Librairie Du Vieux Bouc
By Sophie Bienvenu

The Ultimate Neighbourhood Bookstore 

Notice to book lovers: if you are in a hurry, do not enter Librairie du Vieux Bouc, on the Promenade Masson, under any circumstances, otherwise, you'll miss your appointment! In this place, which has many treasures, time seems suspended, and it is not uncommon to come across readers leaning back against a bookcase, sitting cross-legged in a corner, or comfortably settled into the big chair at the entrance. “That's a neighbourhood bookstore!” explains Ruth Stewart, founder and co-owner since 2009.

Ruth has always been a bookseller. “The passion for books,” she says, “I've had it since I was in my mother's womb!” It's no wonder, then, that she decided to start her own used bookstore, in a neighbourhood to which she was particularly attached.

“I put a little pressure on my partner, at the time, so we settled on the Promenade Masson,” she explains. “I had lived in the area for eight years and I felt that there was a possible opening. With newcomers in the neighbourhood, there was room for a bookstore that sells used books.”

When people come to sell us boxes of books, it's like a treasure hunt each time. - Ruth Stewart, owner
The owner, Ruth Stewart
Ruth Stewart, co-owner

Treasure Hunting

When we hear “used book,” we tend to imagine piles of dusty old books of magic spells, a maze of books with yellowed leaves, walls of pages threatening to collapse with every movement...and that is not at all the atmosphere at Vieux Bouc. Everything is stored, classified and organized here. Employees know the inventory like the back of their hands and are on the lookout for new releases, often found within one week of publication. What is their secret to having such an up-to-date inventory?

“It is very varied,” explains Ruth. “People go to Librairie Paulines to buy new books and immediately come to sell them to me after reading them, to go in search of other books.”

In fact, with the number of books published every year, it's harder to find books that date back in a bookstore of new books. A visit to the Librairie du Vieux Bouc might have you walking away with a book dealing with a health issue, esotericism, philosophy, a novel (or five), a graphic novel...“These are books that are sometimes hard to find in the new,” explains Ruth. “But I know that they are worth it, and I know I can get them in a used bookstore.”

Buy a book blindly, according to a phrase chosen by the bookstore.
The library

Books and Human Beings

If Ruth is passionate about books, she is also adept at human contact. She seeks, above all, to find the right book for the right person. For her, a good bookseller does not read everything in full, but knows books as well as people. The seller needs to know the person before advising him or her adequately. “Making marriages and trying to create encounters between an author and a book, perfectly sums up Ruth.”

Sit down at Librairie du Vieux Bouc
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