Bookstores in Eastern Canada
9 Aug 2012
Cities (listed geographically east-to-west) include:
St. John's NL
Corner Brook NL
Prince Edward Island
Halifax NS (and other NS)
Quebec City QC/PQ
other geographic areas
[Note 0: These lists were started thirty years ago, before search engines,
Yelp, and so on. Because those are now available, these listings will
include only places that are noteworthy, or have substantive descriptions,
or have been visited by me. Old "minimalist" listings will remain as long
as the stores are open, but no new "minimalist" entries will be added.]
[Note 1: This list includes cities in eastern Canada. Greenland and Iceland
would go into the Nordic countries list if anyone sent me any from there.
The list for western Canada and Alaska is here. The list for Ontario is
here. Lists for other geographic areas are in
[Note 2: I collected these comments from a variety of people. I personally
have no knowledge of many of these places and take no responsibility if you
buy a book you don't enjoy. :-) Phone numbers and precise addresses can be
gotten by calling directory assistance for the appropriate city. Call ahead
for precise hours, as even when I list them they are subject to change.]
[Note 3: If you can add information for any of these, in particular
addresses when they are missing, please send it to me. *PLEASE SPECIFY CITY
[Note 4: Area codes change so quickly these days that these may be wrong.]
St. John's NL
Afterwords Book Store (245 Duckworth, 709-753-4690). New and used books and
magazines; mostly used hardcovers and paperbacks. "They don't check
very carefully for the value of a book (I love this aspect of them!)
such that in the past I've picked up a pristine first edition
hardcover 2010: ODYSSEY TWO for $1 and a first edition ARMAGEDDON RAG
for 50 cents.,.. Stephen King stuff for a few dollars, compared to
the high prices seen everywhere else."
The Bookery (42 Powers Court, Signal Hill Rd., 709-739-4223). Independent
bookseller featuring fiction and bestsellers, books about Newfoundland
or by Newfoundlanders, art, poetry, etc.
Books-R-Us-Plus (13 Commonwealth Ave., 709-747-7243)
Chapters (70 Kenmount Rd, 709-726-0375, http://www.chapters.indigo.ca). One
of the large national chain. "Large store with excellent selection of
new and remaindered books, newspapers, magazines. Claims more than
100,000 titles in stock. Starbucks Cafe is contained within. Comfy
fireplace, coffee, muffins, chess tables, other board games. Lots of
chairs to sit and read. Internet cafe. Reading clubs. Book readings
and signings of local authors. A great place to hang out and read or
chat." Has a section devoted to books by Newfoundlanders or about
Coles (Avalon Mall, 709-753-3394). Part of the national Chapters chain.
Coles (Village Mall, 709-364-1261). Part of the national Chapters chain.
Christian Book & Supply (21 Adams Ave, 709-579-3291). Religious books.
Downtown Comics (141 Duckworth St., 709-738-2933). New and used comic books;
subscriptions and special orders; graphic novels; science fiction
and comic book related memorabilia (toys, posters, shirts, etc.).
Le Centre Franšais (351 Back Line Rd., 709-747-1036)
The Never Ending Story (7 Commonwealth Ave., 709-368-1838). Used paperbacks,
bestsellers, romance, westerns, hockey & novelty cards.
Religious Book & Bible House (57 Thorburn Rd., 709-753-6464).
Sword & Steele (266 Duckworth, 709-576-1096, http://www.swordnsteele.com).
Gaming, comics, novels, collectibles, miniatures, etc. [08/12]
Sylvia's Treasure Chest (132 Water St.). Local books of interest to
visitors/tourists (art, geography, Titanic, etc.) amongst the numerous
souvenirs and gifts and obligatory shirts.
Timemasters Inc. (33 Kenmount Rd, 2nd Floor, 709-754-3654,
http://www.timemastersinc.ca). Comic books, trade paperbacks, Manga &
Anime, collectibles, action figures, toys, movies, role-playing games,
tabletop miniatures, etc. [08/12]
The Book Worm (877-651-2777). "Located in a strip mall (forgot the name!,
I'll update this next time I'm there). At first glance it might not
seem like much, but it actually has a great selection of used
paperbacks and hardcovers, old to recent. I've been there a
half-dozen times and have always come away surprised with an item
I wouldn't have expected to find, such as some 1950-60's SF
hardcovers and paperbacks in fabulous condition."
