Best Montreal Independent Book Stores
For those that still read "real" books.
Photo cred - Matthew Brooks
Sometimes, there is nothing better than wading through a stack of books, shelved in the organized chaos that reminds you of your parent/grandparent’s collection, or your local public library. The books that made you form a love for words, and continue to make you want to browse the volumes offered by independent booksellers. For those times, here is MTL Blog's list of places the city has to offer.
Where: 469 Milton
Why: Known mostly for its affiliation with McGill, this bookstore is often relegated by English majors at the university as that inconvenient trip to the ghetto to buy a course pack, overlooking the immense support this means for the independent bookstore. Looking further, you can find great steals, such as an anthology of Oscar Wilde’s complete works for a tenner.
Where: 1915 St Catherine Ouest
Why: Run by a group of English Literature graduates, Argo is that hole in the wall bookstore where you can go browse for a book and end up in a half hour long conversation with one of the owners about their favorite authors, leaving only with twenty titles added on to your to-read list. They also host occasional open mic nights where you can ask to read your own writing, or take a seat next to fellow bookworms to take in the soothing sounds of recited words.
Drawn and Quarterly
Where: 211 Bernard Ouest
Why: Well integrated into Montreal’s literary community, D&Q regularly hosts book launches for local authors. With its own comic book micro-press, the store has a vested interest in comic books, but carries an array of Canadian and international journals that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Read: for back copies of the Paris Review, this is your spot.
Where: 225 Saint- Viateur Ouest
Why: Around since 1984, despite moving locations in 2007 from the Main to the Mile End, this store is quite the literary landmark in Montreal. Open till late into the evenings and accepting want lists from shoppers, the owner is quite invested in satiating your literary appetite to the fullest.
Where: 2044 Metcalfe
Why: While this store is usually known solely for its show ticket sales and vinyl collections, its second hand book selections are worth a few browsing hours—people will get rid of just about anything. While the owners don’t buyback hardcovers, you’ll find classic paperback titles and writing by established authors here.
Where: 5519 Queen Mary Road
Where: 5670 Sherbrooke Ouest
Did we miss your favorite place to browse for books? Let us know in the comments below.