Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Farewell, Sweet Bookstore!

A while back I decided I was going to do a post about my top five favourite bookstores.  BF and I are bookstore junkies of the most non-discriminating kind, meaning we'll spend hours in any type of bookstore - musty, dusty old second-hand ones where the shopkeep barely looks up from his novel as you explore, fancy specialized ones where the books are displayed like art, the ones where little book reviews are written by staff on recipe cards, even Chapters has hosted us on many a rainy saturday afternoon.  I chose to hold off on this potential post until the future as one of my very faves is a store in Toronto called Nicholas Hoare, and I wanted to be able to snap some photos of its gorgeousness myself.

Well, turns out I'm not going to be able to.  Last night as I was checking my emails, I received the news: as of April 1st of this year, Nicholas Hoare the bookseller is retiring and the flagship shop on Front Street will be closing.  

Nicholas Hoare, the bookstore, was a thing of beauty, along the lines of what I described above as a store which displays its books like art.  High ceilings, tonnes of sunshine, comfy couches, plants, brick walls, creaky old wooden floors and exquisitely organized shelves added to the cozy character.

A snap from the Nicholas Hoare website.
The book selection was obviously carefully curated by real book lovers, with plenty of new and classic literature, and a bit of a lean toward big, beautiful hardcovers, with lots of art and culture, travel, food, homemaking, fun, quirky books - the good life, one might say.  

It was like the shop was my own personal book-heaven so it was always hard to choose what to get.  When I visited, I would walk around filling my arms, until I'd been around the whole place, then I'd sit down and narrow my selection down to a list I could afford money-wise, AND luggage-wise, haha.  BF and I picked up these gems there, among others:

The Gashlycrumb Tinies, by Edward Gorey; New Rings, by Nicolas Estrada; Books V. Cigarettes, by George Orwell
Restaurant Man, by Joe Bastianich; The Polysyllabic Spree, by Nick Hornby; Three Sheets to the Wind, by Pete Brown

Nicholas Hoare was on our Must Do list when we visited Toronto, so it's sad to see such a unique, charming, comprehensive and independent shop close down.  The only consolation is that Mr. Hoare is, at seventy, happily retiring (to Nova Scotia at that!) from his forty-one year old business.  Check out the NH blog, and see his stunning house and property in the Valley, and follow his plans to build an 18, 000 volume library!  Jealous!

Sorry to see the shop close, but glad it's under positive circumstances.

Till next time friends and book lovers!

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