Independent bookstores are more than just a place to buy books.
With that in mind, CBC Books is proud to feature some of Canada's best-loved bookstores in Shop Talk, our monthly profile of indie booksellers across the country.
To get things started, we asked CBC Book Club and Canada Reads associate producer Kimberly Walsh for her pick. She chose Woozles
, a children's bookstore in Halifax that first opened in 1978.
We sent Kimberly down to Woozles to take some pictures and ask a few questions of staffers Suzy MacLean and Lisa Doucet. Q: What makes Woozles an exceptional bookstore?
A: The cosy atmosphere and the knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff. Woozles is more than just a bookstore; it is a place where families can gather, children can play and parents, teachers, librarians and other professionals as well as book lovers of all ages can share their passion for great books. Q: Why a children's bookstore?
A: The store was started more than 32 years ago by Liz and Brian Crocker and Ann Connor Brimer, all of whom care deeply about children and literature. Having realized that there was not, at the time, a place to buy children's books in Halifax, they created their own.
Q: What's the best thing about your job?
A: There are several "best" things about working at Woozles; being surrounded by fabulous books every day, hearing the squeals of delight and giggles of joy from children (and grown-ups) enjoying them, and being invited to share that love of books.
Q: What do you think the future looks like for independent bookstores?
A; Although we are surrounded by challenges — online buying, big box competitors and the deep-discounters alike — we continue to be full of hope. Business is booming, as they say. We're lucky that we have the best, most loyal customers in the world, that the community continues to value customer service highly, and that because we are small, we can deal with the changing needs of customers more quickly and more accurately.
Q: Why are independent bookstores important to a community?
A: Woozles and independent bookstores alike serve as a cultural hub; a meeting place for families, ideas and community issues. We support literacy and various literacy-related initiatives; we support the community through the hosting of a variety of programs and events; we work closely with other businesses in our areas to encourage and support one another; we provide jobs for members of the community and the income that is generated in these stores is reinvested directly into our communities. We are more environmentally minded and more conscious of and responsive to the individual needs and wants of our patrons.
To find out more about Woozles, visit their website.
CBC Books is looking for more great independent bookstores from across the country. Nominate your favourite in the comments below and tell us why it deserves to be highlighted! We hope to feature one store every month.