Two Bookshops, Two Cities

2 November 2010 in The Mistress of Nothing

I’m just back from my enormous book tour of Canada.  I had a great time and covered many miles, met many readers, and went to many parties.  Two of my favourite events during the trip were my visit to Hager Books in Kerrisdale, Vancouver, and my visit to Flying Dragon books in Toronto.  This photo is of me with Andrea who runs Hager Books with her stepdaughter.  Hager Books is a tiny shop - seriously tiny - but they are capable of moving huge quantities of books via their highly personal and personable bookselling abilities - as of week before last they had sold 305 copies of ‘The Mistress of Nothing’ which, as far as I’m concerned, is a phenomenal amount of books.

Flying Dragon in Toronto takes a similar approach - handselling, the booksellers Cathy and Nina and their team making personal recommendations.  Flying Dragon is a children’s bookshop, but they also sell a small selection of books for grown-ups, targeting the parents who come into the shop with their kids. 

Both shops are hugely atmospheric and very comfortable; both reminded me what a great place a seriously good, friendly, neighbourhood bookshop can be.  But, perhaps most importantly, both shops demonstrate what a great job knowledgable and dedicated booksellers can do when it comes to shifting vast quantities of stock. 

Here’s hoping these bookstores continue to thrive for many years to come.


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