[This section contributed by Christopher Kovacs.]
Corner Brook NL
The Book Grotto (44A Main, 709-639-7750). "Used hardcovers and paperbacks;
a decent selection of recent 1st edition hardcovers as opposed to the
usual book club editions. Nicely organized by subject, and generally
within alphabetical order. Also sells tole painting supplies,
hockey and other collectible cards, and (no kidding) potato chips!"
The Book Hollow (Millbrook Mall, 709-639-1949). "Used hardcovers and
paperbacks. Decent selection of both, the largest in Corner Brook.
Of three stores selling used books, this is the one not to miss.
Many recent 1st edition hardcovers as opposed to book club versions.
Nicely organized by subject. Also sells some used CDs and movie
Coles (Valley Mall, 709-634-5823). Part of the large national chain but a
bit smaller than most; new and remaindered; good selection.
The Family Book Store (Corner Brook Plaza, 709-639-9813). New books,
reasonable selection, not part of a chain.
Goodhouse Lotto & Books (93 West, 709-639-5880). "Used hardcovers and
(mostly) paperbacks, plus adult magazines in a separate room.
The hardcovers are mostly book club editions. The books are
loosely grouped by subject, but apart from that they are unorganized
and it is hard to find anything. Also sells lottery tickets, which
is probably the main source of revenue for this store."
[This section contributed by Christopher Kovacs.]
Prince Edward Island:
Gallery 18 (10686 Route No. 6, New London, PEI, 902-886-3201,
http://www.gallery18.com). "Fine art, antique maps and prints,
old and collectible books, original vintage posters, ephemera,
and antique collectibles." [05/06]
Halifax NS (and other NS):
Atlantic News (5560 Morris, south end near the Infirmary). Excellent
selection of newspapers and magazines from around the world. Not
very long ago, the only choice in metro; probably still the best
choice, but competition is strong.
Attic Owl (5802 South, near Victoria General Hospital). Used books, small
but good selection.
Back Pages (1526 Queen). "Recently moved; I haven't seen the new
location. Was a reasonably good store."
Blowers Street Paper Chase (5228 Blowers, south end of Argyle). News stand
and card shop, excellent selection.
The Book Mark (5686 Spring Garden). A small, slightly cramped bookstore,
excellent variety for the size of it.
Chapters (Bayers Lake Industrial Park). "Not convenient for foot traffic,
but the best selection in town by far. Too many books actually, but
that's like complaining about too much money or too much sex, right?"
The Daily Grind (5686 Spring Garden, kitty corner to Public Gardens).
Combination coffee shop and news stand, excellent selection.
John W Doull (1684 Barrington, 902-429-1652, http://www.doullbooks.com).
Used and antiquarian, excellent selection. Has the atmosphere of a
used bookstore. "In my opinion, the best used bookstore in the city."
Entitlement - The Book Company (5675 Spring Garden). "To my mind, the best
general bookstore in the city. A wide selection of fiction, music,
sociology, history, politics, psychology, science, etc. Book order
Good Words Bookshop (9 LaPlanche, Amherst, B4H 3G7,
902-667-READ (7323), http://www.GoodWordsBookshop.com). A
general-stock store, but specialising in children's books,
theology/church history, & travel writings. [01/04]
News Rack (1475 Bedford Highway, Canada Trust Court). "An excellent
selection of magazines and newspapers. Why drive downtown, you
should find it here."
Roswell Computer Books. The only store in metro specializing in computer
books. Good selection of O'Reilly & Associates titles, good
Macintosh Programmers series, and adequate coverage depending on
application. Certainly more extensive than most other bookstores in
town. Could use a more extensive magazine rack.
Schooner Books (5378 Inglis, south end near Point Pleasant Park). The main
competitor for JWD, very good selection.
Seaside Books & Stamp (5670 Spring Garden (basement), entrance is on
Brenton, 800-37-STAMP, http://seaside.twistedpair.ca).
