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 – 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 a large store with new books, magazines, maps, calendars and a large children’s section.
- Ivy’s Books behind the tweed curtain in Oak Bay.
- Legends Comics & Books downtown near City Hall.
- Crown Publications for Province of BC publications.
- Royal BC Museum has 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) has large selection of history, art, ephemera and rare books.
- Renaissance Books has art, modern first editions, BC history books & more.
- Camas Books a wide assortment of books on social movements, environment, social justice and more.
- Cavity Curiosity Shop & The Vorpal Gnome
- James Bay Coffee & Books many used books nestled within a coffeeshop.
- 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 (oldest on Vancouver Island).
- The Reading Room (Sooke).
- Well Read Books (Sooke).
- Galeano Books on Galeano 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 Books (Brentwood Bay).
- Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists.
- Book Workers’ Organization.
- 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.