The independent bookstore is an increasingly endangered species, but we still love browsing in a store with some character. Here are some of our favourites:
Although This Ain’t The Rosedale Library is in a new location (they left Church Street for Kensington Market), its legacy reaches far into literary history; the shop has hosted renegade writers including Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. 86 Nassau Street, (416) 929-9912.
With art gallery ambiance and wild wallpaper, Type Books holds it down on hipster row, offering a wide selection of books, from quirky to classic. 883 Queen Street West, (416) 366-8973.
Soundscapes, a music store, is an underappreciated source for music-related reading. The pocket-sized 33 1/3 series, encyclopedic guides by genre or even Slash’s autobiography will add a literary layer to your sonic enjoyment. 572 College Street, (416) 537-1620.
David Mirvish Books is Mecca for anything involving the visual arts. With ample space, books are displayed prominently, so you can easily find the artist or period you’re seeking. 596 Markham Street, (416) 531-9975.
Everyone from anarchists to anthropologists will find much to ponder at Another Story Bookshop. This decades-old dealer specializes in everything from social issues to international fiction. 315 Roncesvalles Avenue, (416) 462-1104.
Any list would be incomplete without Pages (pictured above) and Book City, institutions comprehensive enough to render the big chains unnecessary. Pages, 256 Queen Street West, (416) 598-1447; Book City, six locations.