Upcoming Montreal Used Book Sales Spring 2020
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.


Greenfield Park book sale March 7
Westmount Book Fair March 7
Pointe Claire used book sale March 14
another Pointe CLaire book sale March 28
Dorval Library book sale April 1 to 5
Westmount Library book sale April 4-5
Laval amateur radio fleamarket April 4
Summerlea Church in Lachine book sale April 4
Montreal Amateur Radio Club fleamarket CANCELLED
Pointe Claire Library used book sale April 13-14?
Beaconsfield Library book sale April 25
Beaconsfield community garage sale April 25
Cote St. Luc library book sale May 1-2

Saint Paul's Anglican Church in Greenfield Park is having their annual book sale on Saturday March 7th, from 9:00 to 14:00, at 321 Empire Avenue. Actually it's a "Book, game and Puzzle sale". A closer look finds a poster on their webpage, and it mentions CDs and DVDs as well as the books, puzzles and games. This isn't the first year they've had a book sale, but I think I sometimes miss it. I assume they want donations but I don't know the process.

The Westmount Book Fair will be on Saturday March 7th from 10:00 to 17:00 at Centre Greene, 1090 Greene Avenue (in the block below Dorchester). Pedestrians can probably go up and down the steet, but it's been closed and opened to traffic so I don't know whether cars can go down there these days. Admission has been $3 (free for children, though I wasn't interested in antique books at that age). This is not a used book sale in the sense of most that get listed here, this is a collection of used book dealers, I think they'd generally classify themselves as "antiquarian booksellers", each with their own tables, bringing in a select number of books. They've already prowled the used book sales and such, this is what they've winnowed out.

I went a few years ago, when it was practically the next street over, just to see what it was like. A mix of old and not so old, these were selected books rather than a large quantity. One dealer was selling old maps, there were some old posters too, paper things that might be found when sorting through an old collection of books. Some of the tables were familiar, The Word was there, as was Peter Hechtman. These are the people who are likely to be able to find (or at least look for) something obscure, they know books. It wasn't crowded when I went, but these are the people to get to know if you're looking for something out of the ordinary. They know books, and network with other book dealers, and are likely out there at the book sales looking for this sort of book.

The Valois United Church in Pointe Claire is having their annual "Book, Bake and Craft" sale on Saturday March 14th, (last year it was from 9:30 to 12:30) at 70 Belmont Avenue in Pointe Clair, "in Fellowship Hall". They have a notice on their main page, but no details. I'm sure they want donations but I don't see anything at their site about how to do that. This is a regular event, I've never been so I don't know how much of it is books and how much the rest. Like some of the smaller church book sales, I suppose this one is more like a local one, a chance for the congregation to meet.

The Church of Saint John the Baptist in Pointe CLaire is having a Book, Bake & Craft Sale on Suaturday March 28th from 9:00 to 12:00 at 233 Ste-Claire Avenue. I'm not sure if I've listed this before, their blurb seems to emphasize books, but who knows. I'm sure they want donations but I see nothing about the process.

The Friends of the Dorval Library are having their annual used book sale on Wednesday April 1st (19:00 to 20:00), Thursday April 2md and Friday April 3rd (13:00 to 20:00) and Saturday April 4th and Sunday April 5th (10:00 to 16:00) at the Peter B. Yeoman's Cultural Centre at 1401 Lakeshore Drive in Dorval. For members of the actual Friends group, they can get in on the Wednesday starting at 17:00. See the actual library website, though no more details there. They want donations of "books, CDs, and DVDs" and they can be dropped off at the cultural centre between 10:00 and 15:00 on March 28 and 29. They have been looking for volunteers in the past.

I'm sure they'd sign you up as a Friend if you went early on the Wednesday with the $10 fee ($5 for people over 60. I guess I'm going to try that this year. One could think of it as an entry fee. Though, I can't find a page for the Friends this year.

I've been for at least five, two years ago getting out there on the first day, and it turned out an hour was okay to get through it. I probably could have gotten in a tad earlier, nobody was checking at the door when I got there. They had a lot of CDs then, and quite a few magazines, though unlike previous years, nothing jumped out at me from those sections, and a decent selection of DVDs, including some tv sets. I didn't get many books. I think there's a fair percentage of library discards, I ended up with a bunch of Dummies books two years ago. It's not far from the Dorval Gardens shopping Centre, and taking the 211 from Lionel Grioux takes about 20 minutes. Going early in the sale avoids clashing with other sales, one year three book sales were on the same day in mid-April. This year it seems earlier

Pricing in 2014 (that I can remember)
(the prices were about the same in 2017):
hardcover   2.00 or 3/5.00
large softcover  1.00 or 3/2.00
pocket paperbacks .75 or (I can't remember)
magazines  25cents or 7/1.00
CDs        2.00 or 3/5.00
DVD        2.00 or 3/5.00

There was no price for VHS movies or music
cassettes, but I think I got charged 25cents each,
not certain.
And some special books carried a higher price.

