Upcoming Montreal Used Book Sales Fall 2019
This is now over 20 years old. Back in 1997, someone who I felt was too focused on organizing people than organizing information posted to the local newsgroup, mtl.general, about a "book swap". I posted a reply pointing out all the used book sales we have in this city. When you can get a book for fifty cents, or even a dollar, that's pretty close to free. And after that, when there were a bunch of used book sales coming up, I'd post a message to the newsgroup. A few years back, I started putting the same information on this webpage, and that's the only form it exists in now.


The Goethe Instutute of Montreal is having a book sale on Tuesday Sept 24th through Monday Sept 30th, 12:00 to 21:00 each day, at 1626 St. Lawrence Blvd, in the library. These are second hand items and will mostly be in the German language, so that may mean library discards. I know I've listed this before, it seems to be an annual event. I know nothing more.

St. Lambert United Church will have a used book sale on Friday Sept 27 (15:00 to 20:00) and Saturday September 28, from 9:00 to 15:00 at 415 Mercile Avenue (which is at the corner of Desaulniers Boulevard, last year the address I had was "85 Desaulniers Blvd, in St.Lambertt. Last year there were baked gods on the Saturday. They probably want donations but maybe not this late. I've never been.

The Montreal Antiquarian Book Fair takes place Saturday September 28th (12:00 to 18:00) and Sunday September 29th (11:00 to 17:00) at the McConnell Building at ConU, 1400 de Maisoneuve W. Admission is $6.00 for both days.

I've never been and it sure won't be a hodge podge collection, but if I was looking for my great, great, great grandfather's book about the fur trade in the Pacific Northwest, I'd likely try at this one. Even if someone didn't have it, these are the types of dealers who might find it. This is a collection of dealers selling their own books, not a collection of donated books being sold to raise money for some non-profit use.

The Ignatian Spirituality Centre in NDG (out near Loyola) is having another used book sale, Wednesday October 2nd through Saturday Oct 5th, 9:00 to 16:00 each day. The location is 4567 West Broadway, at the western end of the Loyola campus, about half a block up from Sherbrooke Street. They say books will be $1.00 except for "coffee table books". I'm not sure if they've had this before a few years ago, but I noticed then, and went. It was an eclectic collection, novels and books about scuba diving and travel and other things. At the time it seemed like someone was moving and had donated their library, but maybe that's not an accurate assessment. But they've continued to have it in some form since then. They often have a garage sale in the spring, I've found interesting things there. Some years they've extended the sale, presumably to clear out the books, so there might be more dates, though getting there early means having the best selection. They may still be looking for donations, and earlier thye were looking for people to help with the sale.

The Deux Montagnes Lions Club are having their annual used book sale on Saturday Oct 5 and Sunday Oct 6 from 9:00 to 16:00 both days, at Veteran's Hall, 141 Chemin du Grand Moulin in Deux-Montagnes. This seems to be well run, and maybe fairly large, I've never been. If you have a car, it's not out of reach, and as they said a few years ago, it is a chance for a drive in the country before winter sets in. They generally ask that people attending bring a non-perishable food item that will be used to make Christmas food baskets.

They had a CD/record/DVD sale earlier in the year, I thnk April, which was a new thing this year. I'll have to watch next spring.

I've not seen a notice for this year, but in the past they've opened up on the Friday afternoon for a few hours for eople who can't get around that well, and people with children, giving them a chance at the books without the crowd.

The Friends of the Beaconsfield Libary are having their annual used book sale on Friday October 18th (13:00 to 20:00), Saturday Oct 19th (10:00 to 16:00) and Sunday Oct 20th (10:00 to 16:00) from 10:00 to 16:00, at the Herb Linder Annex, 303 Beaconsfield Blvd (which is right behind the actual library). There is a preview for actual Friends on the Thursday, Oct 17th, but I'm not sure of the time. A notice said last year that thye didn't sign up new members during that preview. They want donations, of "books in good condition" but no "encyclopedias, magazines, damaged or moldy books, VHS tapes, records or cassette tapes". They do have a collection day on Saturday Oct 5th from 12:00 to 16:00 at the actual library.

