Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Bookstore That was Right in Front of Your Face

You may have heard me rant recently that we did an offsite at the Urban Ecology Center, and a decent number of folks (at least three sets of people) did not know of our existence, even though our store is only 12 blocks away and gets more coverage than we deserve in the local media. But hey, we've only been around for a little more than a year, though we are in an ex Schwartz location that opened in '97.

So then I did a Facebook post on Joseph Fox in Philadelphia, a store I had never been to, despite having walked the streets of Rittenhouse Square numerous times, and they've been around since '51. I've hard back from several folks telling me how much they loved the store, and from at least two people (bookish, mind you) who had never heard of it, despite a) numerous visits or b) living in the city of Brotherly Love (not the suburbs, whose love is more like a second cousin) for two years.

So here's a store in Toronto that John of Paper Over Board fame told me about. He knows I've been a bit in mourning for Toronto bookstores, what with the demise of Pages and This Ain't the Rosedale Library. As you can see from my link, Pages has been reborn as an offsite specialist--I'll debate that another time.

This is beginning to remind me of my many years of watching one department store close after another. In Toronto, I would flitter back and forth between Eaton's and Simpson's. And John, on a recent trip to Toronto, brought me back this lovely Simpson's store guide from his new favorite Toronto bookstore, Monkey's Paw. It's a used store, filled with oddities and wonders on Dundas Street. Here's more info.

So don't let what happened to X. (the bookseller who lived in Philadelphia for two years and never found Joseph Fox) happen to you. If you live in Philadephia, go there. If you live in Toronto (or heck, Ontario), go to the Monkey's Paw. And if you live in Southeast Wisconsin and you love books, I will modestly say that you might want to make a trip to Boswell Book Company.

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