The Friends of the Westmount Library are having their spring used book sale on Saturday April 4th and Sunday April 5th, both days 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, they can be dropped off at the front desk at the library when it's open. They apparently take donations throughout the year (of course, they have another one in the fall, so it makes sense).

Note the greenhouse is still not open. In the fall of 2015, some glass fell and it was closed immediately, not even staff allowed in. And it took sometime to do a proper examination, by drone. I guess they've decided how to rebuild it, I'm not sure when that will happen.

I'm prone to skipping this one, too "upscale" and the prices are higher. I sample it every so often, and while I did find something completely uncommon three years ago, I can't say I generally see much that jumps out at me. A lot of "now" type books, most of the science fiction section two years was "Twilight" type books, and even the non-fantasy was mostly recent authors I've never heard of. For a long time, missing a book sale which I'd gone to previously would nag at me, "will I miss something?", which of course is why I keep going to some. But the prices are too high at this one, and I don't see a lot of interest, though that is partly because of the pricing. It sure seems like the prices are higher "because people can afford it", something I remember from some other sales in Westmount. I can resist paying $3 for a DVD. On the other hand, I suspect they are getting at least some of the books that the McGill Book Faire used to get, this one has grown over the year, and even looks like McGill complete with volunteers wearing aprons.

The Club Radioamateur Laval Laurentides is having their annual fleamarket on Saturday April 4th, starting at 9:00. But they've moved it out of Laval so check their website for details. I did consider going last year, wondering how simple it might be by public transit, but it's now way too far.

And like the other amateur radio fleamarkets I mention, this is a specialty thing, but people interested in hobby elkectronics or amateur radio might find something of interest here. I've never been to this one, and I'm not sure how accessible it is without a car, but usually there is lots of amateur radio equipment, but also used books and magazines about radio and hobby electronics, maybe computers, who knows. A chance to learn about amateur radio, one can even take the test for the license (though I don't know if one has to register for that ahead of time). If people can't get to this one, the Montreal Amateur Radio Club will be having their fleamarket a week later, the listing below.

The Summerlea United Church in Lachine is having a used book sale on Saturday April 4th, from 10:00 to 15:0 at 225-50th Ave. This has morphed froma straight book sale to include craft5s and baked goods, so I don't know how the book portion stands up. They've had these for years, I've never gotten to one.I'm sure they want donations, not sure of the process.

The Montreal Amateur Radio Club has long had a fleamarket in early April, but the Legion hall in Lasalle no longer rents out the space, so the fleamarket is cancelled this year. I'm assuming they couldn't find a new location in time. They do say it will be back next year. (Decades ago they had it out in St. Anne's, and before the Legion hall they had a nice location inthe park in Cote St. Luc, but cancelled one year because few reserved tables ahead of time to blance the books. Though, that Legion location always seemed cramped, I did go some years back.) Too bad, I keep meaning to go and thought I'd make the effort this year. The South SHore amateur radio club does have their fleamarket in late October, so that's a fallback. This year I'd better go, though sometimes there is conflict with used book ales.

The Beaconsfield Library will be having a spring used book sale on Saturday April 25h, and Sunday April 26th, both days from 10:00 to 16:00 at the actual library, which is at 303 Beaconsfield Blvd, in the Discovery Room. This is hard to miss, there's a big sports complex there, and parking in front, with the library in a smaller building towards the west, closer to the street. The 211 bus stops right in front. They say mostly discards, with some donations, and some CDs, DVDs and magazines. I'm sure they want donations, I don't know the process.

This one seems to vary, they have one in the fall too and that seems to have a larger and more interesting selection, but there often is no consistency to a book sale, one year good things, the next nothing much that I find. That's why going is important, you can't know until you get there whether there is something you want.

This isn't a book sale, but there will be a community garage sale on Saturday April 25th, (two years ago it was from 8:30 to 13:00m I hope to get details closer to the date) at the Beaconsfield Recreation Centre, 1974 City Lane which is just next to the library, though further back from the street. I've gone a few things, and found some things I wanted, and it doubles the reason to go the Beaconsfield Library book sale. People rent tables from the City, and sell their own stuff. It has seemed well attended by people selling stuff. It may also be a bit before outdoor garage sales start up.

