Bookstores in Western Canada and Alaska
05 Feb 2017
Cities (listed geographically east-to-west) include:
Rocky Mountain National Parks AB/BC
Other British Columbia
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 western Canada and Alaska. The list
for eastern Canada is here. The list for Ontario
is here. Lists for other geographic areas
are in separate files.]
[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.]
[Note 5: My listings for "superstores" are minimal; those are easy to
find, generally fairly standard, and not worth the time to keep
Aqua Books (89 Princess, 204-943-7555, http://www.aquabooks.ca).
Described as "a clean, organized and affordable selection of
the greatest books of all time. Featuring the city's largest
selection of used faith & theology, used cookbooks and
second-largest selection of used Kids books." "20,000 books
under $10". Tue-Thu 11AM-7PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-9PM. [07/07]
Book Ends (220 St. Mary's, St. Boniface, 204-237-4388). Used SF,
mystery, literature. [07/07]
Book Fair (340 Portage Ave, 204-944-1630). Used. Mon-Fri 10AM-6PM,
Sat 10AM-5PM. [07/07]
The Bookshelf (3050 K Portage Ave, 204-889-6270,
http://www.covertocoverbookshelf.com). Used books; also CDs
and comics. Mon-Fri 10AM-8PM, Sat 10AM-6PM, Sun 12N-5PM.
Burton Lysecki Books (527 Osborne, R3L 2B2, 204-284-4546,
http://www.lysecki.com). Rare and antiquarian, specializing
in history and war. Mon-Sat 11AM-6PM, Sun 12AM-5PM. [07/07]
Chapters (two branches). Superstore.
Copperfield's Books (D-1238 Chevrier, Fort Garry, 204-477-1961).
"Specializing in computer books. The most extensive
collection of computer and business books in the province."
Mon-Fri 10AM-7PM, Sat 10AM-6PM. [07/07]
Cover to Cover (1187 Pembina, 204-275-5700,
http://www.covertocoverbookshelf.com). Used books; also CDs
and comics. Mon-Fri 11AM-7PM, Sat 11AM-6PM, Sun 12N-5PM.
Dominion News (262 Portage Ave, 204-942-6563). Over 5,000 magazine
titles from around the world; newspapers from across Canada,
England, France, Ireland and the U.S. Mon-Fri 8AM-8:45PM,
Sat 9AM-8:45PM, Sun/Hol 12N-5:45PM.
Greenfield Books (217 Academy Rd, R3M 0E3, 204-488-2023,
FAX 204-488-3508, http://www.greenfieldbooks.com).
Specializing in antiquarian, fine bindings, law, medicine,
nautical, and polar, as well as rare maps and prints.
Sat 10AM-5:30PM, or by appointment. [07/07]
McNally Robinson Booksellers (1120 Grant Ave, R3M 2A6, 204-475-0483 or
One of Canada's top independent bookstores. [05/10]
Nerman's Books And Collectibles (721 Osborne, 204-475-1050,
http://www.nermansbooks.com). "The largest stock of used children's
books in Canada with over 20,000 titles. Science fiction,
vintage books, antiques, toys and comics." Mon-Sat 10AM-5PM.
Prairie Sky Books (871 Westminster Ave, 204-774-6152). New Age and
spirituality. Mon-Fri 10AM-8PM, Sat 10AM-6PM. [07/07]
Radiance Gifts and Treasures (7-875 Corydon Ave, 204-284-4231,
http://www.radiancegifts.com). Spirituality/New Age.
Mon-Sat 10AM-6PM, Sun 12N-5PM. [07/07]
Red River Book Shop (Artspace Building, two entrances, 93 King,
92 Arthur, 204-943-9788). "Winnipeg's very best used-book
store, and very nice it is too." Mon-Fri 10AM-8PM,
Sat-Sun 10AM-7PM. [07/07]
University of Manitoba Bookstore (University Centre on the Fort Garry
Campus, 204-474-8321). Amazing classical literature
selection. Open to non-students as well as students.
Mon-Tue 9AM-7PM, Wed-Fri 9AM-5PM, Sat 10AM-4PM. [07/07]
Whodunit? (165 Lilac, 204-284-9100). New and used mysteries. The
used books are mostly paperbacks and bookclub editions.
Mon-Fri 10AM-6PM, Sat 10AM-5PM, Sun 12N-4PM. [07/07]
Book and Briar Patch (4065 Albert, S4S 3R6, 306-586-5814). Large
McNally Robinson Booksellers (3130 8th E at Circle Dr, SK S7H 0W2,
306-955-3599 or 877-506-7456, FAX 306-955-3977). Superstore.