In 2016, if I recorded it properly pocket paperbacks were 1.00, hardcovers 2.00, but DVDs were a dollar, but something seems off there, so maybe my notes were wrong.

I've been a few times these past few years, the 211 stops right in front, there's a big complex with a parking lot next to the library which makes the library easy to watch for. It can be a nice trip on the 211 in the fall, and I've found things worth going for. It's a change of scenery, if nothing else. They generally have another one in the spring, but the fall one is the bigger and better one. Lots of books, some are library discards but I don't think they overwhelmed the sale (but I can't be sure, some of those West Island sales seem to blend together). St. Anne de Bellevue isn't that far from this library, and their weekly market is still running on Saturdays, from 9:00 to 14:00, the last day for the outdoor sale is Oct 20th, after that the market moves into a church basement till the spring. So one could take in both events.

I haven't been in a couple of years, not finding the spring one and conflict in the fall. The fall one seems to be the bigger of the two sales. One year I did take in three book sales on the same Saturday, but I won't do that again. The Girl Guides did appear a couple of years when I did get out there, selling boxes of cookies.

The South Shore Amateur Radio Club is having their annual amateur radio fleamarket on Saturday October 19th from 9:00 to 13:00 at Place Desaulniers, which is at 1023 Taschereau Blvd in Longueuil. Admission is $8.00, renting a table costs $10.00. Details are here. I would point out that the location isn't far from the Longueuil Metro station, when I've gone I've walked from the Metro. Of course, if you buy something big and heavy, that's not going to work.

This isn't a book sale, but it might be a chance to find used books and magazines related to amateur radio and even hobby electronics, and certainly if one is looking for that sort of thing, whatever else gets offered up might be of interest. They say it's the largest in Montreal, which is probably true, though I've not been in some years. The club rents the space, then rents out tables for individuals to sell their amateur radio related parts and equipment, which tends to extend a bit to include computers and scrap electronics. There are likely to be some more commercial tables from actual dealers, selling new equipment and books about amateur radio. I thought I'd get there last year, but again skipped it, books sales calling.

The Friends of the Pointe Claire Library are having their second used book sale of the year on Friday Oct 25 (13:00-20:00, and Saturday Oct 26th (9:00 tO 15:00) at the actual Library, which is at 100 Douglas-Shand Avenue in Pointe Claire. There is a preview for actual Friends members on the Friday from 11:00 to 13:00. I have no idea if you can sign up as a Friend on the spot. They may want donations but they don't seem to deliberately advertise, instead donations can be left at the library thoughout the year, they maybe pulling some select items to put on the library's shelves. It seems like many of the books offered for sale are library discard, but I can't rmemeber why I have that impresion. They probably want people to help with the sale.

I'm not certain about those times. I double check, and can't find them again, just the dates. Even the Friends of the Library page doesn't have a notice up 3 weeks before the sale.

I think I've decided it's not worth it to me to make the trek, but nice weather or no conflict with other sales might change my mind. $6.50 for bus fare doesn't balance out when I don't find that many things of interest at this sale.

The Atwater Library is having their "big fall book sale" on Friday October 25th, from 18:00 to 20:00, and Saturday October 26th (from 10:00 to 15:00) at the actual library, 1200 Atwater, just half a block down from St. Catherine Street. The details, what little there is, is at their website. They now do have a permanent page about book donations, though where they put the notice of the book sale still seems to vary. They want donations, presumably dropped off at the library anyway. I used to really like this one, there was a time when I could find interesting computer books and if I go back far enough, interesting magazines. But there seems less of interest to me, and obviously they seem less interested since they've gone to more sales which are shorter. A book sale is more than making money, it's a way to get people into an institution they might otherwise not enter, and then maybe they'll return for other reasons. I haven't been to a sale here inside some years. On the other hand I did get to their lawn book sale in 2016, and found some books I wanted to read right then, so maybe I will put in an appearance this year. (Then it rained the next two years.)

