Winter is the season of books, so what better time to poke around the shelves of your local shop in search of your next favourite title? To get you inspired for an afternoon of browsing, we’ve rounded up some of this country’s most-beloved independent bookstores, from a shop founded by Alice Munro, to one specializing in “radical reads,” to another featuring hard-to-find first editions. Put them on your list for your next visit to Victoria, Wolfville and Burlington.
The Bookshelf, Guelph, Ontario
After opening The Bookshelf in 1973, owners Barb and Doug Minett added a café in 1980 to make it Canada’s first bookstore/café, and then seven years later added a cinema and bar. Shortly thereafter they took over and renovated the building next door to add a music venue and restaurant. Over the years, The Bookshelf has held readings by John Irving, Michael Ondaatje, and Margaret Atwood, and musical performances by Serena Ryder, the Constantines, and Sarah Harmer. It currently holds 14 film screenings a week and offers dinner and a movie every Tuesday to Saturday.
41 Quebec St.