Read ’em and reap: A list of East Kootenay bookstores

If you’re a devoted bookworm, you’ll love the varied selection of new and used bookstores across the Kootenay region.

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Owner of Huckleberry Books, Erin Dalton, standing in bookstore with Max the cat cuddled in her arms.

Erin Dalton is the owner of Huckleberry Books in Cranbrook, located on 9th Avenue in the downtown core. — Virginia Rasch photo

As a society, we may be firmly rooted in the digital age but when it comes to books, most of us prefer the comforting, tactile feel of crisp paper over the smooth texture of a touchscreen under our fingertips. According to the 2020 Canadian Book Consumer Study, conducted by BookNet Canada, about 75 per cent of purchased books are printed editions rather than digital ebooks or audiobooks. Here are some other interesting facts found in the same study:

  • Paperback books are twice as popular as hardcover books
  • Roughly 50 per cent of people buy their printed books through an online retailer or bookseller
  • The most popular types of books among Canadians include fictional thrillers, romance, autobiography and self-help books
  • Over 38 per cent of people reported that they discover new books and authors to read by browsing through their local bookstore

Despite our love of electronics and digital gadgets, it seems that traditional printed books are here to stay. That’s great news for our local bookstores and used booksellers. How about paying a visit to one of the local East Kootenay book purveyors on this list and bringing home a new stack of books to read? After all, curling up on the couch with a Kindle doesn’t quite cut it.

And if you’re interested in expanding your bookstore visits, check out our list of new and used booksellers in the West Kootenay area as well.

Bookstores in Cranbrook:

Beautiful Moments

In business since 2008, Beautiful Moments is a bookstore dedicated to Christian books and subjects. Their stock includes fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, as well as a range of giftware and religious items.

Where to find them: 112B Van Horne Street South, Cranbrook
Hours of operation: Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday and Monday closed
How to contact them: Phone 250-489-3101, email [email protected]

Coles/Indigo Books

Affiliated with Canadian company Indigo Books & Music Inc., Coles Books is a small-format bookstore that carries a wide range of new titles for all ages and interests. Looking for the latest bestseller? Coles will be the place to find it.

Where to find them: Coles Bookstore is located in the Tamarack Centre Mall, 1500 Cranbrook Street North 
Hours of operation: Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday and Monday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
How to contact them: Phone 250-426-2765

Huckleberry Books

Someone petting Max the Cat.

Max the cat at Huckleberry Books appreciates friendly chin rubs from customers. — Photo courtesy Huckleberry Books Facebook page

Huckleberry Books is an independent community bookstore, carrying a nicely curated range of new titles for even the most finicky bookworm. Formerly known as Lotus Books and located on a neighbouring street, the new space is cozy and inviting, full of the necessary nooks and crannies that any good bookstore should contain. While you’re visiting, make sure to give some love and attention to Max, the resident tabby cat. In the mood to stay home in your jammies? Or maybe you’re allergic to cats? That’s OK. Huckleberry Books welcomes online browsing.

Where to find them: Huckleberry Books is located at 16 - 9th Avenue South in downtown Cranbrook
Hours of operation: Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday and Monday closed
How to contact them: Phone 250-426-3415, email [email protected]

Kootenay Grounds Cafe & Bookstore

Coffee and books—fewer things are more satisfying. If you’re in the mood for good coffee and want to snag a good book while you’re at it, the Kootenay Grounds Cafe & Bookstore is the place to do it. This independently-run store opened in downtown Cranbrook in 2019 and stocks a great range of popular titles, along with more “Kootenay-esque” books on subjects like hiking trails, home brewing and gardening.

Where to find them: #16 - 11th Avenue South in downtown Cranbrook
Hours of operation: Monday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m, Tuesday to Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays closed
How to contact them: Phone 250-489-2002

Candice Pickering, smiling into camera and holding up a cup of coffee. Bookstore in background.

