As promised, I want to share a gem with you, one that I discovered last month on my trip to Victoria. Russell Book Store, 734 Fort Street, is AMAZING. Oh. My. Gosh. If I lived in Victoria, I would beg them to give me a job.
First of all, it’s an independent, family-run book store. This is a rarity in times where it seems on-line giants spell the demise of book stores all the time. The Russell’s have been in the book business since 1961 and there are three generations of Russells involved in the book business. You just gotta love that, don’t ya?
Secondly, Russell Books is huge. It’s the kind of book store you could get lost in. (Insert contented sigh here.)
Thirdly, even though it’s huge, it still has that used-book-store-smell. You may disagree but for me, that smell is a crucial indicator as to whether or not it is going to be a good experience. There’s just something about that… I don’t know… wet paper, almost musty, ink-on-your-fingers scent that instantly says “good used books.”
The store sells new and used, so it’s the best of both worlds. They also have rare, out-of-print books for those who are looking for hard-to-find things. The staff is very knowledgeable – as are their customers. I had a couple of other book-lovers engage me in conversation in the aisles, which is another indicator of a good book store.
The books are spread out over two floors, the second floor is accessed from a separate door outside. It was here that I found some books that I’ve been looking for, for years. I am an Agatha Christie collector and there are a few titles that have eluded me for ages.
Another happy discovery was one that I was not even aware existed: her collection of Christmas poems.
The only thing missing for me was a book store cat, which they may have, I just didn’t see her! What’s your favourite book store?