Support your local bookstore … please

Ben McNally Books - photo courtesy of BlogTO

A few weeks ago I wrote about our beloved local bookshop, The Book Mark, being forced to close.  Every time I walk by the empty store, I feel SO sad! There aren’t many inviting bookstores left with character and warmth in Toronto and those we do have need our support.

If you are downtown, plan to spend some time at Nicholas Hoare Ltd., 75 Front Street East, or Ben McNally Books at 366 Bay Street.

Both shops offer a warm, welcoming atmosphere with beautiful wood floors and shelving reminiscent of an old library. Comfortable chairs invite customers to take some time considering their purchases and informed staff are only to happy to offer assistance. If they don’t have what you want, they’ll make certain they soon have it in the store.  Another bonus, when you are ready to pay there aren’t 20 people in front of you. Have you lined up at our local big chain booksandeverythingelse store lately? Yikes!

Ben McNally also hosts fabulous Author Presentations with a brunch at the King Edward hotel on a regular basis. All the information is on their website and, seriously, you should add them to your calendar.

Nicholas Hoare Ltd. - photo courtesy of their website

In spite of the convenience of shopping online 24/7, there is so much to be said for still having the opportunity to browse in a proper bookstore. Let’s all do our part in at least attempting to keep this option alive in the areas where we live. Libraries and bookstores are a vital link in encouraging the ongoing development of literacy in every demographic of our community. It’s so easy for kids, in particular, to be sidetracked by the digital world. If family members make certain that visits to these centres are part of children’s routines, we may have a chance at helping ensure these guardians of our literary culture don’t go the way of the dinosaur.

In  a short burst of shameless self-promotion, I’ll just add that The Bridge Club is available at both of the above locations. *waving pompoms*

 Do you find that you are doing most of your book-buying online? As a Kindle convert, I have to admit to that but I make a concerted effort to drop into indie bookstores on a regular basis too. It’s really a conflicting situation! Do you have a prediction as to how it’s all going to end?

For readers who are also writers, you’ll be doing yourself a favour dropping in on:

Our fearless blogging and social media leader,Kristen Lamb, who this week talks about how Writing Is More Than Writing

And for sheer entertainment value as well as a ton of excellent information, please continue to visit members of the blog roll down the side of this page. You’ll be glad you did!

Published by patriciasands

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada when she isn't somewhere else, particularly the south of France. With a happily blended family of seven adult children and, at last count, six grandchildren, life is full and time is short. Beginning with her first Kodak Brownie camera at the age of six, she has told stories all of her life through photography. Much to her surprise a few years ago, she began to write and has now published three novels, including two that are part of a six-book series set in the south of France. Love France? Love her work! Check out her website She is particularly drawn to the rewarding friendships of women and the challenges many embrace once their families are grown. "It's never too late to begin something new," she enthuses. "As the saying goes, just do it!"

27 thoughts on “Support your local bookstore … please

  1. You know, it’s amazing because I LOVE bookstores. I could spend days browsing, looking, getting ideas but since I received my Kindle, a year ago in February, I haven’t been to a bookstore. Sad. I think I’m one of those people who are contributing to the slow decline of bookstores…sniff…I’ll have to make it a point to visit and purchase books for non-Kindle converts as gifts! 🙂

  2. Fantastic post on a hugely worthy subject, Patricia. Though I do most of my book shopping online, I also make efforts to support local vendors. A few new ones have opened in my neighborhood, partly due to Borders and B&N’s closing. Boutique shops seem to be thriving much more so than the biggies in the past few years…I foresee big success and popularity for them in the future. (And truly hope I’m psychic. ;))

  3. I love bookstores. They feel like home to me.

    Even though Borders was a HUGE chain, I felt pretty heartbroken when they were forced out of business last year. Any bookstore closing kills a little piece of my soul.

  4. Great post! Love seeing the bookstores in your hometown Patricia. The largest city close to my home is Fort Wayne and so far our Indie bookstores are going strong BUT I noticed our Barnes and Noble doesn’t have the selection it once did. Isn’t that sad?

    I love to try to find a bookstore on every vacation.

    I can see the beauty of my new Kindle but I hope I don’t ever see the day when bookstores are obsolete.

  5. I have no bookstores in my area. It’s the saddest thing. We lost our Borders and then I started going into NJ to go to an independent bookstore, and now they are gone too. It’s awful.

  6. Oh Patricia, our world is ever changing. And it’s happening too darn fast! Those pics of local bookstores make me sigh. I don’t like it. It’s not normal. Yet I just got a Kindle, so I haven’t had a chance to compare. But I love browsing and sitting amongst the books. Something about it makes me feel cozy. Thanks for this post! 🙂

  7. I’m using my Kindle only for self-pubbed and indie ebooks. Anything trad pubbed, I’ll find at a library or local bookstore. I don’t think I’ve shopped in a B&N for years.

  8. Since your last post on the bookstore, I’ve tried to find one in North County and they have all closed. So sad, but San Diego has some really cute ones. I’m going to make it a monthly pilgrimage to visit them. If the boys want to come, great. If not, then it’s a special treat just for me. I adore bookstores and even though I shop at B&N out of convenience, I need to support the indies. Thanks Patricia for the motivation!

  9. We must use them or lose them. Marlborough has a great little bookshop – The White Horse Bookshop – it’s been here forever, and I’ve spent many happy hours hiding there.

  10. It’s a shame to see The Book Mark closed down. I’m pretty sure I’ve been in there when I’ve visited my cousin in Etobicoke.

    The owner of the independent bookstore in Brockville where I live is keen when it comes to supporting local authors. I’ve supported them for years and will continue to do so.

  11. I do buy a lot of books online I’m afraid but that’s mainly because I live a long way from my nearest town. We have a lovely book store however, in a town about 45 minutes away and it sounds very much like the one you describe here. I’d much rather have a book in my hands than on my Kindle, but we do have to keep up. I only hope book stores don’t diminish because you’re absolutely right, we should be supporting them.

    CJ x

  12. Patricia, your post about one of the indie stores closing has stayed with me since I read it. I love indie bookstores and try as much as possible to support them. We have one lovely, lovely store in our medium size town which is sending out distress signals. A group of us are rallying around – making pledges and beating the drums – so I hope it weathers the current problems.

    I don’t know WHAT the solution is. The convenience and availability of of internet shopping is impossible to deny, but the bookstore offers the tangible and personal touch. I’ve thought about it several times. I don’t know any answers, but I am so glad you raise awareness about such matters. I need these reminders!!!

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