Kootenay Grounds Cafe and Bookstore, owned and operated by Candice Pickering, is a great place to drop in for a coffee and browse the newest bestsellers. — Keith Powell photo

Pages Book Emporium

Home to Free Comic Book Day, Funko Pops, funky merchandise and, of course, the finest selection of used books in the East Kootenays, Pages Book Emporium is a must-stop. They also have the largest collection of new magazines in the region. It’s easy to get lost for hours in this bookstore packed to the ceiling with all kinds of wonderful books. Maybe you’ll even find that elusive title you’ve been trying to find for years.

Where to find them: 1011 Baker Street in downtown Cranbrook
Hours of operation: Tuesday to Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday closed
How to contact them: Phone 250-489-3262, email [email protected]

Long row of books and shelves in Pages Bookstore.

If it's books you're looking for, Pages Book Emporium is the place to be. — Photo courtesy Pages Book Emporium Facebook page

Bookstores in Creston:

Black Bear Books

This artsy independent bookstore has a relaxed and friendly vibe. The cozy and intimate seating arrangement invites customers to sit and enjoy a cappuccino and freshly-baked muffin while perusing the book selection. Shelves are stocked with a variety of titles, including award-winning books, classics and a bargain book section. 

Where to find them: 1229B Canyon Street, Creston
Hours of operation: Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday closed
How to contact them: Phone 250-428-2711, email [email protected]

Street view of Creston street, showing the Black Bear Books sign.

Black Bear Books is conveniently located in Creston's downtown core. — Photo courtesy Black Bear Books Facebook page

Kingfisher Quality Used Books

If your idea of the perfect used bookstore is a spot where the books are artfully disorganized—spilling out of boxes, stacked like Lego bricks to the ceiling and tucked away in corners—then you will love Kingfisher Quality Used Books. Home to over 25,000 titles, this friendly little store offers comfy chairs and free Wi-Fi and even serves up darn good coffee and tea!

Where to find them: 131 - 12th Avenue North, Creston
Hours of operation: Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday and Monday closed
How to contact them: Phone 250-428-0553

Bookstores in Fernie:

Polar Peek Books & Treasures

Located in a beautifully restored heritage building in downtown Fernie, this independently-owned bookstore is a great spot to explore if you’re interested in local history and attractions. Along with guidebooks, hiking/biking maps and local art, they also carry a wide range of popular subject matter. For kids, there’s a lively children’s section filled with quality books and educational toys.

Where to find them: 596 2nd Avenue, Fernie
Hours of operation: Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
How to contact them: Phone 250-423-3736, email [email protected]

Bookstores in Golden:

Bacchus Books and Cafe

If creaky wooden floors could talk, they’d tell tales about the many bookworms who have wandered through this quirky combination of bookstore and cafe. Inside the warmly-painted yellow building, customers will find a vast selection of quality new and used books. Special orders are welcome, and there’s also a frequent buyer and credit program for die-hard book lovers.

Where to find them: 409 - 9th Avenue North, Golden
Hours of operation: Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
How to contact them: Phone 250-344-5600, email [email protected]

Shelves of neatly arranged books.

A quirkly little bookstore in Golden, Bacchus Books is home to a wide selection of new and used books and giftware. — Photo courtesy Bacchus Books and Cafe Facebook page

Bookstores in Invermere:

The Book Cellar

This friendly little used bookshop is located on Invermere’s main street, downstairs below the River Gem Gallery. It’s full to bursting with a vast selection of used books, along with a large collection of vinyl records. Make sure to give the resident border collie, Tess, a pat while you browse through the many books.

Where to find them: 613 - 12th Street, Invermere
Hours of operation: Tuesday to Saturday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday and Monday closed
How to contact them: Phone: 250-342-2003

If we missed adding your bookstore to this list and you would like to be included, please send us a message: [email protected].

Julie Matchett

Julie Matchett is a writer and content coordinator for KPI Media. She ranks as a 7 on the Introversion vs. Extraversion scale out of 100, which might help to explain why she chose a career of quiet contemplation as opposed to public speaking. View all of Julie Matchett’s articles

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