Sidney, located on the Saanich Peninsuala, Vancouver Island and just north of Victoria BC, can be reached by ferry, plane, taxi and public transport. I tell you that right now, up-front, because if you are a book lover, you’re going to want to hop a plane, ferry, taxi or bus to get to this amazing destination.
Sidney has many activities and sights for the traveller, like kayaking, whale watching, stargazing, museums, numerous wonderful little shops, cafes and restaurants, but perhaps, the thing it’s known best for is being a ‘Booktown’.
With a population of only 11,300 people, it’s unusual to find bookstores everywhere, 8 within walking distance. Decreed one of the very few ‘Booktowns’ in 1996, Sidney wears the title well.
Each of these bookstores has its own character, and special collections and each of the store owners has an intimate working knowledge of the categories and titles they offer, making shopping in one of these bookstores a great pleasure.
And of course, you’re always welcome to browse through the stacks of these many hardcopy books, that’s right, not e-books, but actual hardcopy, touchable, bound books.
Thought you might like to know a bit about each of the bookstores that comprise the treasure that Sidney Booktown has become.
Sidney – Beacon Books
Be welcomed, by Rosabelle, the resident reading kitty and let her show you around. This is a secondhand books store that covers much reading terrain: Art, Music, Philosophy, History, Gift Books, great Literature, and books about all things Canadian as a start point.
Then you’ll find there are the collectors’ First Editions. They do also have a Paperback Room for novels, and mysteries and more. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, it can, in all likelihood be ordered, even items that are out-of-print. This is a store that will go out of its way to get you what you want. Would a store, with a cat, named Rosabelle be any other way?
Sidney – The Military Bookshop
Boosting a good collection of material that pertains to Winston Churchill, this store, specializes in second-hand material that covers military history, biographies, both ancient and modern wars.
Books and maps and other collectibles can be found. Other literary offerings cover subjects like the British Royalty, American politics, various forms of transportation, such as aviation, railways and naval transport.
Sidney – The Children’s Bookshop
A large selection of new books for kids from the time they’re tiny tots till they’re young adults awaits your visit. They stock books on every topic from faieries to planes, from bears to mermaids, from cooking and quilting to kites and totem poles and on and on the lists grow.
They have Nancy Drew (makes one want to re-read them starting with ‘The Mystery of the Old Clock’), Harry Potter and Encyclopaedia Brown and there’s always a staff member who can help you find something to expand your child’s world through the joy of reading.
Sidney – Dragon Horse
Unique among the unique Dragon Horse has created a spiritually oriented book-store, gift-store, tea-store, jewelry-store. This lovely store creates an environment that has been described as ‘a candy store for the spirit’. Whatever you can think of in the realm of Self-Help, Spiritual, Metaphysical, can be found.
There are Tarot and Oracle Card Decks, Feng Shui books and paraphernalia, Japanese and Zen Garden items and a large ‘greeting card’ section filled with spiritual/upbeat messages.
There are luscious candles, Yoga clothing and supplies, crystals and gemstones, and natural body products. There are Tea Pots and mugs – if you have a collection, you might find a new piece to add. There is New Age Music, and Jewelry and ever so much more.
Sidney – Galleon Books and Antiques
The Galleon specializes in Antiquarian and collectible books and antiques, as well as second-hand books on BC history, the military, Canadiana, Art and more.
Galleon Books and Antiques displays its collectibles, like china, glass and period antiques beautifully. Quite a wonderful and unusual collection of material and definitely worth checking out.
Sidney – The Haunted Bookshop
This is the oldest bookshop on Vancouver Island, established in 1947. ‘Beautiful British Columbia’ magazine hailed the Haunted Bookshop as ‘the sort of antiquarian bookstore bibliophiles dream about’.
Carrying books in most genres, and maps, prints and related memorabilia, the Haunted Bookstore satisfies the more casual reader with contemporary paperbacks, and those searching for out-of-print material, as well as collectors of the rare items.
Sidney – Tanner’s Books
Tanner’s is amazing! It’s the bookstore that does it all.
- It has the dependability of having been in business for 24 years
- It is the largest newsstand on Vancouver Island – it carries over 2,000 magazines and 40 newspapers from Canada, the U.S., and Great Britian.
- It carries new releases, and bestsellers in over 50 fiction and non-fiction categories.
- It has a Travel & Nautical Room which holds reference books on the subjects, as well as more than 500 maps and nautical charts.
- And of course, just for fun they carry souvenir items and games, puzzles, greeting cards, etc.
Sidney – Tanner’s Bargain Books
Sister store of Tanner’s Books, it offers great bargain prices on Overstocks.
To discover more about Booktown:
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