Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bookstores in Toronto

Since I live close to Toronto, I do a bookstore circuit regularly. The Annex area (Bloor and Bathrust) is a good starting point. One of my favorite stores is D M Mirvish Books on Markham Street. If you are looking for a big coffee-table book as a gift, this is the place. This store specializes in art books but it has a fairly good collection of other books as well. In additional to the incredible bargains you can find, the staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. The store front does not look that great but don`t let that fool you.
I just found out this bookstore is closing as of this Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009. There still be an online version of the store but how can one replace a couple hours in a bookstore with a website!

A couple of doors next to DM is Ballenford Books on Architecture. As the name implies, it specializes on architecture books. It has a quite an extensive collection. I didn`t find too many bargains there though.

Across the street from Ballenford is Beguiling. This is the place to go if you are looking for the latest comics, magna, anime or graphic novels. Personally, I haven`t able to finish a magna yet. I find the page literally jumping out at me and I can`t concentrate from one panel to another. However, judging from the number of shoppers and the very extensive inventory, if you are into this genre, you probably know about this bookstore already.

Book City is a just a short walk from Beguiling. They have two other stores in Toronto -- one in Bloor Street West and the other one in the Beaches. This is the place to pick up some real bargains. Its paperback collection is fairly good too. If you have time, go upstairs and check out you may find some gems. The staff is friendly and some of them are fairly knowledgeable as well
You will also find a number of good coffee shops around this area.

Toronto is a fairly good city for book lovers. In addition to the above stores, The World`s Biggest Bookstore (one block north of Dundas between Yonge and Bay) is a good place to go if you are looking for more academic books. It may have been the world`s biggest bookstore at one time but it certainly not anymore.
Further south near the lake on Front Street, Nicholas Hoare is a beautiful store with very knowledgeable staff. Several times a year, Nicholas Hoare hosts a Books & Brunch at the Vanity Fair Ballroom, King Edward Hotel.
Another good academic bookstore is the University Toronto`s Bookstore which is located on College Street just east of Spadina Ave.


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