I’m a bookworm. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I was raised in a library. Growing up – the bookstore was my best friend.
With the advent of the internet, online shopping and e-readers, the local independent bookseller has been quickly decimated and most of all my favourite places in Toronto have long ago closed. There are a few holdouts of course, there always are, and the Monkey’s Paw remains (for now) one of the last remaining brick and mortar bookshops, evocative of an era gone by, both in look and the feel.
Entering this curious little book shop, on a quiet part of Dundas Street West is like stepping into the last century, and I’m not talking about the 1990s. Owner Stephen Fowler has created here a whimsical, quirky and slightly musty blast from the past – especially interesting since he opened his shop in 2006. The motto “Old and Unusual” – is a promise fulfilled with rare, hard to find and long out of print oddities in addition to a few of the staunch classics in their earliest editions. Stocked here are books you won’t find on Amazon.com. This shop may be small but has plenty to keep you occupied for an afternoon – be sure to check out their biblio-mat (for only $2).
You might ask me why visit a bookstore instead of perhaps a more “historic” spot? Well I’m afraid that in a matter of years bookshops will be history – visit them while you still can.