10,000+ used science fiction and fantasy; nothing else except stamp
collecting stuff. Ships world wide.
Trident Booksellers & Cafe (1256 Hollis,
http://www.tridenthalifax.com). Used books. Surprisingly good
selection for the size (small). Has several remainders tables, and
a very popular cafe.
United Book Stores (1669 Barrington). Used book equivalent to Coles.
Veritas (1505 Barrington, Maritime Centre, lower level, Halifax,
http://www.veritasbooks.ca). A comprehensive Catholic
bookstore. "Although well laid-out and tidy, customers tend
to get lost in there for hours because of the quality and
variety of the books mostly not available in either mainstream
or used bookstores." [08/04]
Woozles (1533 Birmingham). The place to shop for children's literature in
There is also an Angelican bookstore in Halifax.
Sunrise Marian Centre (RR #3, Pictou, NS B0K 1H0, 800-884-1171 or
902-485-1714, http://www.sunrisemarian.com). Catholic book
store. Open Mon-Sat 10AM-5PM. [12/05]
Chasing Tales. Small, with a surprisingly large supply of Westerns.
*Really* surprisingly large supply of books in German. (It
turned out a Swiss couple had moved here a few years ago,
and then after a few years moved back to Switzerland, selling
all their books in the process.) [07/09]
The Book Shop (Route 114, Alma). Mostly used books; some new, some
antiquarian. Prices a bit high, but not too bad for a
tourist-area place. [07/09]
Quebec City QC/PQ:
La Bouquinerie de Cartier (1120 av. Cartier, 418-525-6767). "Despite somewhat
cramped quarters, this little store manages to pack in a substantial selection
of titles. Its literary fiction selection is especially strong. The staff
are among the city's friendliest."
Librairie du Nouveau Monde (103 rue Saint-Pierre, 418-694-9475). "Located in
the lower part of the city, behind the Musee de la Civilisation, this store is
an excellent resource for those interested in Canadian history, particularly
of the local variety. Many of the Quebec-history titles available here (both
in French and English) can't be found anywhere else in town."
Librairie Generale Francaise (10 cote de la Fabrique, 418-692-2442). "The
store combines an excellent selection of the various pocket-size French
paperback series with a convenient location just a short walk from the Chateau
Frontenac and Terrasse Dufferin. Browsers, though, will be disgruntled by the
store's policy of shrink-wrapping almost every volume on its shelves."
Pantoute (1100 rue St-Jean, 418-697-9748). "Quebec City's best all-around
bookstore, located in the heart of the Old City's shopping district. It
boasts a large and wide-ranging selection of both fiction and non-fiction."
Ulysse (12 rue Ste-Anne, 418-529-5349). "The superb Canadian publisher of
travel books runs this small outlet at the rear end of a visitor's bureau a
few steps from the Terrasse Dufferin. It sells exclusively guidebooks and
Since in Montreal both English and French are pretty well served in the book
department, this is divided up by language, though there are probably some
French books in some of the stores listed under "English" and vice versa.
Bookstores/Montreal, Quebec (area code 514)
Argo Bookshop (1915 Ste-Catherine W, 514-931-3442). This tiny bookshop
often has things you can't find in huge chain stores. Literature,
lit-crit, mythology, Penguin classics, mysteries. Some French
books, but most of the stock is English.
Canadian Centre for Architecture Bookshop (1920 Baile, 514-939-7028).
Recommended for art and design books. Obviously pricey. See also
the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Bookshop.
Footnotes (1454 Mackay, Phone: None (!)). Used books. Footnotes
specializes in philosophy, history, and religion, with a good
selection of quality fiction as well.
Magical Blend Metaphysical Catalog (1928 Ste-Catherine W, H3H 1M4,
514-938-8681). New Age/pagan bookstore.
McGill University Bookstore (McTavish above Sherbrooke, 514-398-7444).
Deadly: they've *all* the Penguin Classics on one wall! Also almost
the entire catalog of Dover books, plus standard textbooks galore.
Phone number's probably listed under McGill in the book.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Bookshop (1379 Sherbrooke W). Recommended for
art and design books. Obviously pricey. See also the Canadian
Centre for Architecture Bookshop.
