Support your local bookstores in Victoria, BC, and beyond! Ebooks are fun but bookstores serve as important cultural hubs. They are also rare and wonderful. Below you will find a list to help you find Victoria area bookstores. Be sure to pay them a visit, enjoy the ambiance and knowledgable staff, and buy a few books. Also listed are a few other noteworthy book-hubs in Vancouver and beyond.
“The Bookshop has a thousand books,
All colors, hues, and tinges,
And every cover is a door
That turns on magic hinges.”
–– Nancy Byrd Turner
“Printed books are magical,
and real bookshops keep that magic alive.”
–– Jen Campbell, The Bookshop Book
“We lose ourselves in books, we find ourselves there too.”
Bookstores (Victoria BC & Area)
Shiny New Books
- Bolen Books is one of the biggest indie bookstores in Canada.
- Munro’s Books is rated one of the best bookstores in world.
- Russell Books has both new and used books with 2 downtown stores.
- Chapters Indigo Canada has 3 floors of books and gifts downtown.
- Tanner’s Books is a large store with new books, magazines, maps, calendars and a large children’s section.
- Ivy’s Books is nestled behind the tweed curtain in Oak Bay.
- Legends Comics & Books is downtown near City Hall.
- Crown Publications carries Province of BC publications.
- Royal BC Museum carries a big selection of BC books in their gift shop.
Lovely Used Books
- Chronicles of Crime has a huge selection of mystery, noir, and vintage books.
- Sorensen’s Books shares space (with CoC above) and has large selection of history, art, ephemera and rare books.
- Renaissance Books has art, modern first editions, BC history books & more.
- Camas Books has a wide assortment of books on social movements, environment, social justice and more.
- Cavity Curiosity Shop & The Vorpal Gnome
- James Bay Coffee & Books has books and coffee.
- Bring & Buy Books (no website) 250-382-1241 – address 1241 Esquimalt Rd.
- Pages Books (Brentwood Bay).
- Dragonfly Books (Western Communities)
- Penelope’s Book Stop (Western Communities)
- Smart Bookshop (new & used at Royal Oak Shopping Centre)
- Sidney Booktown (Sidney bookstores)
- Haunted Bookshop (in Sidney, the oldest bookstore on Vancouver Island)
- The Reading Room (Sooke)
- Well Read Books (Sooke)
- Galiano Books on Galiano Island. See profile in The Guardian.
Rare, Collectable, & Beautiful Books
- Period Fine Bindings (Oak Bay). This store is well worth the visit for anyone interested in antiquarian books.
- Meadland Bindery (Brentwood Bay)
- Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists
- Guild of Book Workers
- Book Arts Organizations
Local bookstores – extra info
- 4 Favourites (Victoria Driftwood blog)
- Vancouver Island Bookshops & Bookbinders
- BC independent book sellers (Tyee)
Little Free (Street) Libraries
- Victoria & Area Little Free Libraries Map
- Esquimalt Neighbourhood Little Free Libraries
- Saanich & Esquimalt Little Free Street Libraries (photos)
Unique Vancouver Bookstores
- Banyen Books (Kitsilano)
- Odin Books (Broadway)
- McLeod’s Books (Pender downtown)
- Paperbound Book Shop (near McLeod’s)
- Criterion Books (near McLeod’s)
- Spartacus Books (Commercial Drive)
- Pulp Fiction Books (3 locations)
- People’s Co-op Books (Commercial Drive)
- 4 hidden gems – Vancouver
International Literary Hubs
- New York – Housing Works
- Portland – Powell’s Books
- Paris – Shakespeare & Company
- Toronto – Typebooks
- Toronto – Booksellers Row
- Best Indie Bookshops in the World
*Not a complete list
Know of a store that should be listed? Send an email.