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

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