Boy oh boy, imagine how smug our elementary school teachers would be if they realized how cool we think books are now. Can you blame us, though? Especially in a city like Vancouver, where bookworms, bookstores, and book lovers can be found up and down every street.
So, before we dive into our guide of best bookstores in Vancouver, head over to Bailey Nelson and pick out some dainty wire-frame glasses. Then you’ll be able to look the part while discussing the nuances of James Joyce’s Ulysses at these great bookstores. (Just kidding about Joyce, we’re Faulkner scholars here at Curiocity).
Probably the most well-known bookstore in the city, MacLeod’s Books is like if your quirky uncle bought everything that was or could possibly be a book, and was never forced to get rid of any of it by your aunt. The books here fill every nook and cranny of the space, often spilling onto the floor, and prices range from $1 to the tens of thousands. A good place to know what you’re after, because we swear some of the staff members have eidetic memories.
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 AM-6 PM and Sunday, 11 AM-6 PM
Where: 455 W Pender Street
Just down the street from MacLeod’s lies the Paper Hound. Much smaller and much more organized, this shop sells both new and used books for every interest. Find your new favourite author, a rare printing of a book of poetry, or a meditation on sewer system design.
Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 10 AM-7 PM and Friday/Saturday, 10 AM-8 PM
Where: 344 W Pender Street
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Rounding out our best bookstores of downtown Vancouver is Massy Books. They’ve got a similar setup as Paper Hound, but there’s an emphasis here on science fiction and local authors. Massy Books is by far the most community oriented on this list and we love them for it. Check out the art gallery upstairs, or inquire about the next event they’re hosting.
Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 10AM-6PM and Friday/Saturday, 10AM-8PM
Where: 229 E Georgia Street
A hidden gem in Kitsilano, Kestrel Books has one of the best curated used book selections in the city. From philosophy to contemporary to photo books, you’ll find the best authors here. Heads up though, the silence can be off-putting at the start, but the staff is super friendly. Also, watch out for Ruby, the shop cat.
Hours: Daily, 11AM-7PM
Where: 3642 W 4th Avenue
Carson Books & Records
A must for any visit to Main Street, Carson Books & Records is just a really solid used book store. There’s no real emphasis on any particular genre, but you can expect to find some rare copies of major authors almost every time you’re in here. Last we went, we got to pick up a copy of Slaughterhouse-Five from the 80s for like $8, and that’s cheaper than Amazon.
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11AM-5: 30 PM, sometimes open on Mondays
Where: 4340 Main Street
Another heavyweight in Vancouver’s scene, Pulpfiction has got bookselling down to as much of a science as is possible. Most new books are listed at a discount off cover price, and they have some of the highest turnover of used books in the city. With multiple locations, Pulpfiction is one of the easiest spots to visit on a weekly basis and be able to expect something new and exciting.
Hours: Depends on the location
Where: Three spots around Vancouver
And that’s our guide to the best bookstores in Vancouver! Now get out there and buy a pipe, you bookworms.
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