Bookselling History

The Stationarii

Since starting my research about early BC booksellers, I've been curious about why they were so often called stationers. True, most bookstores of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries sold stationery products in addition to books (as they do today). But it turns out that their proprietors' common title of "stationer" had a lot more… Continue reading The Stationarii

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

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