Upcoming Montreal Used Book Sales 2018-2019
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.
DDO Library used book sale Sept 7-16
Lasalle used book sale Sept 7-9
Benny Library book sale Sept 8
Ignatian Centre used book sale Sept 26-29
St. Lambert United Church used book sale Sept 28-29
Goethe Institute book sale Sept 26-Oct 3
Montreal Antiquarian book Fair Sept 29-30
Otterburn Park used book sale Oct 13
McGill Book Fair Oct 16-18
St. Barnabas St. Lambert used book sale Oct 19-20
South Shore Amateur Radio Club fleamarket Oct 20
Cote St. Luc Library book sale Oct 20-21
Deux Montagnes Lions Club used book sale Oct 20-21
Beaconsfield Library used book sale Oct 20-21
Pointe Claire Library used book sale Oct 26-27
Atwater Library used book sale Oct 26-27
Kensington Church in NDG book sale Oct 27
Concordia Used Book Fair Oct 28-30
Summerlea United Church book sale Nov 9-10
Otterburn Park used book sale Mov 10
Montreal West Children's Library book sale Nov 15
Science Fiction book sale Nov 17th
Westmount Library used book sale Nov 17-18
Holiday Pop-Up Book Fair Nov 24-25
Otterburn Park used book sale Dec 8
The Dollard des Ormeaux Library is having their annual used book sale from Friday September 7th to Sunday September 16th, at the actual library, 12001 de Salaberry. I guess the hours are the same as the library's opening hours. The notice I find is here. I assume they want donations but have never seen anything about the process. I would think that given the length, this is probably a small and relatively low-key affair. I've never been, but they have had them in the past, though I somehow often miss listing it.
According to a notice in The Suburban, St. John Brebeuf church in Lasalle is having a used book sale on Friday Sept 7 (17:00 to 19:00), Saturday Sept 8 (9:00 to 18:00) and Sunday Sept 9th (10:00 to 12:30) at St. John Brebeuf Parish hall, 855 Bishop Power in Lasalle. I'm sure they want donations but don't know the process. Last year they said they'd have CDs and DVDs for sale too.
I know they've had a book sales the last two Septembers, not sure about before that. I know nothing more than what the ad says.
I don't see why I should bother, but the Benny Library is having a used book sale on Saturday Sept 8 from 9:30 to 15:00 in Benny Park (corner of Monkland and Benny), I think this is across from the actual library, that's where they had it the last time. Raindate is Sunday the 9th. They probably wanted donations, but since they can't be bothered to advertise in advance, and I never pass by the new library by chance to see any posters, when did people have a chance to donate books? So it's probably library discards. They will accept donations during the sale, which is kind of late to collect a good selection. It's 23:42 on the Friday night, the notice only went up some hours ago. I could have sworn I checked earlier, but maybe not. If you want to have a book sale, you need to advertise it in advance, not just to get books donated (the longer the collection period, the more likely people will donate when they have books to discard) but to attract customers. I have no idea where they expect customers to come from, other than some small group paying attention. If I hadn't checked, on a whim tonight, I'd have msised it. I did check on Thursday, just in case there was a last minute announcement. I suspect it won't be so great given no collection period, but I at least like to know in advance so I can decide to skip it. Most people won't even know it's happening. This is not a new thing, the first year they had one, if I recall proplerly, I found out about it the next day, via a poster. For much of the time, they really have not been visible, any advance notice is here, because I've passed by the library and seen a poster. I"m not making special trips to the library at its new location, so no advance warning. No fundraiser is a "private" event, you want more people to attend, but that doesn't happen without advance notice.
The Ignatian Spirituality Centre in NDG (out near Loyola) is having another used book sale, Wednesday Sept 26 through Saturday Sept 29th, 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", and they say they have a lot of sheet music scores. 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 mroe dates, though getting there early means having the best selection. They were looking for donations, I have no idea if they still want them this close to the sale.
St. Lambert United Church will have a used book sale on Friday Sept 28 (15:30 to 20:00) and Saturday September 29, 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. On Saturday there will be baked goods too. They want donations, they can be dropped off at the church during the day, (9:00 to 12:00, 13:00-15:00) until September 27th. They definitely want books and CDs, and surely DVDs, but the notice I see isn't specific. I've never been, though since it opens Friday afternoon, that is tempting.