Note: One year, closer to the date, I saw classified ads for two nearby schools that were having similar events, the schools renting tables inside to the public. Makes a good cluster, though I went into one, quite packed, but mostly kid's items. I decided to skip the other one. But something to watch for, and when/if I see a notice, I'll put the info here. And the reason for mentioning these is if anyone's going to the booksale, they can take these in too.

The Eleanor London Cote Saint-Luc Public Library is having their spring used book sale on Saturday, May 2nd and Sunday May 3rd both days from 11:00 to 17:00 , at the library, 5851 Cavendish Blvd. in Cote Saint-Luc. Another shift, later than last year. I'm sure they want donations, but not sure of the process. Four years ago there was a notice about leaving books at the library the last two days before the sale, but I don't know if that holds this year, or what.

If I plan it right, I can get up there in half an hour taking the 104, though maybe that was when I went on a Sunday. The Library is about across from the Cavendish Mall. But it's a less frequent bus, so randomly waiting at the bus stop makes it a slow wait. I sadly spend less time with the books at this one, they have been having a good selecton of movies (on both VHS and DVD) and CDs, and it's right there as I go in. By the time I get through all of that, I'm worn down. But these don't seem to be library discards, or at least not in large quantity. They try to keep the paperback fiction in alphabetical order, but that wears down with the sale. I've done well getting movies at this one, the first year I went (only a few years ago) I bought about 30 VHS movies, a mix of recent and classic; fewer since then, but buying that many at a time tends to clear out a lot of interesting films for the next time. The number of DVDs has crept up, and they have endless CDs. They did have computer books (unlike some sales these days), and I've found some interesting things there, but that seems to be tapering off. It is worth going, and I regret never bothering up until I started to go a few years ago. It is a dim room, however. It seems quieter, but then I've not been at opening. I've really come to like this sale, and was really disappointed about missing both last year. But the later date gives me more time to build up muscles for the crowd.

In 2014 (and I think in 2017), pocket size paperbacks were fifty cents, hard and large paperbacks were a dollar each. VHS movies were fifty cents, DVDs were a dollar, audio books (they had some) were 1.00. CDs were only fifty cents. "Special items" (presumably marked as such) were 5.00. Though I didn't notice any with the five dollar price.

March 20, 2020. I'm not going to bother putting up cancellations. Either things wll be back to normal soonish, or it will go on. Most of the venues are closed right now, if they reopen in time, we'll see if the book sales go on. Once things reopen, I'll keep track. I'm hoping to get to some book sales this year, all that isolation last year.

If you're over 55, there is a senior price of $55 for membership in the Westmount Library, assuming you live elsewhere. The Atwater Library has a senior annual membership of $20, if you're 60 or older. The Jewish Public Library has a senior membership of $36, if you're 60 or older. It just went up, I should have joined when it was $30.

P>I was going to post anyway, but these (and likely other libraries) offer books and magazines in digital form, no need to visit the library. Movies too. Though I don't know if they will sign up new members online. The Jewish Public Library has digital only membership, for anyone, of $18 per year.

John Lewis is battling cancer. He's built to last, but he's also around 80, and a hard version of cancer. Sixty years ago, Feb 1960, he was part of the lunch counter sit-ins, then badly beaten, not the only one, during the Freedom Ride of May 1961, then a SNCC leader during Freedom Summer, and involved in the Selma march, among other things. A few years ago he did a comic book/graphic novel about his civil rigths days, and went to ComicCon, dressed as he did in civil rights days, a trench coat and knapsack. His superhero costume.

Now that it's almost spring, some not quite book sale events to mention. Bem & Jerry's Free Cone Day was going to be Tuesday April 14th, but now their website is saying it's postponed, no replacement date given. Some outlets have had to close for the virus, so none will have Free Cone Day that day. The bright side is that warmer weather is more fun for ice cream. Record Store Day is April 18, 2020. Encore Books in NDG has participated the past. Canadian Independent Bookstore Day is the last Saturday of April, which should be April 25 this year, but I can't find a website or specific details yet. Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday of May, as always, which means it's May 2nd this year. The Anarchist Book Fair is the weekend of May 16 and 17th, a bit early this year, but lots of affiliated events throughout May.

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.

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 April 2, 2020 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. Note: in early 2020 they have announced that they will be moving from their long running location due to a tremendous increase in the rental fee, they aren't yet sure where their new location will be.

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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