One of the reasons why I spent this weekend in Toronto was to check out a used bookstore.
I’m one of those people who believes that there will always be a niche market for used books. Even though the universe of e-books is growing by leaps and bounds, there will always be some books, published in the past, that for some reason the publisher won’t re-release in an e-version. Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary, or the memoir Bring On The Girls by that British humourist P.G. Wodehouse, or Robertson Davies’ The Papers of Samuel Marchbanks. Wonderful old titles that readers tend to forget, but deserve a look nonetheless.
Of course there are used bookstores in Ottawa, but I’ve yet to encounter them via a Twitter feed. I was introduced to Re:Reading via the fictioneuse fatale known as Sexy Nerd Girl, and the owner’s Twitter feed was friendly and enthusiastic enough that I felt the shop was worth checking out. (Note to politicians: this is how you use Twitter to market yourself.)It’s certainly in the right neighborhood. Greektown is a part of Toronto that I’d never been to before, and it sort of reminds me of Bank Street in the Glebe, or West Fourth Avenue in Vancouver. With the proliferation of Greek tavernae, pubs and sushi joints, it’s an ideal place to plonk a bookstore.
As it turns out, the owner was spending the weekend at the cottage, but I still found the staff friendly and easygoing and I got to re-acquaint myself with Lawrence Block and his burglarizing protagonist, Bernie Rhodenbarr. Of course, Mr. Block has tons of books available in the Kindle Store, but I won’t argue with those who say there’s nothing quite like the feel of a paper book — plus, you don’t have to worry about the juice running out on your e-reader.
Although the Re:Reading owner was at the cottage, he still was on Twitter, and so he suggested that since I was in T.O. I should try checking out the Beaches district. This was good advice.
A little under thirty years ago I walked, after a party where I drank too much beer, from a neighborhood in the East End of Vancouver back to the University of B.C. Took me three hours and the blisters didn’t go away for a week, but I considered it an accomplishment. Walking from Re:Reading to the Beaches would take a distance of about 7 km according to the Google Maps application on my iPhone. It took me an hour and a half, allowing for traffic, but it was still a good idea.
I wished I had more time to do a more thorough walkaround of the area, but the sight is worth the heat. Good looking sands plus lots of trees and parkland, which equals a fair amount of shade.
I think it should be one of Life’s Rules that if you have access to a good beach, and it’s a nice sunny day, it would be a crime not to go and take a long, leisurely walk on it.