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Reflections on Duthie Books

by Jamie
News / January 19, 2010

The sad news about Duthie Books closing has just hit the wires.

Today everyone at Raincoast is thinking about the wonderful staff at Duthie's, many of whom have decades of bookselling experience. These type of people are vital to the long term health and vibrancy of the publishing scene. We are rooting for them.

There will be lots of talk about what the closing of this landmark bookstore in Vancouver signifies for the book industry and for the culture of books in Canada. Let that be a debate for another day, but when that debate comes, I will argue that despite what certain painful recent examples may suggest, the future of book in Canada is very, very healthy.


For today, I want to comment as resident of Kitsilano, the Vancouver neighbourhood where Duthie's final store is located.

Many people who have lived in Vancouver longer than I, will remember Duthie Books as a large sprawling chain. I have been in Vancouver for decade and know Duthie's as single stand alone store, that stocked books I wanted to read and whose staff loved to talk about books as much as I do. I bought my son's first book at Duthie's and to this day we can't go by the expansive thirty foot store front window (with displays changed daily) without him insisting we go in. I love books on politics, he loves the books on dump trucks. Good stores, large or small chain or non-chain matter to cities. Stores like Duthie's matter to me.

Comments

On January 19, 2010 at 02:40 PM, Sean Cranbury said:

Hi Jamie

Well said.

As a former Duthie Books employee back in the day and as a friend of some of the booksellers who lost their jobs today this is a tough one to take.

Thanks for writing this.

Sean

On January 20, 2010 at 11:53 AM, Monique said:

I’m disappointed not to have a local bookstore. Blackberry is now the closest I believe?

Well put post Jamie.

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