The Mississauga, Ontario, community of Streetsville is home to a new store, the Book Wardrobe, which opened its doors to the public on Sept. 8.
Located on the second floor of the historic Robinson-Bray House at 223 Queen St. S., the bookseller offers a curated selection of new fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s books, health and self-help titles, art and photography tomes, and more.
Though books are the focus for now, owner Carmela Vedar hopes the space will eventually become a hub for book-related events, as well as a “sanctuary” for readers to browse and relax in. She says she’s already fielding inquiries about book launches and meetings from authors and book clubs. “I want local authors to be given as much exposure as possible,” she says. “We may not all be Margaret Atwood, but we could be the next Margaret Atwood.”
Vedar says she was initially inspired by the aesthetic and sense of community she found at booksellers like Toronto’s Type Books, which she calls her “benchmark” as an independent. She’s hopeful that though readers have the option to buy online or at big-box retailers, they’ll instead choose to browse and chat in the more personal setting of a neighbourhood bookshop.
“People forget the intimacy of a bookstore … we have to start engaging and sharing,” Vedar says. “I want it to be a gathering place for people to stay, talk about their favourite books, and exchange thoughts on what’s happening in the world and in the book industry. It gives them a chance to know their authors and books better.”