The Goethe Instutute of Montreal is having a book sale on Saturday Sept 29th through Wednesday Oct3, 15:00 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, not sure if it's an annual event. I know nothing more.
The Montreal Antiquarian Book Fair takes place Saturday September 29th (12:00 to 18:00) and Sunday September 30th (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.
St. Martin's House is having another of their maybe once monthly used book sales on Saturday October 13 from 9:30 to 12:00 at 221 Prince Edward Avenue in Otterburn Park. I've yet to find a website, but they have these about once a month, though I'm not sure if there is a pause at some point. I'm sure they want donations but I don't know the process. I know I've missed listing them for much of this year, I'd hoped to add a separate page for sales that occur on a more regular basis.
McGill Book Faire is Tuesday Oct 16th (13:00 tp 21:00), Wednesday Oct 17th (10:00 to 20:00) and Thursday Oct 18th (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.
This may be the last one, certainly Redpath Hall is unavailable next year.
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.
St. Barnabas Anglican Church in St. Lambert is having its annual used book sale on Friday Oct 19th (10:00 to 20:00) and Saturday Oct 20th (10:00 to 15:00), at the church, 95 Lorne in St. Lambert (this is where the SOuth SHore University Women's Club as their annual used book sale). I know nothing more other than the've had this in the past, and it's grown to add the Friday. This coincides with their "Oktoberfest" events, so other things will be happening at the same time both days. Check their website.
The South Shore Amateur Radio Club is having their annual amateur radio fleamarket on Saturday October 20th from 9:00 to 13:00 at Place Desaulniers, which is at 1023 Taschereau Blvd in Longueuil. Admission is $7.00, 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 Eleanor London Cote Saint-Luc Public Library is having their fall used book sale on Saturday, October 20th and Sunday October 21st, 11:00 to 17:00 both days, at the Library which is at 5851 Cavendish Blvd. in Cote Saint-Luc. I'm sure they want donations, but not sure of the process. A few 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.
An important addition this year is that CSL has named a small section aroudn the library as "Leonard Cohen Lane". It's between the Bernard Lang Civic Centre, which is next to the library, and Marc Chagall Avenue. I'm assuming it's kind of behind the library, but I'll check when I go to the sale.
I think these were still the prices back in the spring, 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. "Special items" (presumably marked as such) were 5.00. CDs were only 50cents. Not that I saw something that had a five dollar price.
They've had this for some years, and I've gone for about five. They've changed it so instead of one a year, they have two, but that didn't seem to change the number of items offered up. They get a lot of stock, including a lot of movies and music in some form. And it is a about a month later this fall. I keep coming home loaded. After reading an article about Buffy St. Marie in the spring, I was thinking of buying one of her CDs new, but wham, a two part collection showed up at this sale in the spring. Saved me having to use the record player, and the second volume was new to me. Actually I came home with a good stack of CDs in the spring, I poke around the edges to sample, and if good things pop up, I figure I should go deeper, and that wsa the case. 20 CDs, mostly things I didn't have, but all were "old". Getting there is quite convenient, check the times and get the 104. I certainly plan to go. I think the lighting has even improved, it seemed brighter in the speing.
The Deux Montagnes Lions Club are having their annual used book sale on Saturday Oct 20 and Sunday Oct 21 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.
One interesting thing is that on the Friday, Oct 19th, from 14:00 to 17:00, they open up for people who can't get around that well and mothers with children, giving them a chance at the books without the crowd. That seems to give extra service, a chance for the less mobile, on top of raising money for various causes. I did get email a few years ago from someone who went, and while it wasn't close to her, she loved it.
The Friends of the Beaconsfield Libary are having their annual used book sale on Saturday October 20th and Sunday Oct 21st from 10:00 to 16:00, at the Herb Linder Annex, 303 Beaconsfield Blvd (which is right behind the actual library). The notice There is a preview for actual Friends on the Friday, Oct 19th, from 19:00 to 21:00 but one notice explicitly says "you may NOT join at the door". They want donations, of "books in good condition" but no "encyclopedias, magazines, damaged or moldy books, VHS tapes, records or cassette tapes". There was a chance to donate on the September 15th, and again on October 13 (12:00 to 16:00) and October 14th (11:00 to 16:00), which I assume is at the actual location for the sale.
