16 Indie Book Shops in Greater Vancouver
There’s a reason that books are such great holiday gifts: there’s countless options to choose from and they make the perfect cozy activity, ideal for cold winter days. And local independent bookstores are the best place to pick those gifts up – book shops in Greater Vancouver are vital businesses in the community and they also help support emerging and established writers, and highlight marginalized writers who may be overlooked by big box stores.
During covid, independent bookstores were hard hit but have continued to provide great service to their local communities, and with word that supply chain issues in the publishing industry may impact holiday shopping, they’re urging their customers to get their gift lists organized early. There’s no better time than right now to check out your local indie bookstores. Win-win: find great gifts, support fantastic local businesses.
Here’s a roundup of some of the best indie book shops in Greater Vancouver:
4094 Hastings St., Burnaby, BC
Situated in the Heights, a popular residential and business corridor in North Burnaby, Companion Books stocks both new and used books, along with some rare and collectible books. Make it a day along Hastings at nearby shops and finish up your Christmas shopping: there’s chocolatiers, toy stores, gift shops and more.
2176 West 41st Ave., Vancouver
For nearly 30 years, Hager Books is one of the most prominent and popular indie book shops in Greater Vancouver, in the west side of Vancouver, as part of the busy Kerrisdale area. The store stocks new books from popular fiction and non-fiction, as well as art and decorating books, and plenty in between for every possible gift recipient.
2671 East Hastings St., Vancouver
They began as a roving booktruck and now have a brick-and-mortar location to go with it in East Vancouver. Iron Dog Books is an Indigenous-owned bookshop rooted in the idea that books should be both affordable and accessible. The shop sells new and used books.
2557 West Broadway, Vancouver
3040 Edgemont Boulevard, North Vancouver, BC
The name says it all. Kidsbooks has been the region’s largest purveyor of children’s books (along with puzzles, games, and more) for decades. With one location in Vancouver and a second on the North Shore, there’s a spot that’s close to home (or worth the drive) for anyone in the region.
123-1315 56th St., Tsawwassen
This little shop has been a community favourite in sunny Tsawwassen in the community of Delta for more than 35 years. It has moved locations but is now attached to the Town Centre Mall. Most of the staff has been part of the team for years and can help find the perfect book for every customer.
101-810 Quayside Dr., New Westminster
Kinder Books in the New Westminster Quay market is marking 10 years in operation this year. The owner (a former early childhood educator who helped create programs for elementary schools in early literacy, art and more) was motivated to create a book store focused on children’s literature that was diverse and inclusive.
229 E. Georgia St, Vancouver
Located in Chinatown in downtown Vancouver, Massy Books is an Indigenous-owned shop that has become more than a bookstore, but also serves as a gathering and event space – there’s even an art gallery upstairs. The book shelves have been built on castors so the store can be rearranged to host readings, musical events, and more.
Unit 2132-2850 Shaughnessy Street, Port Coquitlam
Thousands of titles, both new and used, along with a carefully curated selection of small gifts, are just waiting to be discovered at Western Sky Books. The owners describe their shop as “bigger on the inside” and it’s certainly true: once inside, tall bookshelves and a large space await. The owners feature local visual artists on the gallery walls as well, as part of their effort to connect the artistic and literary communities in the area.
344 West Pender Street, Vancouver
The Paper Hound is a new, used and rare book store located in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Known for their unique selection, the store describes itself as being a home for “the classic, curious, odd, beautiful, visually arresting, scholarly, bizarre, and whimsical.”
The jointly-owned Book Warehouse and Black Bond Books offer a half dozen locations around the Lower Mainland: two Book Warehouse shops in Vancouver and Black Bond locations in Ladner, Maple Ridge, Surrey and South surrey. Stocking a variety of books, along with calendars, small gifts, unique puzzles and more, they’re sure to offer a variety of choices for gifts for book lovers.
2010 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Canterbury Tales sells both new and used books in the heart of The Drive in East Vancouver. The store prides itself on offering an eclectix mix of books for its diverse community – and if they don’t have what you want, they’ll happily bring it in.
1391 Commercial Drive
First opened in 1945, the People’s Co-op Bookstore is Canada’s oldest extant bookstore. Run as a co-operative business model, the shop is a favourite with locals and readers from further afield who pop into the city to shop.
Three locations in Vancouver
Serving the city for 21 years, Pulpfiction Books is one of Western Canada’s largest bookstores, with three locations and more than 80,000 new and used books – many out of printe now – in stock. As well, most new books are sold at a discount from the Canadian cover price.
#130 12031 First Ave, Richmond
The address says Richmond, but savvy book lovers will know that this shop is in the heart of the Steveston community, an historic fishing village at the edge of Richmond. Head down for some books, but stay for the unique community, quirky shops, and maybe some fish and chips.
103 – 9233 Glover Road, Fort Langley
A small but full service bookstore attached to a cozy coffee shop that serves up cookies, muffins, sandwiches and more just might be every book lover’s dream. Located on a main intersection in the tiny community of Fort Langley, there’s dozens of shops up and down the street to help round out your Christmas shopping.