Thursday 28 February 2008
Toronto's best kept secret indeed
I spent some time today working-ish in the Toronto Reference Library at Yonge and Bloor. While attempting to intelligently consider my thesis introduction revisions, my thoughts were interrupted by an announcement on the library's God-sized intercom.
This announcement, which quickly began to sound something like the singing of angels to me, informed me that there is a used bookstore located inside the library on the first floor. My heart was, as a result, all aflutter and I got through my work knowing I would soon be rewarded with a trip to this hitherto unknown source of cheap books.
The store is called Book Ends South (there is another store at the North York Central Library called Book Ends) and it is exceedingly small. (It proclaims itself, on the flyer the woman gave me, to be "Toronto's best kept secret!" I'm inclined to agree.) Run by what I assume is a volunteer group called Friends of the Toronto Public Library, Book Ends South features books donated by patrons and books retired from active library service - and all usually for $1 a piece!
The fiction and literature sections are small but the woman there informed me that as books are purchased, more are brought up from storage to fill the spaces. All the money raised in the Book Ends stores is donated to library programs. Now that's a mandate I can get behind - as is paying $1 per book.
You will be surprised to hear that I didn't go completely insane and buy half their stock. No, I spent only $3 today for I realized this is the kind of place one should visit frequently to scan for difficult to find books. Hooray for Book Ends South!