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 Friends of the Pointe Claire Library are having their second used book sale of the year on Friday Oct 26, and Saturday Oct 27th at the actual Library, which is at 100 Douglas-Shand Avenue in Pointe Claire. The Thursday before the sale, I'm still trying to find actual times. Their website says "Friday 10:00 to 21:00" and "Saturday 09:00 tp 17:00", but I'm skeptical. That looks more like a cut and paste for when they need volunteers. Last year, I think it was Friday, 14:00 to 20:00, and Saturday from 9:00 to 15:00, with a preview for actual Friends members on the Friday from 11:00 to 13:00, which sounds more reasonable. They take a break on the Friday, and they don't run all day on Saturday, but maybe it's changed. I have no idea if you can sign up as a Friend on the spot. I'm sure they want donations but I'm not certain of the process. I think you just drop them off at the library during opening hours throughout the year, and the library may pick out some to put on the actual shelves. They were looking for volunteers, though maybe 11 days ahead, they have enough people signed up. The Friends also have a sale in the spring. This has been a regular event for some time.
I was thinking in the spring this wasn't worth the effort, $6.50 bus fare even before I buy books, but also often conflict with other sales. But no conflict on the Friday I probably will go. You never know what might appear. I should check, maybe I've done better at one of the two sales.
The Atwater Library is having their "big fall book sale" on Friday October 26th, from 18:00 to 20:00, and Saturday October 27th (from 10:00 to 16:00) 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.)
The Kensington Presbyterian Church is having their annual used book sale on Saturday Oct 27 from 10:00 to 14:00 at 6225 Godfrey Avenue in NDG. This is just up a block from Sherbroke Street, if you go up Grand there are sidewalks). This is a long running book sale, but the church name has changed over the years. Note They've noved it into October, all I can remember is it being in November before this. I'm sure they want donations but I'm not sure of the process.
And again, there's a general bazaar with lunch if you want it. I missed last year, a conflict, but my impression is that the books haven't gotten fewer, they've just added other things in other rooms.
I rather liked going out in the evening when they opened on the Friday, it was a quieter book sale, and something to do after supepr. I'm not sure if the change is combining other events, or they decided they needed something more than books. The first year of the combined event, the books were in a smaller room, not sure if there were fewer books, though last year it was back in the traditinoal space. It seems to vary, sometimes I come home with interesting things, other years, my selection is pretty small. It also comes later in the season, though there seems to be a shift, so this won't be the tail end of the fall cluster of book sales. I'm not sure if I'll make the effort this year, I'm less likely to want to be out early on Saturdays now that the weather is cooler
The Concordia Used Book Fair will be Sunday October 28 (14:00 to 17:00), Monday Oct 29 and Tuesday Oct 30 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 21st edition, since last year they said it was the 20th. They want donations, the webpage has details.
This is a switch. The first year, 1997, they had it in February, far from other book sales and offering something special to do in cold February. Except maybe the time it was postponed due to a riot at ConU, it's always been early October after the first year, I guess the first Monday and Tuesday. Now it's the end of October, no word on if this is a temporary switch, or if it will be the norm from now on.
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 rebular or consistent. I can't remember whu 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.
The Summerlea United Church in Lachine is having their annual or semi-annual used book sale on Friday Nov 9, 10:00 to 18:00, and Saturday November 10, 9:00 to 14:00, at 225 50th Avenue in Lachine. The Friday is "just" a book sale, on Saturday it becomes a bazaar along with the books. They've long had booksales, but have added peripheral things, so I have no idea how the book selection might be. I've never gotten to one. I'm sure they want donations but don't know the process.
St. Martin's House is having another of their maybe once monthly used book sales on Saturday Nov 10 from, I think from 9:30 to 12:00 at 221 Prince Edward Avenue in Otterburn Park. The announcement says they will be mostly English language books. I've yet to find a website, but they have these about once a month, though I'm not sure if there is a pause at some point. I'm sure they want donations but I don't know the process.
