Tuesday, February 21, 2017

15 Classic Bookstore Bookmarks from Toronto, Guelph, Hamilton & more

As most people familiar with this blog will know, until the end of 2015 my partner Natalie and I owned and operated an independent bookstore in South Etobicoke. This first opened as Used Book Paradise in 2001 and then moved a little to the east within the community and became Community Roots Books in 2009.

As with most bookstores it was a labour of love, but sadly while the business does still exist, we had to make the difficult decision to make it online only. As the closing of the bookstore approached I wrote of the whole experience and family story that the bookstore had become in a piece called A Farewell to a Bookstore.

Our transition to online only is part of a broader pattern of independent bookstores doing this, or closing down altogether.

Over the years in the store (as one would imagine) I came across a great many bookmarks of various kinds that had been left by people in the books they brought to us. Many are just art, some advertise books or other items, some were political, some had short inspirational messages, and so on.  Others were bookmarks that also served  as advertisements, naturally, for bookstores.

Today we are going to take a look at 15 classic bookmarks for bookstores many of which (though not all) are no longer open.

I have a lot more of these, so you can look forward to a future post with more!

(Click on images to enlarge)

Pages was an iconic Toronto bookstore on Queen St. W. that opened in 1979.
It closed in 2009 a victim not of declining sales but of ever higher rents.

Bryan Prince's bookstore has been serving Hamilton since 1989.

Lakeview Used Books opened in 1996 and had an attached military museum! 
At some point it got new owners, the museum closed, and it became By The Lake Books.

Parry Sound Books, though it has moved from Church St, also happily still serves cottage country.
I love the quote on this bookmark!

Used Book Paradise was the first incarnation of our bookstore.
In 2009 it moved and became Community Roots. 

The Vancouver Women's Bookstore was a feminist bookstore that was open from 1973 to 1996.

Another iconic women's bookstore that has sadly closed is the Toronto Women's Bookstore.
After 39 years it closed in 2012. The Toronto Star wrote of the sadness of so many when it shut its doors. Michele Landsberg described it as “a priceless resource in Toronto.”
This was a two-sided bookmark.
On a different bookmark from the store that I have (but that is to damaged to share) a quote read:
"Value books as cultural and intellectual expressions, not merely commodities".
You can read about the bookstore as well on Wikipedia.

Bookworld was the bookstore of the Communist Party of Canada.
It moved to College St. and closed in the early 90s.

Bakka (now Bakka Pheonix) Books is Toronto's famous science fiction and fantasy bookstore.
Open since 1973 it is now located on Harbord St.

After 36 years serving Guelph, Macondo Books closed in 2014. These are two of their bookmarks.

Also in Guelph, The Bookshelf opened solely as a bookstore in 1973, became a bookstore/cafe in 1980 and then added a cinema in 1987!
These are two bookmarks from the store, including one promoting a Canadian film in 1994.

Writers & Co. was on Yonge between Davisville and Eglinton. 
It was replaced by a "spy" store after closing.

Opened in 1965, The Book Mark was 

Watch for a second installment soon! 

1 comment:

  1. I was fond of This Ain't the Rosedale Library, especially the baseball section ... still have the t-shirt.