Titles. Small independent.
A & B Sound (140 8th Ave SW, 403-232-1200, 800-663-0596). "This store
has become somewhat of a legend for its amazingly low prices.
The first two FLOORS are for CDs and audio/video stuff. The
top (third) floor is the bookstore (movies are also sold
there) and the prices are standard A & B fare 10-30% (or more)
below cover price. Tough to beat!" [07/03]
Chapters (several). Superstore. [07/07]
Computer Book Source (311-17 Ave SW, T2S 0A5, 403-229-2520 or
800-648-9904, FAX 403-229-3977). Branch of Edmonton store.
Fair's Fair (For Book Lovers) (1430 1609 14th SW, 403-245-2778;
4-7400 MacLeod Tr, 403-269-7778; 907 9th Ave SE,
403-237-8156). A chain of used bookstores in Calgary, with
probably the largest selection of used books (150,000) in the
city at their 9th Ave (Inglewood) location. They seemed a bit
pricy to me, at least compared to the Toronto prices I am more
familiar with. [07/07]
Indigo (Signal Hill, 5570 Signal Hill Centre SW, 403-246-2221;
Southcentre, 100 Anderson Rd SE, 403-225-0033). [07/07]
Map Town (640 6th Ave SW, 403-266-2241). Map Town sells, well, maps,
*but* they also have a large and diverse selection of travel
McNally Robinson Booksellers (120 8th Ave SW, 403-538-1797,
http://www.mcnallyrobinson.com). "A very good independent
Western Canadian bookseller, which features several
independent booksellers under the same roof. In Calgary, of
note is DeMille Technical Books downstairs, which features one
of the best selections of oil and gas, engineering, and other
technical books. The selection of books elsewhere in the
store is both large and interesting." [07/07]
Pages Nooks on Kensington (1135 Kensington Rd NW, 302-283-6655,
http://www.pages.ab.ca). One of Calgary's long-standing
independent bookstores. [07/07]
Sentry Box (1835 10th Ave SW, 403-245-2190). If you want SF in
Calgary, this is the place for you, bar none. They have
over 5000 titles (only SF), plus art books/prints, and lots of
other cool SF stuff. (Note: The store is actually a gaming
store; the bookstore is in the back.) [07/07]
Smithbooks (Toronto Dominion Square (7th Ave and 3rd SW),
403-263-7333; and 11 other stores (seems like one in every
mall)). The biggest chain in the city. The main one is a
huge store, occupying two floors (2nd and 3rd) with a decent,
comprehensive selection. The rest are standard mall-type
bookstore selection, but they do have good sales (and they've
always got something on sale). CON: They don't usually carry
anything outside of the mainstream releases (try Sandpiper
Books). PRO: With 12 stores, if the local store has sold out
of a particular book, you never have far to go to check
another (and they can bring in other copies quickly; they are
a national chain). Not listed in the 2007 phone book. [07/03]
The University of Calgary Bookstore (MacEwan Student Centre, Room 155,
2500 University Dr NW, 403-220-5937 or 877-220-5937). The
main location is on the basement floor of MacEwan Student
Centre on the main campus - there are other locations
scattered about campus which serve the needs of specific
faculties. Besides textbooks, there is a decent selection
of other works (reference, fiction and non-fiction) as well
as stationery and souvenirs. The University of Calgary also
boasts a student-run used bookstore which carries mainly
textbooks, also in MacEwan Hall. [07/03]
The Wee Book Inn (1111 Kensington Rd NW, 403-283-3322;
1010 17th Ave SW, 403-228-9774, http://www.weebookinn.com). A
pretty good used bookstore, with two locations in Calgary.
Alhambra Books (10115 - 81 Ave, T6E 1W9, 780-439-4195,
firstname.lastname@example.org). "At the fuzzy edge of Whyte Avenue
in Old Strathcona." A wide range of used books. Stock of
about 40,000 books. [03/08]
Aquilla Books (16th Ave NW). "Lovely store, first-class stock, but
pretty pricey." Not in 2005 phone book.
Audrey's Books (10702 Jasper Ave, 780-423-3487). "One of the best
independent bookstores in Edmonton. Two floors, friendly
staff, and lots of selection. Their SF section is a bit
small, and in the basement." [07/07]
Bjarne's Books (10533 82 Ave, 780-439-7133). Was the other
second-floor store, but now occupies a new, snazzy location.
