If like me, you’re a confirmed book lover, then you really should know about McLeod’s, based at W Pender St with Richards St in Vancouver.
Soon as you walk in the door, you know the place is going to keep you engrossed for hours. It’s that musty kinda smell you get in old antique shops. And the next thing you’ll see will either cause you to pass out, or else shake you to the core….books are piled up everywhere, and I do mean everywhere, not a square inch is spared!
You can browse as long as you want, this shop is not like those swish and swanky hyper book stores 10 floors high, oh no. There is no compulsion to buy…certainly I have never heard anyone being thrown out of here because he/she did not buy anything.
The lack of technology is also apparent; they say there are no computers to be seen here, everything they carry and it’s location is stored in the heads of the owner and his Staff. Oh and yes, there are endless books about all aspects of photography, too.
The shop is run by Don Stewart, who bought it in 1973 from the original owner Don McLeod. Despite the relentless march of e-readers and e-books, the owner is not fazed at all.
Don says that he wouldn’t be in business if he knew the end was nigh. Myself, I believe that e-readers will not suddenly disappear, but will carry on being available alongside with hard copy books, until, with time, real books again regain their place as before. Certainly, with books at McLeod’s selling anywhere from $1 to more than $40 000, it’s obvious there is a healthy demand around.
I too like many people have always wanted to own my own bookshop, but I always end up shying away at the last moment, mainly by fear of how on earth I would pay the rent on such a place, if perchance I only sold one or two books a month!
By the way, if you get peckish after or before browsing at McLeod’s, I can recommend a great place to eat and drink, right across the road. It’s called Smile Diner and is run by Lisa, who is a cheerful host and a hearty meal can be had for around $10 to $12 with endless coffee.