The Montreal West Children's Library is having their annual book sale on Thursday November 15th, 9:00 to 20:00, at the library, 314 Northview Street. I'm sure they want donations but I don't know the process, I don't think I've ever seen anything about specifically about donating to the book sale. They do have a page about helping the library, and if I recall properly, they take donations year around, but that's for donations in general. I'm not sure how much of this sale is library discards and how much is donation from the public. It seems to be just children's books, and there can be a lot of those around. It used to be about the last book sale of the year, but they've shifted it forward about a couple of weeks. A last chance before Christmas to load up before a bit of hibernation.
For about the fourth year in a row, the Montreal Science Fiction and Fantasy Association is having a used book sale on Saturday November 17th, from 12:00 to 16:00, 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.
Note: The downtown Santa Claus Parade is on the same day, so St. Catherine Street will be closed, which may make getting around a bit hard, specially anyone dropping books off.
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 17th and Sunday November 18th, 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.
The Association of English Language Publishers of Quebec is having a Holiday Pop-Up Book Fair on Saturday November 24th (12:00 to 18:00) and Sunday November 25th (12:00 to 18:00) at 1400 de Maisonneuve Blvd, that's the McConnell building at ConU. This is yet another location for the event. These are new books, straight from the publisher. Last year they even had a wine & cheese party, but I've yet to see notice of that for this year. Last year there were book signings, not sure about this year.
They've had this before, at the Atwater Library, though I remember only seeing a vague listing which made me wonder what it was about, and last year at the Monument-National. All book fairs and sales are by definition "pop-up", that's one reason against higher prices since it's a now or never moment, buy it now or lose the cahnce. Though since these are new books, there are other outlets to buy them from, but I assume these will be smaller companies. The intent seems to be that these books would make good Christmas gifts.
St. Martin's House is having another of their maybe once monthly used book sales on Saturday December 8, I think from 9:30 to 12:00 at 221 Prince Edward Avenue in Otterburn Park. The announcement says they will be mostly English language books. I've yet to find a website, but they have these about once a month, though I'm not sure if there is a pause at some point. I'm sure they want donations but I don't know the process.
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.
It's early November, I've added all the sales I know about in November, so I'm not expecting more to appear. This should be the end of the book sales for 2018, maybe a few small sales in early 2019, but most won't be till the spring.
Expozine is the weekend of November 24-25.
I actually found a small copy of "A Child's Christmas in Wales" outside Encore Books in NDG in August. I guess there is, or maybe was, enough requests for the poem that they could publish it by itself. It's just a tiny booklet with some drawings. Though, I already have the famous recording, and even the tv special from almost forty years ago, on DVD. Sometimes there's a reading here or there, maybe at the Atwater Library or Victoria Hall in Westmount, but no notices yet, it's early.
I got on the 104 to go to the CSL Library book sale on the Saturday, got there in about 30 minutes. The bus wasn't crowded, but at least five other people got off at the library for the sale, including a woman I remember from the McGill Book Fair and romance novels. There were even some "young adults" checking the science fiction section, though I suppose they were looking for vampire and such books. But at least they were looking, it's not something I remember noticing in the past. They had a "do it yourself" section, mostly art books, I'm not sure if they had that before, or if it's spinoff from the library's "maker space" that was launched earlier this year. Someone was scanning the art books with a barcode scanner, it would be nice if people reselling at least were interested enough to know something about the books, rather than just caring about the resale price. I know when I come across a book that I've not seen before, it's happened a few times this year, but since I'm not trying to flip the books, I ahve no idea what they might be worth, just that they aren't common. I again came home with a good pile, but I didn't go poking around behind to find where Leonard Cohen Lane is, maybe in the spring I'll do that.
