Independent bookstores in Vancouver

There’s nothing quite like flipping through the pages of a new (or new-to-you) book. Whether you’re a casual reader or a dedicated bibliophile, there are plenty of great independent stores in Vancouver to find the latest chart-topping paperbacks, classic literature and niche specialty books. Take a peek inside these local bookstores and keep the love of reading alive.

Pulp Fiction Books

1
2422 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3E2

Vancouver book lovers can be thankful that this award-winning new and used bookstore has three convenient neighbourhood locations around the city: Mount Pleasant, Commercial Drive and on West Broadway. All Pulpfiction locations carry recent releases for around 20 to 30 percent off the cover price with hundreds of new titles added daily. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, the staff are happy to order in new books at a cheaper rate than online book retailers. Voracious readers with limited shelf space can also bring in their gently used hardcovers and paperbacks to sell or trade.

MacLeod's Books

2
455 Pender St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1V2

This iconic used bookstore on Pender Street hardly needs an introduction. Once the subject of a Maclean’s article titled The Last Great Bookstore, MacLeod’s is a Canadian literary institution. The Gastown bookshop has an attic-like feel, with towering stacks of antiquarian hardcovers, piles of well-worn paperbacks strewn haphazardly throughout the space, and a wooden ladder on hand for those hard-to-reach shelves. Ask the staff for a hand if you’re looking for a specific title or, better yet, simply wander through the labyrinthine maze of bookcases and uncover your next literary love.

Kidsbooks

3
2557 Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V6K 2E9

It’s easy to inspire a lifelong long love of reading if you start ’em at an early age. Kids will be happy to put down their touchscreens in favour of a brightly coloured tome from this beloved children’s bookstore. Bring your little ones to an author reading or simply enlist the enthusiastic staff to help track down age-appropriate literature that’ll entertain and inspire. From toddler picture books to young adult fiction, you’re sure to go home with plenty of rainy-day reading materials. The inclusive bookshop also has a great selection of educational titles on First Nations history and multiculturalism.

The Paper Hound Bookshop

4
344 Pender St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1T1

It might be a little smaller than its iconic neighbours, but The Paper Hound certainly holds its own on this literary stretch of West Pender. The bright space has a curated feel with neatly organized shelves displaying used and rare books alongside a limited selection of new books from local publishers. A great spot to shop for gifts, you’ll find classic and contemporary titles in genres that lean toward the whimsical and curious. The hip Gastown boutique also hosts book launches, readings with local authors and other events for the city’s bibliophiles.

White Dwarf Books Ltd

5
3715 10th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6R 2G5

Given the fantastical name, it’s no surprise that this Vancouver bookshop specializes in science fiction and fantasy. A must-see spot for any sci-fi aficionado, White Dwarf Books has an exclusive selection of new and notable titles from the genre’s premier contemporary authors. The shop also produces a quarterly catalogue with an overview of upcoming new releases to help you plan your next purchase. While in store, be sure to say hello to the shop’s friendly resident basset hound.

Albion Books

6
523 Richards St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2Z5

Whether you’re hunting for a hard-to-find first edition for your burgeoning book collection or simply picking up an easy beach-read, this second-hand bookshop is definitely worth a visit. Albion Books, located within Gastown’s book district, stocks a general collection of fiction (science fiction, mystery, classic literature) and non-fiction (philosophy, politics, history, fine-art, songbooks). Appealing to collectors of all sorts, the shop also carries vintage vinyl LPs covering everything from jazz and blues to rock and roll. Visit on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 2:00 to 5:30 pm to sell your own books for cash.

Tanglewood Books

7
2306 Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V6K 2E5

It’s simple to cash-in on your book collection at Tanglewood; simply exchange your pre-loved lit for cash or trade your used books for new-to-you reads. Bookworms who are in the market to buy will be delighted by the wide assortment of fiction and non-fiction books and the small selection of rare DVDs and vintage vinyl. Thumb through the latest chart-topper or expand your mind with special interest books on niche subjects like Eastern philosophy and nautical life. After you’ve picked up some fresh reading material, head next door to Higher Grounds Coffee and enjoy your new page-turner with a cappuccino.

Banyen Books & Sound

8
3608 4th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6R 1P1

Take a walk on the spiritual side at Kitsilano’s longstanding metaphysical bookstore. In business since 1970, Banyen is dedicated to helping Vancouverites expand their consciousness with its collection of more than 20,000 titles on Eastern and Western philosophies. Nourish your mind, body and soul with books and multimedia kits on dream alchemy, holistic tarot, Pagan astrology, magnetic meditation and many more alternative practices. The shop also carries candles, incense, yoga mats, crystals, chimes and other lifestyle accessories to help you achieve a totally Zen state of being.

Black Bond Books Ltd

9
632 Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1G1

Founded in 1980, this independent bookstore has locations on West Broadway and Main Street. The extensive library of fiction and non-fiction books covers more than 50 niche subjects: everything from art to cooking to psychology. If you need some inspiration, check out the recommended reads in the Staff Picks section. And if you want to shop for a new book from the comfort of your own home, visit the Book Warehouse website to browse the available titles and then place an order to pick up in store at a later date.

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