Once you turn 60, you can get an annual membership for $20, which is a pretty good price.

McGill Book Faire is Tuesday Oct 29th (13:00 to 21:00), Wednesday Oct 30th (10:00 to 20:00) and Thursday Oct 31st (10:00 to 18:00), at Redpath Hall at McGill (up McTavish from Sherbrooke Street, the entrance is on the terrace side of the building). The donation period has ended. A few years ago I saw some notice that for the later part of the last day they dropped prices in half, something to watch for in case it happens again. Though waiting means you risk that the interesting books have alrady been bought.

Last year there ws an article in one of the McGill papers saying the Fair was ending, that was at the time of last year's Book Fair. But a few months later, I found a second article saying the issue of Redpath Hall had been resolved, and the Fair would continue. So I don't know if the first article misintreprted something said, or if they really had again decided to end it. So it happens again, though a week later than the traditional date.

This is about the longest running local book sale, but I haven't bought a book there since 2009, and I deliberately have not bought anything in a few years. They've made it smaller (despite longer opening hours and more days to donate), the prices have gone up, and it's just not the same. It used to be the Big Event if you liked books, I can't get excited about it, I am sad. I was looking for things I've never heard about, that seems gone, and the prices trying to emulate "internet prices". Three years ago they even had a note up about not opening boxes under the tables, and that knapsacks would be checked. How am I supposed to carry books if I don't come with a knapsack? In the old days, I'd never leave without any books, but now if I bother going, I may not buy anything, making me feel like a thief even if I'm not. The organizers have lost track of the fact that while it's a fundraiser, it's way more than that. There is lots of book dumping, though maybe not as public as in more recent years, but it's the fact that what I am looking for seems missing. I don't think this one will be part of my birthday celebration this year. Odd, I suddenly have money that I can make small donations, but buying books at some sales no longer appeals to me. When long time buyers stop, that's something the book sales should be considering.

The Concordia Used Book Fair will be Sunday Novemer 3rd (13:00 to 16:00), Monday Nov 4 and Tuesday No 5 from 10:00 to 19:00 in the atrium of 1515 St. Catherine Street West. Note: There is a $5.00 entrance fee on the Sunday only, paying for the privilege of early access. They do it to some extent with the big university book sales in Toronto, but I'm not sure this sale warrants it. This should be the 22nd edition. They want donations, the webpage has details.

Again they are having it later, so I guess they've given up on their early October date.

They do get promotion within Concordia, one article I just saw made 3.00 books sound good. But I'm not sure the word gets out much beyond ConU, and indeed the pricing and the collection seems to be ConU-centric. I haven't been in a couple of years, 3.00 for a book (that's the minimum, some books carry a higher price) is a lot compared to other sales, and I never found this sale got that interesting a selection of books, though maybe those looking for academic books would find the selection and pricing reasonable. Some years it seems like they may make some effort towards the end to clear out the books, read special deals likea bag of books for ten dollars, but that doesn't seem regular or consistent. I can't remember why I know this, so I must have seen a notice. It seems like they are trying to get the most income, rather than get rid of the books, they lost me when the minimum went to 3.00. Yes, I think it's too high for a minimum, but that also takes into consideration I wasn't finding things I really really wanted. Maybe that's my eclectic interests, maybe forty years of going to used book sales means I will bring home less, but I don't think they were getting a great selection, though in more recent years they did seem to be getting more books. It always seemed like they are catering to the Concordia crowd, outside promotion has been limited though maybe it was better in the early days. But perhaps they are counting on a "closed market", if you don't go to more sales you might not know the prices are so great, or that other sales might have better variety.

