Books for Sale · Victoria

At the Bookstore, 1888: Zola’s La Terre

One of the books for sale at BC bookstores in 1888 caused a great deal of hand-wringing and finger-wagging among members of the book trade—and, no doubt, a large number of discrete purchases by curious and more adventurous readers. The book was Émile Zola’s The Soil, the English translation of his La Terre, first published in France… Continue reading At the Bookstore, 1888: Zola’s La Terre

Victoria

The Irrepressible James Carswell of Hibben & Carswell, Victoria

I just received this image of James Carswell, Thomas Hibben’s early bookselling partner in Victoria, from the Royal BC Museum and Archives. Newly digitized from a plate glass negative, it is the only one I have found so far of James. I felt a rush at finally seeing the face of someone from the distant… Continue reading The Irrepressible James Carswell of Hibben & Carswell, Victoria

Bookstore trends

Show the Love to Your Local Independent Bookstore

April 29 is Authors for Indies day. In BC, 23 independent bookstores will be participating, with local authors helping out as guest booksellers throughout the day. (You can see the BC stores and schedule here.) “Running an independent bookstore is an act of love that supports readers and authors alike, and in doing this, they enrich local communities… Continue reading Show the Love to Your Local Independent Bookstore

Victoria

Thomas Napier Hibben Starts One of Victoria’s Longest-Running Bookstores

When Thomas Napier Hibben opened his bookstore in Victoria in October 1858 (buying out William Kierski’s establishment on Yates Street), he likely could not have imagined that he was starting one of the longest-running bookstores in Victoria’s history. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1827, Hibben had already amassed several years’ experience as a bookseller in San Francisco… Continue reading Thomas Napier Hibben Starts One of Victoria’s Longest-Running Bookstores

Victoria

W. F. Herre: Victoria Bookstore and…Gambling Den?

Appearing in Victoria at almost the same time as William Kierski, W. F. Herre’s “book and paper stand” was located on Yates Street between Wharf and Government (1). A Jewish Frenchman who came to Victoria after first operating a book store in San Francisco (2), he announced his presence in Victoria on August 3, 1858: While… Continue reading W. F. Herre: Victoria Bookstore and…Gambling Den?

Books for Sale · Vancouver

Lily Alice Lefevre: First Female Book Author Published in British Columbia

It is BC Book Day and International Women’s Day, and what better way to honour both than to highlight this milestone in BC’s bookselling history: the 1895 release of Lions’ Gate and Other Verses by Lily Alice Lefevre, the first book (I believe, though I stand to be corrected) written by a woman and published by… Continue reading Lily Alice Lefevre: First Female Book Author Published in British Columbia

Books for Sale · New Westminster · Victoria

At the Bookstore, 1861: Chambers’s Information for the People

Chambers’s Information for the People, one of the volume sets featured in an 1861 ad for Seth Tilley’s Colonial Book Store in New Westminster, offered everything “that is requisite for a generally well-informed man in the less highly educated portions of society”—or so claimed the book’s preface. “Designed in an especial manner for the People, though adapted… Continue reading At the Bookstore, 1861: Chambers’s Information for the People