Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Bookstores (Part 1)

One of my favourite past times is wandering around bookstores. It doesn't matter if it's for new or used books. It's all the same to me. Jo is very patient because when we go out, I usually find a way to visit one or two. :0)

I thought I might post about some of my favourite book stores, although this might end up being a short topic as I can't really remember too many book stores from before I came to Vancouver Island. But I'll do my best.

Let's start off with the book stores in the Comox Valley; the towns of Courtenay and Comox.

I tend to stick to my favourites. When I'm looking for new books, there is The Laughing Oyster on 5th Street in Courtenay. I must say they do give out a lot of book marks; a nice variety if I do say so. We have a new rule in the house, no new book marks unless one leaves. Anyway, I really enjoy wandering around there. It has great fiction and mystery sections. I like the way it's laid out, even to the stools where you can sit down while scouring bookshelves. It's where I was introduced to Donna Leon's mysteries and Charlaine Harris' Lily Bard mystery series amongst others. I've also found quite a few nice Design / Decorating books for the missus there.

The other store I head to for new books is Blue Heron Books on Comox Avenue in Comox. It's a smaller store than The Laughing Oyster, but it's kind of quaint. I tend to find fiction books that I haven't seen elsewhere. I think because it's nice and small that it's easier to take my time and look at everything in the shelves. I found Margaret Atwood's The Flood there and also was introduced to Iain M. Banks for the first time (neat book cover on The Algebraist). I also like their small history section and have found quite a few books for my father dealing with the Royal Canadian Navy.

The other book stores I spend the most time in are used bookstores. The first is in Courtenay, just up the road from The Laughing Oyster. It's called ABC Books and Inner Sanctum. I think the first time I went in there was to check out the comic books. I had moved to Comox from Ottawa in 2001 and for the past few years in Ottawa had begun collecting comic books again.

This was thanks to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was one of my favourite television shows. I had noticed one time that there was now a Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic book series and had begun religiously collecting them. This revived my childhood interest in comics and I had also begun collecting a variety of other series; Fathom, Witchblade, Tomb Raider, etc. (Yup, I like comic series about full-figured, independent - minded, strong heroines. :0)). Anyway, when I got to Comox, I wanted to see if there was a comic book store in the area. I discovered that ABC Books sold them. Hence, my checking the place out. While their comic book selection, in-store, is relatively small, they do a thriving mail-order business, much to my delight. I now have my regular comic series, plus a few new ones, revised periodically that I order through ABC Books. They also have an excellent used book selection, especially mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, War, etc. They also sell some books on consignment, and I've managed to find some older books that I used to read as a kid, such as the Ian Fleming books, Alistair MacLean, Lester del Rey. I also got most of my CS Forester, Horatio Hornblower books there. It's a great place to browse in; plus I like their credit system, rather than cash for books turned in, you get credit and much more than if you got cash. You can use this against most of the used books. And you've got to like a place where they know your name. :0).

The last bookstore I want to mention is Nearly New Books in Comox. It's moved once since I got here and has changed owners as well, but still seems to be holding its own thanks to the latest owners. It's got an extensive selection of books, especially mysteries and I am always able to find something there that I've been looking for. They also have a good credit exchange program. My only problem with these programs is that I actually have to get rid of some of my books. But once in awhile I do find one or two that I know I won't read ever again and probably don't mind turning in.. once in awhile.. lol.

There are a couple of other book stores in the area, such as the Coles in the Driftwood Mall and another nice used book store near 5th Street in Courtenay, Second Page Books. But like everyone, I've got my favourites.

Anyway, that's my first post on bookstores. In future ones, I'll highlight stores in Victoria, Dubai, etc.

I'd like to end this Blog on a bit of a tangent. I displayed some of the book marks that the Laughing Oyster hands out when you purchase books there. I've got book marks from a few of the other stores I frequented in other cities, especially Victoria. But the ones I use when I'm reading are two other ones. One is a bookmark that a Buffy friend sent me one time and the other is one that Jo bought me as a Xmas present. I love them both. And it's convenient when I usually have two books on the go at any one time. 

I'll leave you on that note. I'm thinking that next time I'll start with the first book in my Top Ten list of favourite books. See you then. 


  1. I don't mind schlepping round book shops. I've been dragged round a lot worse places.
    Jo xx

  2. I always appreciate it. I'd rather go with you than alone.

  3. Thanks for pointing me to your blog. Love the bookmarks. I've been wondering about them.

  4. Thanks for mentioning us @ Nearly New Books! Great Blog!!!

    1. Credit where credit is due. I love spending time there. Thanks for the comment


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