In Vancouver there is a bookstore to suit every bibliophile, whether you prefer treasure-hunting through a stack of titles, picking up a copy of an old favourite, or getting a recommendation from a trusted staff member. From Commercial Drive to the West Side, these are the best bookstores in Vancouver.
Banyen Books & Sound – 3608 W 4th Ave
Banyen Books in Kits is a Vancouver fixture, and a go-to book store for spiritual titles, crystals, incense, or tarot cards. As Canada’s most comprehensive metaphysical book store, Banyen Books has been offering nourishment to the body, mind, and soul since 1972.
Book Warehouse – 632 W Broadway and 4118 Main St
Now a part of the Black Bond Books family, the original Book Warehouse location is the current Broadway space, with the Main St location being opened in 2014. Both Book Warehouse locations carry a selection of new books as well as calendars, puzzles, and other toys and gifts.
Pulp Fiction – 2422 Main Street, 2754 West Broadway & 1744 Commercial Drive.
With three locations, one of the best bookstores in Vancouver is Pulp Fiction. It is one of the most convenient sources for both new and used books. Their turnover is high, so fresh options are always being added to the shelves. The Sci-Fi selection at Pulp Fiction is especially large. If needed, the staff can make suggestions. In fact, there is usually a display of staff picks to guide you if you aren’t in search of a particular title.
Massy Books – 229 E Georgia St
This funky bookshop in Chinatown is 100% Indigenous owned and sells new and used books. Massy is one of Vancouver’s best because of the community space it offers. Arts and local social justice organizations can come together at Massy Books. The space on Georgia St also used to house an art gallery which now has its own designated location on Pender.
Spartacus Books – 1983 Commercial Dr #101
Spartacus Books is a non-profit, collectivist, volunteer run “infoshop” which has been open in Vancouver for fifty years. The progressive roots of this shop go back to the Simon Fraser University students who first opened it in 1972 with the hopes of freely sharing ideas and information not available on campus. Spartacus Books continue to work to foster an anti-colonial and anti-capitalist space today in one of Vancouver’s best book stores.
Vancouver Kidsbooks – 2557 W Broadway
For over thirty years, Kidsbooks has been providing a place for kids and adults alike to have their imaginations sparked. Kidsbooks was opened in 1983 by Phyllis Simon, a librarian and lover of children’s literature. The shop carries books suitable for children of all ages, as well as toys and gifts. They also host events with children’s authors.
Nooroongji – 1666 Johnston St
Nooroongji is one of the newest spots in town, and they describe themselves as a multilingual, curation bookstore. They recently opened in the space in Net Loft in Granville Island that was previously occupied by Maiwa. Their focus is on language, art, and philosophy. Nooroongji carry titles for adult as well as children.
The Paper Hound – 344 W Pender St
This whimsical bookshop is another one of Vancouver’s best. The Paper Hound carries the classic and curious, the beautiful and bizarre. The hound in this particular case, is the whippet that serves as the store’s logo. The Paper Hound is located downtown on Pender St where they sell new and used books.
Upstart & Crow – 1387 Railspur Alley
Another newcomer to the Vancouver book scene, Upstart & Crow calls itself a literary arts studio or Vancouver’s literary living room. Their welcoming and immersive space is in Railspur Alley on Granville Island. Upstart & Crow also host events such as the Top Shelf books and beverage evening, and are also currently taking applications for their Writer in Residence program.
MacLeod’s – 455 W Pender St
This bookstore is a little jam packed and only semi-organized but it will give you the thrill of the hunt. A list of Vancouver’s best book stores would be incomplete without MacLeod’s. They carry used, rare, and antiquarian books and occupy a space in a century-old building. The cluttered collection at MacLeod’s is extensive and eclectic.