One of Edmonton's better used bookstores. A great collection
of Canadiana, including first-editions of novels and
historical works on the Arctic and the exploration of Western
Canada. In any case, it's probably the best for Antiquarian
books. Bjarne is a knowledgeable and friendly dealer and is
a member of Antiquarian Booksellers of Canada. [07/07]
Book Traders (Jasper Ave and 117 St). A mildly small second-hand
Booknosis (10721 124 St, 780-732-1199, email@example.com).
General used books. Just up and across the street from the
Roxy Theatre. Tue-Sat 11AM-7PM. [07/07]
Coles (various malls). Part of the chain. (No surplus books, as
was previously listed.) [07/07]
Dormition Skete Orthodox Books & Items (12649 70 St, 780-428-3528,
http://www.orthodoxbooksanditems.com). Orthodox Christianity and
church history. Located in a church basement near the address
shown above; open "after Divine Services or by appointment."
Greenwoods' Bookshoppe (7925 104 St, 780-439-2005 or 800-661-2078, FAX
780-433-5774, http://www.greenwoods.com). "Another great
independent bookstore. Has a larger SF section than Audrey's,
and stocks more Canadian SF. Also has a friendly staff.
*Packed* on Saturdays--you may want to come on a different
Edmonton Book Store (11216 76 Ave, 780-433-1871). Originally a
used book store on the university campus, this bookstore now
caters to both students and the general book-buying public.
Good selections in most of the standard areas and an
interesting selection of antiquarian and Canadiana. [07/07]
HUB Cigar Store (across the street from the Bagel tree). The original
Edmonton newsstand. Still has one of the best
newspaper/magazine selections in the city.
OA Books (10503 Jasper Ave, 2nd Floor, T5J 1Z5, 780-428-8888 x230 or
1-877-833-3388, FAX 780-497-7828, http://www.oabooks.com).
Computer-related titles; a "live" extension of their on-line
bookstore. Not listed in the 2005 phone book.
University of Alberta Bookstore Sales Annex (HUB Mall). [06/08]
Varscona Books (2 Floor, 10824a 82 Ave). One of two small upstairs
secondhand bookstores on Whyte Avenue. Has a good selection--
more of the literary and non-fiction hardcover than Wee Book
Inn, and is particularly good for language dictionaries. Not
listed in the 2005 phone book.
Warp 1 Comics & Games (81 Ave). Has a few SF books in addition to the
comics and games, but supposedly is going to expand their book
selection greatly (now that Flights of Fantasy has left the
scene). Not listed in the 2005 phone book.
Wee Book Inn (10310 82/Whyte Ave, 780-432-7230; 10428 Jasper Ave,
780-423-1434; 8216 118 Ave, 780-474-7888; and 15103A Stony
Plain Rd, 780-489-0747). "The premiere used bookstore chain
in Edmonton. The Whyte Avenue location is the largest, and as
of this writing recently renovated, but there's good selection
here. Normal price is 1/2 cover price, trade-ins accepted.
Peeve: the books are only vaguely alphabetized. Also, most
stores feature semi-resident cats, are in the seedier parts of
town, and are open till midnight."
82 (Whyte) Avenue is by far the best place for a bookhunter to go
wandering. The biggest cluster is around 103 and 104 St. (Calgary
Trail North and South), where you have Greenwoods' and the main Wee
Book Inn. In addition, on 81 Avenue there's also Warp 1 Comics &
Games. South on the Calgary Trails you get to The Curious Mind, a
children's bookstore a block or so north. Heading west, you hit
Bjarne's at 105th on the south side of the street, and Orlando a block
later on the north side. (Athabasca Books, a good place to look for
used romances and some other second-hand stuff, is half a block north
on 105th Street.) Then Varscona books upstairs by 109th Street, on
the north side of the street--if you're not watching, you may
miss it. Across the street from that is Tumbleweed Books, which is
really more of a comic store these days. You can also continue up
109th Street to the Edmonton Book Store on 85 Ave., a second-hand
store that, due to its proximity to the University, has a thriving
business in textbooks. [On 88 Ave., between the Sugarbowl and
Blackbyrd M-yoo-sik, just down the street from the hostel shop,]
there's Second Fiddle books, another upstairs second-hand store I
know little about. If you're still feeling energetic, you could go
over to HUB Mall and check out the Old Penny, but I'd be more
inclined to stop and have nachos at one of the restaurants in that
area.... (Aaron Humphrey)
Rocky Mountain National Parks AB/BC:
Most of the little towns have small bookstores with Canadiana, outdoors
books, and vacation reading. The Yoho National Park interpretive centre
has books on the Burgess Shale.
