Author Jeremy Mercer, who’s written a book called about his stint living in the Paris bookstore Shakespeare and Co., has put together a list of his favourite bookstores from around the world for The Guardian.
Coming in at #9 is the Paris store Abbey Books, run by a Canadian expat and heavily stocked with Canadiana. And one notch higher at #8 is Toronto’s own This Ain’t the Rosedale Library. “This is Canada’s best independent bookstore, full of small press publications and a centre for Toronto counterculture,” writes Mercer. “Canada, like most countries now, is losing a lot of its independents due to competition from the big chains and online booksellers. This Ain’t The Rosedale Library is a model of how an independent can survive: by building a community around the store and providing insight and inspiration for its customers.”
The Cancon on Mercer’s list isn’t entirely surprising — he worked as a crime reporter for the Ottawa Citizen for four years in the 1990s. His book about Shakespeare & Co. was just published by St. Martin’s Press in the U.S. under the title Time Was Soft There; in the U.K., Orion released it as Books, Baguettes & Bedbugs.
Click here for Mercer’s full ranking of his favourite bookstores in The Guardian
Click here for a 2002 Q&Q article on Mercer’s Kilometer Zero project
Click here for a Q&Q article by Mercer about his experiences at the Frankfurt Book Fair