BC/AB Road Trip Report

Earlier this month, our family went on a little road trip through BC and Alberta. One of my favourite parts (behind only the water slides, mini-golf and dinosaur bones) was visiting book stores.

If you find yourself making a similar trip, here are three you shouldn't miss:

First up is Baker's Books in Hope, a used bookstore where every book is $2! They have a small but mighty poetry section, and a strong selection of rare poetry books at the back (they cost a bit more). Always worth a stop at the beginning of a road trip.

Another bookstore I'm always sure to visit is The Book Shop in Penticton. With over 5,000 square feet of floor space, it's one of Canada's largest. This time I counted 28 shelves of poetry, ten of which were Canadian (including Laura Farina's Some Talk of Being Human, photographed here). 

My tour of Alberta bookstores was truncated by our skirting around Calgary to avoid Stampede madness (and to spend more time hunting dinosaur bones), but I made sure we popped in to Glass Bookshop in Edmonton. Founded by poets Jason Purcell and Matthew Stepanic, it's an absolute heaven for poetry fans.

Right at the front entrance you're greeted by this fantastic array of (mostly poetry) chapbooks. 

And inside - boom! - eight shelves of brand new poetry, largely from Canada and the US. It doesn't get any better than this.

While I didn't get photos in other places, stores like the Wee Book Inn and Audrey's in Edmonton and Three Hills Books in, strangely enough, Three Hills, were also a pleasure to visit.

Here's the full list of the books I picked up on the trip, along with the bookstores in which I acquired them:

Animal Person, Alexander MacLeod (Iron Dog Books, Vancouver - picked up on the way out of town!)
Some Talk of Being Human, Laura Farina (The Book Shop, Penticton)
Spring and All, William Carlos Williams (Baker's Books, Hope)
The Sound of Poetry, Robert Pinsky (The Book Shop, Penticton)
The Essential Muriel Rukeyser, Muriel Rukeyser (Wee Book Inn, Edmonton)
The Great Canadian Sonnet, David McFadden (Wee Book Inn, Edmonton)
7 to 5, Michael Meagher (Wee Book Inn, Edmonton)
Swollening, Jason Purcell (Glass Bookshop, Edmonton)
Terra Firma, Pharma Sea, Joseph Kidney (Glass Bookshop, Edmonton)
Fugue with Bedbug, Anne-Marie Turza (Glass Bookshop, Edmonton)
ICQ, Matthew Walsh (Glass Bookshop, Edmonton)
Songs for Relinquishing the Earth, Jan Zwicky (Baker's Books, Hope - forgot it in the photo!)

A mere 12 books! My restraint grows with every year (or, at least, the space in our apartment diminishes). You can check out past trip book hauls here: 2011, 2016, 2017, 2019. God and COVID willing, I hope to be making many more such reports in the coming years!

1 comment:

Rajani said...

Fantastic! Would be lucky to see one whole shelf of poetry in a bookshop in my town...!