New Westminster · Vancouver

Thomas Robson Pearson: New Westminster and Vancouver Bookselling Pioneer

Before I continue the story of the British Columbia Stationery and Printing Company and John Bowerman Ferguson, let’s meet the other bookselling partner in the venture: Thomas Robson Pearson. Establishing T.R. Pearson & Co., New Westminster Born in 1858 in Oshawa, Ontario, Pearson came to Victoria in 1877, and then to New Westminster in 1879… Continue reading Thomas Robson Pearson: New Westminster and Vancouver Bookselling Pioneer

Vancouver · Victoria

John Bowerman Ferguson: BC Bookseller with a Winnipeg Connection

I was in Winnipeg (my hometown) for a few weeks this summer, and that got me thinking about a BC bookseller with a Winnipeg connection: John Bowerman Ferguson. Part of the BC bookselling scene from 1885 to 1889 in Victoria and Vancouver, Ferguson was originally from Ontario. But before establishing himself in BC, he spent… Continue reading John Bowerman Ferguson: BC Bookseller with a Winnipeg Connection

New Westminster

George Clarkson of Clarkson & Co., New Westminster Bookseller

After Seth Tilley sold his Colonial Bookstore in New Westminster to Victoria’s Hibben & Carswell in 1863, they took on a local partner named George Cubitt Clarkson, who operated the store as Clarkson & Co. Born in Ontario Born in 1843 in Ontario (or Upper Canada, as it was then called), George was the eldest child… Continue reading George Clarkson of Clarkson & Co., New Westminster Bookseller

Libraries · Victoria

Mary Stewart: “Knew More about Books than Anyone Else in Victoria”

In the 1890s, T.N. Hibben & Co. was the place to meet in Victoria. “On a Saturday afternoon, or in the evenings, when the stores were open, you were sure to meet just about everyone you knew waiting for somebody else in Hibben’s store, poking among the books and passing the time of day with other people who… Continue reading Mary Stewart: “Knew More about Books than Anyone Else in Victoria”

Galiano Island · Interviews

Galiano Island Books: An Interview with Lee Trentadue

As I journey into BC’s bookselling past, I am still very much a bookstore lover of the present, and Galiano Island Books is a book lovers’ haven. Whenever I visit Galiano, a visit to the store is a must, and I never leave empty-handed. (It’s impossible! So. Many. Wonderful. Books.) Owned by Lee Trentadue and Jim Schmidt,… Continue reading Galiano Island Books: An Interview with Lee Trentadue

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