Paragraph (2220 McGill College Ave, H3A 3P9, 514-845-5811,
http://www.paragraphbooks.com). Decent all-purpose bookstore near
McGill University. Has a cafe.
Cheap Thrills (2044 Metcalfe, 514-844-8988). Books, also records and CDs.
One of the best second-hand bookshops along with Welch's and the
Odyssey Books (1439 Stanley, above Ste-Catherine, 514-844-4843). Used books
and recordings. The books are usually worth a browse. Open
Mon-Thu 10AM-6PM, Fri 10AM-9PM, Sat 10AM-6PM, Sun 12N-5PM.
S. Welch Bookseller (3878 St-Laurent, 514-848-9358). Located between a good
cafe and an excellent ice-cream store. Has a nice black-and-white
cat called Rosie. Books interesting, cheap, plentiful.
Westmount Phoenix (320 Victoria, 514-484-4428). A nice tiny bookshop up a
winding staircase, but has limited opening hours so best to phone.
The Word (469 Milton, 514-845-5640). In the McGill Ghetto. Adrian's been
running this tiny store for more than ten years. I never visit
without finding something I want. A landmark.
Boule de Neige (4433 St-Denis, 514-849-0959). New Age, esoterica, magic,
Camelot-Info Inc. (1191 Phillips Square, 514-861-5019, FAX 514-393-4109,
http://www.camelot.ca). The oldest computer bookstore in Canada.
Has a large selection of books (tutorials, reference manuals,
research, business applications, and manuals) and a full range of
shrinkwrap software include educational versions and upgrades.
Bilingual English and French, knowledgeable personnel. "Vous y
trouverez tout sur l'informatique, incluant livres en francais, en
anglais et meme des livres en francais pour des logiciels anglais."
Librairie Bertrand (3544 Du Parc Avr, next to "La CitÚ" shopping center,
514-849-4533). One of the oldest in the city, though after its
latest move described as "a shadow of its former self with a greatly
reduced selection of books." Ships overseas.
Champigny (4380 St-Denis, 514-844-2587, FAX 514-848-0169). Huge (125,000
titles) sprawling beautiful bookshop. Though some collections are
together, it is not, as was previously claimed, divided by
publisher. Claims to have the biggest selection of new French books
in North America. Also has magazines, CDs, and scores (partitions
musicales) on ground floor--literature's upstairs, and CD-ROMs,
including almost every French title. (The only other store carrying
scores in Montreal is Archambault Musique.) Big section of bandes
dessinees. Takes credit cards, and will do mail-order to Canada and
Librairie Gallimard (3700 St-Laurent, 514-499-2012). Quiet, classy,
well-stocked. Offers a computer terminal so you can access their
database and see what's in stock by title or author.
Librairie du Square (3453 St-Denis, 514-845-7617). Nice little place in the
Quartier Latin. This is where you buy a copy of LES FLEURS DU MAL
before drinking aperitifs on a terrasse.
Librairie Henri-Julien (4800 Henri-Julien, 514-844-7576). Tiny but
well-organized, run by one guy who knows where everything is. Not
easy to find.
"I haven't listed the big dull chain stores, which folks can find for
themselves on main drags and in malls. There are also many little corner
shops of no special interest - not worth sending people there to look."
The section of Ste-Catherine between Atwater and Guy was a bookstore
neighborhood, and may still be, but several bookstores that were mentioned
there have since closed.
[Most of this section contributed by Kate McDonnell.]
You can also try http://www.lexlibris.com for French used books.
There are also Book Hunter Press's USED BOOK LOVER'S GUIDE TO [various
regions], seven regional guides to over 7,900 used, out-of-print, and
antiquarian book dealers in the United States and Canada. The complete
database is online and can be searched by location, dealer name, specialty,
and type of dealer. Access to the database is available on a two tier basis:
partial access is free, full access is by subscription.The web page also
includes free access to regional and city maps showing locations with used
bookstores. For more information or a free catalog, check their web page at
Information contained in this FAQ is compiled from many sources. The
compiler accepts no responsibility for the comments contained herein.
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To support this, this FAQ is Compilation Copyright 2012 by Evelyn C. Leeper
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Evelyn C. Leeper
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