In the past, but I don't know about recent years, they have culled books while the sale was going on, putting the discards outside the enclosure. My friend Leslie volunteered at one point, saying especially the closing up meant access to the remaining books. They did ahve a romance book section a few years ago for the first time, and they have gotten a few DVDs in recent years. I did cheat and go by last year during the last few hours and it sure looked like they were still overflowing with books.

I should add that they had a book giveway at the beginning of September, they said as a Thank You for the money raised over the years. But I suspect it ws a way to cull some books before the actual sale. Certainly McGill is doing it, though they just trickle the discards out, and maybe send them elsehwere.

For about the fifth year in a row, the Montreal Science Fiction and Fantasy Association is having a used book sale on Saturday November 9th, from 12:00 to 16:00 (It definitely starts at noon, don't see an end time for this year), at the Hotel Expresso, which is at 1005 Guy (at the corner of Rene-Levesque), on the 2nd Floor St-Francois Room). Note: They've had to move their meeting day from Sunday to Saturday, including this book sale. I think this will be mostly science fiction and fantasy. Pocket paperback prices are really good. They say they'll take donations, brought to the hotel starting at 10am on the day of the sale (where you might want to help set things up, those helpers get first chance at the books). There may also be science fiction artisans selling their goods too.

It seems to be clarified that this is science fiction books. I wondered if it had broadened. The first year, a member was moving and gave his books to the club, and taht was cause for a book sale, and they've kept it going, maybe some of that original collection still waiting to go home, but new donations each time. If someone is interested in science fiction, this will probably be a better selection than most book sales, not only will it probably be a larger collection, but it won't be swamped with vampire books. There's a blog posting about the first sale a few years ago here: Open to Chance which gives a view, and some good commentary on the appeal of used book sales (which is always more than just getting books cheap, you never know what you'll find).

Of course, anyone interested in science fiction might like the chance to meet the club, they have monthly meetings most months of the year.

The Friends of the Westmount Library are having their fall used book sale on Saturday November 16th and Sunday November 17th, both days are 10:00 to 17:00, at Victoria Hall, 4626 Sherbrooke Street West, which is about the western end of Westmount Park. Basically just west of the Library. They want donations, the usual scenario is that they can be dropped off at the front desk of the library when it's open. They take donations throughout the year (of course, they have another one in the spring, so it makes sense).

I often skip this one, even though it's closest, between the higher prices and the implied selectiveness of the sale, I'm less interested. I have gone here and there, don't find that much, but maybe it's my mood. As Katherine Hope said at a meeting about a possible indoor public pool "not everybody in Westmount is wealthy," It is a fair size room full of books, and it does get a crowd. But little room for riff-raff books or riff-raff readers. Seeing the volunteers in their custom printed aprons, I can't help but think they now compete with the McGill Book Fair, at least in terms of donations, and perhaps size. On the other hand, it may be the last book sale before the new year, it's now late enough that the sales stop soon after.

I guess that's it for 2019, it being December 11. A year when I got to no used book sales, it must have been 1975 the last time that happened. I did finally get an Atwater Library membership yesterday, taking advantage of the senior category, I'd planned for months to do that on my birthday but it took 7 weeks before I got around to it. Next year will be better, it can't be worse.

Nova Books in St. Anne de Bellevue is having a half price sale from Saturday December 7th through Saturday December 14th during regular opening hours. Actually, the half price sale applies to all the Nova stores. Usually when they have a sale it's for a weekend, so this is extra long, I suspect to clear out the stock at the end of they year. I doubt I'll get out there this time.

Black Rose Books is having a "Holidarity Book Fair" on Saturday December 14th from noon to 11pm at Alternatives, 3720 Park Avenue, entrance is free. Various talks, some music, a potluck dinner at 1830 and various books for sale, presumably all Black Rose books. I saw a flyer, but presumably there are details at their website.

On Thursday Dec 19th from 12:30 to 1:30pm there will be a reding of "A Child's Christmas in Wales" at the Atwater Library.