ABC Book & Comic Emporium (1539 Broadway, W Vancouver, V6J 1W6,
604-682-3019). "Used books of all kinds, including a large
selection of SF and SF rarities. Its new site is near a book
'cluster: of sorts: a Chapters across the road, right next to
another (non-fiction) used bookstore, and also a magazine
store that has a very large eclectic selection." [09/08]
Albion Books (523 Richards). Used books. Mostly literature and history,
some music books.
Arcanum Books (317A Cambie, 604-681-5411). Used & rare religion,
metaphysics, philosophy, etc. [02/05]
Banyen Books (2671 W Broadway, 604-732-7912). A "new-age" bookstore:
metaphysics, ecology, new age, Eastern religions etc. "Plus a lot
more that shows you can't judge a bookstore by their Yellow Pages
ad. The biggest and best of its kind in Canada."
Blackberry Books (Granville Island: 1663 Duranleau; Kitslano: 2206 W 4th).
New books. Nice selection. Knowledgeable staff.
Book Warehouse (632 W Broadway). Remainders, special deals, off-prints.
Not a reliable selection, but there are usually good bargains
here. Open 7 days 10AM-10PM. Down to only one location; owned
by Black Bond Books. [12/12]
Chapters (Robson at Howe; S Granville; Pinetree Village on Lougheed Hwy,
Coquitlam; Metrotown Center, Burnaby).
The Comic Shop (4th Ave). A reasonable selection of new and used SF.
Criterion Books (434 W Pender, 604-685-2224). Used & rare. [02/05]
Dead Write (4333 W 10th, 604-228-8221, http://www.deadwrite.com).
Mysteries. Run by the same people as White Dwarf.
Elfsar Collection: The Yaletown Comic and Toy Store (1007 Hamilton,
V6B 5T4, 604-688-5922, http://www.elfsar.com). Mon, Tue,
Sat 11AM-6PM; Wed-Fri 10:30AM-9PM; Sun 12N-6PM. [12/05]
First (Cdn) Used Books (69 Kingsway at Broadway, V5T 3J1,
604-873-4778, FAX 604-873-9112, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Literature with emphasis on Canadian. Good selection in most
nonfiction categories. Mon-Sat 11AM-6:30PM, Sun 12N-6PM.
Half Moon Bookstore (#103-519 SW Marine Dr, 604-301-9075). New and
used Japanese manga, anime, etc. [02/05]
Hermit Books (2509 W Broadway, 604-732-4070). General stock of used
Kestrel Books (3642 W 4th Ave, V6R 1P1, 604-872-2939). New & used general stock,
arts, literature, children's, etc. [08/06]
Lawrence Books (3591 W 41st at Dunbar, 604-261-3812). Used books.
Excellent selection of history and literature. Knows the value of
what he has, so there are very few great bargains. "A nice
neighborhood used bookstore, with a broad selection of books that
look like they've come from retired university professors, i.e.,
good quality, eclectic collection."
Little Sisters Book & Art Emporium (1221 Thurlow, 604-669-1753, FAX
A gay/lesbian/bisexual bookstore, well known for fighting Canada
Customs on censorship issues.
MacLeod's Books (455 W Pender). Used books. Excellent history and art
selections. Some of the staff are extremely knowledgeable, but some
of the younger staff are not, and can mislead the customer.
Neville Books (7793 Royal Oak, Burnaby). Used books. Specializes in
military history, but has a good selection of other stuff. Carries
new books by local authors. Extremely knowledgeable bookseller.
Pulp Fiction Books (2422 Main, V5T 3E2, 604-876-4311,
http://www.pulpfictionbooksvancouver.com/). Second-hand books.
"About 100-150 linear feet of SF books shelfspace, pretty good
selection. Best for used SF after ABC Comic Book Emporium, IMHO."
Mon-Wed 10AM-8PM, Thu-Sat 10AM-9PM, Sun 11AM-7PM. [09/08]
Spartacus (684 East Hastings, V6A 1R1, 604-688-6138,
http://www.spartacusbooks.org/). "Vancouverís only non-profit,
volunteer-run, radical bookstore." Re-opened after a fire destroyed
their old location. Mon-Fri 10AM-8:30PM, Sat 11AM-7PM,
Sun 12N-7PM. [09/08]
Stephen Lunsford Books (#710-207 W Hastings, 604-681-6830). Used and
rare Canadiana, Americana, etc. [02/05]
University Bookstore (on the University of British Columbia campus--take bus
#10 or #4 from downtown). "UBC has a poor selection of scifi/fantasy.
