Your guide to Vancouver’s bookstores

Guide to good books in Vancouver bookstores

Skip the bookstore chains and explore Vancouver’s best

I. Fucking. Love. Books. I started 2017 wanting to read more books. It was a vague goal, but one that I’ve managed to follow through on nonetheless. I get up at 6:30 every morning, put on the kettle, and settle in with a good book. It’s my quiet time; my time. It’s the space to pause and breathe, before I dive pellmell into another hectic day at the office. (Psst, you can follow along with my and my friends’ literary adventures at #BookClüb!)

In the process of achieving this goal, I’ve started exploring more of the charming bookstores in my home of Vancouver, British Columbia. Y’ALL. There is a wealth of charming, wonderful stores just waiting to be mined. Stacks on stacks of books both new and old. You could visit just one store every week, and find a different treasure each time, I swear it.

So I figured I’d put together a lil’ guide of some of my favourite bookstores, and those I have yet to explore. Read on for my top Vancouver bookstores and what books I’ve bought from them. And check out the Google Map guide I’ve put together at the end! That’s right, you don’t even have to type “Vancouver bookstores” into Google, I’ve already done the work for you.

Bookstores in VancouverVancouver bookstores

Spartacus Books

>> The location

3378 Findlay St, Vancouver, BC V5N 4E7

>> The store

A wee walk from the Commercial-Broadway area, this bookstore is a nonprofit, volunteer-run bookstore. Lots of excellent philosophy, socially and environmentally conscious texts on offer, as well as poetry, fiction, graphic novels; travel guides, and other non-fiction books. A bit of a hole in the wall location, but definitely worth a visit.

>> The books

I’ve bought Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin; The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath; The Lonely Planet‘s Guide to Barcelona; and a feminist pin (did I mention they also have pins??) at Spartacus Books.

The Paper Hound Bookshop

>> The location

344 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6B

>> The store

Ahhh the cutest little bookstore! New and used copies of beautiful books on floor-to-ceiling shelves. Love the Paper Hound logo and the decor. I adore popping down to this store on my lunch break at work.

>> The books

I’ve bought I Love Dick by Chris Kraus; The Plague by Albert Camus; What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami; and The Vegetarian by Han Kang at the Paper Hound Bookshop.

Massy Books

>> The location

2206 Main St Vancouver, BC V5T 1J8 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 1J8

>> The store

Such a delightful lil’ store. A fantastic selection of classics and literature, and they clearly pay careful attention to their aesthetics. The 100 percent Indigenous-owned and -operated store also gives back to community groups like the Writers’ Exchange, Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS), and Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs (RAVEN).

>> The books

I’ve bought Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf; The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan; More Poems for People by Milton Acorn; a collection of love poems by Pablo Neruda; and A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki at Massy Books.


>> The location

2422 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3E2

>> The store

Pulpfiction is something of a Vancouver staple, with locations throughout the city. This Main Street location is a quick two-minute walk from Massy Books (if you’re wanting to do a bookshop hop), and has plenty of books both new and old for sale.

>> The books

I’ve bought If You Really Loved Me by Ann Rule; Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion; and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates at Pulpfiction.

Vancouver bookstores and a plethora of paper goods.

Now, check out some other rad Vancouver bookstore locations below! I haven’t visited all these locations, but a few of these have been recommended to me by fellow book nerds.

Header image by Shopify, via StockSnap.
Second image by Clay Banks, via StockSnap.
Third image by Adriana Velásquez, via StockSnap.
Fourth image by Giulia Bertelli, via StockSnap.

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