30.3.08

RIP Book Room

The closure of the Book Room, Canada's oldest bookstore, was announced several months ago, and now it seems it's happened. Of course it's sad to see it go; it was quite a nice bookshop, and in its way a bit of local history.

But (!): in fairness, I have always vastly preferred The Bookmark and John W. Doull as independent bookstores. I'd be beside myself at the loss of either of those (much as I was at the closure of Sam's). I'm hoping that these businesses are more flexible and adaptable than the Book Room, which blamed its closure on the rise of internet book-shopping, proved to be. But, just in case, if you're in Halifax, I beseech -- nay, implore! -- you to shop at these stores. What kind of city would we have without independent booksellers? I shudder to think.

2 comments:

Jane Austen Jr. said...

Living downtown means that I now ALWAYS shop at JWD and the Bookmark, and my life is better for it, I think. (You're right though- all independent bookstores are not created equal. For example, I can't stand the snooty snootheads at Frog Hollow books.)

Cancrit, WHEN are you going to post about the ridiculous goings-on at the CBC, that supposed bastion of Canadian identity?

Katie said...

Heh. I just discovered JWD opened a "satellite" store just up the hill called "Jade W" that specializes in children's literature, and more recent publications. They are semi-independent, but share stock.

It's as if they now have a new store to contain the overflow. So, I think JWD is doing well. And I continue to patronize the Bookmark, who will order practically anything for you, so why WOULD you shop online.

Interestingly, the former Book Room has embarked on its second life as a shop under the name of "Veritas: A Catholic Book and Gift Store". Something for the out-of-towners coming to see the Basilica, I guess.