One thing I noticed over the past few month is that at the Montreal General Hospital they have a used bookstore just inside the main door on Cedar. I noticed it a few times this summer, but wasn't in a position to explore. But two weeks ago I was finally more independent, and checked it out. A fairly mainstream collection, but kind of handy. I did find a paperback I didn't recognize until I started reading it. Paperbacks were two dollars, a lesser amount if you buy three at a time, I'm not sure about hardcover but I think the same or a bit higher.

Be sure to sign the back of your medicare card to sign up for organ donations, some people wait a long time before they get a replacement, and some people expire before a donation comes along.

Allan Youster died on August 23rd. I'm not sure I knew his name, but he was a loyal Fringe Festival attendee, and then I'd see him around, even one time at a Welch Books 1.00 bok sale. After I saw him at the Arlo Guthrie show here a decade ago, I planned to give him my spare copy of Woody's "Bound for Glory", but while I carried it around for a while, I didn't see him. He was a librarian at McGill, just getting the job decades ago, no degree in librarianship. He wasn't even a decade older than me, though with that very white and bushy beard, it was hard to tell his age. I would have gone to the memorial, but I was still in rehab, getting back my ability to walk. He will be missed.

News Flash. There's actually an address for Westcott books new location, 6792 St. Hubert. When the CBC ran a story some months back, shorty after the store reopened, it gave a vague location, no street number, and didn't bother to update it. I've done searches from time to time, but nothing has appeared. Someone did comment somewhere about visiting the new location, but said there was no street number. The store's facebook page hasn't been updated since the reopening, and while there are lots of hits indicating address, they are old, including the address when they were on St. Catherine Street. But on November 14th, www.foregetthebox.net ran a an article about the reopening, and did include the address. So that mystery is finally solved.

Westcott Books has reopened, though I thought when it had closed last fall he'd decided not to find a new place. But he did, according to a July 26th story at the CBC website, English used bookstore reopens. People are still puzzling over the exact location, the CBC article doesn't give a street number, just "Westcott Books is on the west side of St-Hubert Street, between St-Zotique and Bélanger streets". Someone commented somewhere saying he'd visited the store, the books still not all unpacked, but he saw no street number, which perhaps is the issue. But no mention of the adjacent store, either. About the only time I get up that way is when St. Hubert has a street sale, and I've not gone to that in a few years.

And we have to keep Tina Fontaine in our hearts, because Winnipeg grew out of Red River, and Red River was a Metis place, but that didn't protect her. What good is it to have streets named after family members if people like her get hurt so badly? Though oddly enough, one of the prosecutors is James Ross, leaving me wondering if he's a relative, named after the chief justice in the provisional government (and my great, great grandmother's brother) James Ross.

There's a Little Free Library outside St. Ansgar Lutheran Church, 4020 Grand (a short block up from Sherbrooke Street) in NDG. It wasn't there in November, I don't know when it went up. There's another one at 2353 Clifton (below Sherbrooke), at least there was last year, I've not checked recently. And of course, in NDG there are old Mirror newspaper boxes set up for the same sort of thing, leave books and take books, I've only see three. But theyw ere removed at one point, to regurbish, and the only one I've seen back up is outside that Coop near Melrose on Sherbrooke Street. The one on Monkland never returned, and I haven't seen the one at the Vendome Metro.

The Bimetallic Question. ie the local Sherlock Holmes Club, has their next bimonthly meeting Thursday October 3rd, 2019 at 18:30 in the Westmount Room of the Westmount Library.

Since I've had the above here for ages, I'll add the Montreal Science Fiction/Fantasy Association, which has meetings most months, or alternative events, and used to organize an annual ConCept here in Montreal. Meeting information at their website, but it probably can supply many SF needs.

If anyone is selling books at garage sales this season, heed the words of one "missed connection" from some years back:

To the very cute guy having a yardsale today on st Urbain...
Your selection of books sucked though.

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