Here's some shocking news, except they did it before. According to this McGill Reporter article, McGill Book Fair to be shelved the current McGill Book Fair, running through Thursday, will be the last. At least I think so, it's kind of buried and vague. Redpath Hall is getting renovated, so it won't be available next year. But they also briefly say something about the work, and the cost is rising. But it just seems to imply this is it. Though then a hope that someone later will make it viable. So who knows. Who can forget 2011 when they announced it would be the last McGill Book Fair, at least then it got good press? But the next year younger coordinatores came along, and it kept going, except for no book fair in 2013 due to construction (but they didn't announce that was it). But the younger coordinators didn't last long, soon it was back to the old guard. They kept making changes and I lost interest. Even in 2011, they felt a need to rearrange things, making it hard to find things, certainly no sense in shrinking when that was it. They've moved to 2 collection days a year, and made the collection period a tad longer, they put it in a smaller space the last time I went. It was about books, and I thought that was why they chose a book sale back in 1971, they make some money, but the books themselves have potential educational value. I have survived because of used book sales (and to a lesser extent used book stores), I may have always been safe, but only now do I realize I've never had much money to spend. McGill was big since it had that long collection period, and quite visible for a long time, making the selection not just large, but wide. For most of 30 years I'd get up and get in line before opening, figuring half an hour was a good balance between waiting in line, and being too far back. I went in case I missed something, but then it seemed that the changes eliminated some of the thigns I looked for most. It was a sale for everyone, a time of romance books (and people who wanted to buy them) a time for baseball books (and [people who bought them), a variety of magazines (and I always checked to see what was there, it got less interesting when it became Architectural Digest and National Geographic) and lots of children's books (and the elementary school teacher who for years would bring his class, not only did they get books cheap, but got to see all those adults running around with stacks of books they were buying). I think somewhere that was lost, a shift to streamlining operations (so the riff-raff books started disappearing) and to raise prices (by dumping too many books). Books aren't just about the latest bestseller, or talking about a new book at the book club, they aren't just "gourmet" books either. But some sales have become snooty, and McGill seemed to follow that trend, Maybe marketing needs to improve, they would get a lot of children's books, but the "good" ones got skimmed early, and too many remained. I'd dip in, buying some Tom Swift or Hardy Boys, or maybe a comic book, but they bumped the prices up, without the quality actually changing. I was a loyal customer, but they alienated me, and never tried to bring me back. Yes it takes a lot of work, but when many groups say that, where are the endless supply of books going to go? Some of it shifts like sand dunes, so new sales come along, but there maybe is a trend away from book sales. I don't think the supply of paper books has yet dried up, but there seems to be a shift, and raising prices doesn't seem to be the solution, not when the books aren't necessarily "better". I went to hunt the exotic. Even now, I can find some oddity with some family member mentioned, but I'm not likely to find that new "Following The River" which also mentiosn family members (so I bought it at full price).
The McGill Book Fair seems to be less visible in recent times, but I'm not sure if that is the case, or it's me. I know when google had a search for blogs, I'd find people writing about it, but if that's still happening, they must end up way down on the search results, becasue I'm not seeing it. I also noticed that the line was smaller in those last years I went, and that was a decade ago.
The Gazette ran its Fall Fairs Guide in the Saturday Oct 6th edition. So,etimes they update it, so it's worth checking in a few days. I'll extract any book sales I didn't have yet, but some of the samll church sales may have books for sale in addition to other items, something worthwhile if they are local but I won't list them here. Unrelated to books I will note that St. Ansgar's Christmas Bazaar is on Saturday Nov 3rd, a bit of Denmark in NDG. Then on Nov 9 and 10 there is the Norwegian Christnas sale at the Norwegian Church and Community Centre in Lachine, I think this is a continuation of something that used to happen down near the Old Port. And the Tibetans are having their annual Bazaar on Saturday Nov 17th at the Santa Cruz church. See the Gazette's guide for details.
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.
One thing I noticed last fall, and then forgot, there's a children's library downtown again. There had long been a branch of the Montreal Children's Library in the Atwater Library, but they had to close there due to renovations at Atwater. Time passed and finally the branch re-emerged on Pierce, kind of hidden in some other group's space I gather. And then maybe a year later, the Library announced that the branch would be eliminated. This new one is independent, but it appears they ended up with books from the Montreal Children's Library (and maybe getting funding from the Fraser Hickson "Foundation", which has decided to put the money into small outlets like this). It's a shame it couldn't all be kept under one banner, another branch closed at the same time as the downtown branch, except the organization where it was housed decided to keep the library going too. It's at 1647 St. Catherine, just west of Pierce. Some details are here and there's a brief article about the new library Children's library reopens downtown.
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 taht 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 December 6th, 2018 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 last fall:
To the very cute guy having a yardsale today on st Urbain...
Your selection of books sucked though.