IIRC there seemed to be a lot of knick knacks and university
collectibles rather than books." [12/09]
White Dwarf Books (4715 West 10th Avenue, 604-228-8223,
http://www.deadwrite.com). Fantasy and SF.
"A description of White Dwarf is incomplete without a mention of
the dog. Next to the cash register sleeps a basset of various
hues of brown. A sound from outside arouses his interest and
he's off, out the door. The storekeeper runs after, calling,
'Manny! Manny!' He reluctantly returns to lie down again at
his post, growling slightly at a customer who comes too
close. He's tired now, and 10 years is getting on for a dog,
and he wants his sleep." [--Pam Gurd] [This was several years
ago, so I suspect Manny is no longer there.] Others agree it
has a very good selection of books, and note there is also at
least one good coffee shop nearby.
Women in Print (3566 W 4th, 732-4128).
Bolen Books (Hillside Mall, 111-1644 Hillside Ave, V8T 2C5, 250-595-4232,
FAX, 250-595-1458 http://www.bolen.bc.ca/). Don't let the location
put you off, it's not your typical mall bookstore. Decent computer
section, good SF and mystery sections. Will ship worldwide.
Half Price Computer Books (#160-2950 Douglas, V8T 4N4, 250-361-4846,
FAX 250-361-4833, http://www.halfpricecomputerbooks.ca,
Munro's Books (1108 Government St. btwn Fort and View, V8V 1J3, 250-382-2464,
888-243-2464, http://www.munrobooks.com/). Carries a bit of everything.
Largest bookstore in Victoria. Mentioned by posters as one of
Canada's best bookstores. Ships worldwide.
Wimsey Books (Market Square) Specializes in mystery/crime. Carries both
new and used books. Knowledgeable staff.
Other British Columbia:
Booktown (626 Columbia, New Westminster, V3M 1A9, 604-515-2668,
http://www.booktown.ca). "Quality used bookstore with all of the
ambiance and none of the typical wasn't-good-the-first-time used
paperbacks. Robert, the store manager, is a wealth of info. Mention
an author and he'll turn you on to a mittful of others you'll enjoy.
He's never suggested a bad one to me!" [12/05]
Half Price Computer Books (140 Schoolhouse, Coquitlam, V3K 6V6,
Half Price Computer Books (4269 Lougheed Hwy, Burnaby, V5C 3Y6,
604-291-1033, FAX 604-291-1020,
The Yellowknife Book Cellar (4923 49 St, 867-920-2220, 800-944-6029,
http://www.yellowknifebooks.com). New books. "Surprisingly
large bookstore, the only one in Yellowknife and likely the entire
Northwest Territories. Carries a wide selection of fiction and
non-fiction, in addition to specializing in books pertaining to the
region's geography, history, and people. I was amazed by the three
bookcases of SF at the back in addition to seeing all the latest
releases at the front. Has a similar amount of mystery, thriller,
romance, etc. Children's and teens' sections too. Could spend
quite a while browsing in this one." [08/12]
Baker and Baker Booksellers ([old address and phone number] North Gate
Square, 330 Old Steese Hwy, 907-456-2278). "Everything!!
SF/fantasy, mystery, classics, mainstream, non-fiction, children's
(very good). Hardbacks on discount; mass market and trade
paperbacks. Autograph parties sometimes. Very helpful staff!
They know everything about books, and they obviously care very much
about what they're doing."
Comic Shop (418 3rd St #5B, Eagle Plaza Mall). All manner of comic books
and SF. [12/07]
Gulliver's Used Books (corner of College Road and University Ave).
Paperbacks mostly, some hardbacks, lots of SF/fantasy. fiction and
non-fiction. "Near university. Great hangout for intellectuals,
liberals, students, backpackers.
Barnes & Noble (200 E Northern Lights Blvd, 907-279-7323).
C & M Used Books (215 E 4th St, 907-278-9394).
Title Wave Books (1360 W Northern Lights Blvd, 99503, 907-278-9283 or
800-598-9283, FAX 907-278-7323, http://www.WaveBooks.com).
250,000 used books, book groups, author readings, and Internet
cafe. Mon-Thu 9AM-9PM, Fri-Sat 9AM-10PM, Sun 11AM-7PM.
Alaskan Heritage Bookshop (18005 Point Stephens Rd, POB 22165, 99802,
907-789-8450, http://home.gci.net/~ah/ahbwp.html). Alaska
antiquarian booksellers and members of the Ephemera Society of
America for over 20 years. Alaskiana, including old Alaska
postcards, stereoviews, photographs, ephemera, etc. By
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
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