering in titles. Really helpful staff.

(I hope to meet you at ScienceOnline, John!)

Anonymous said...

love the book city in Bloor West Village; unfortunately, I only get to visit it a few times a year when I get to TO...I live in a smaller city with one Chapters...just not the same as the fabulous staff/books at BC!!