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

Can’t get enough reading material? Check out this list of bookstores in the West Kootenay.

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Samara Nicoll stands in front of bookshelves.

Samara Nicoll is the proud owner of Nelson's newest bookstore, Notably—A Book Lover's Emporium. — Photo courtesy Notably, A Book Lover’s Emporium Facebook page

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 from 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.

So there you have it. 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 West 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 bookstores in the East Kootenay region as well.

Bookstores in Castlegar:

Second Look Used Books

This community bookstore opened in Castlegar in 2019. Home to over 18,000 used books, the store stocks a wide variety of reading material suitable for all ages and interests. They welcome book collections and offer store credit on used book trade-ins.

Where to find them: 1101 - 4th Street, Castlegar
Hours of operation: Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday and Monday closed
How to contact them: Phone 778-460-4431, email [email protected]

Front window of Second Look Used Books in Castlegar.

Second Look Used Books in Castlegar opened in 2019 and is a wonderful addition to the community. — Photo courtesy Second Look Used Books Facebook page

Bookstores in Nakusp:

Meritxell Books 

If you’re visiting Nakusp, a stop at Meritxell Books is a must. According to a Google review, the owner is “a jolly old man and the friendliest shop owner in Nakusp.” The shop is the quintessential used bookstore—the mess of books and boxes piled up everywhere forces the devoted reader to dig deep to find treasures (which, of course, is one of the best things about a good used bookstore).

Where to find them: 314 Broadway Street West, Nakusp
Hours of operation: Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday closed
How to contact them: Phone 250-265-4450

Bookstores in Nelson:

Booksmyth Used Books

“We love books!” proclaims the website of Booksmyth Used Books. As a local purveyor of used books, it’s clear that this proclamation is very true. This shop, located on Nelson’s historic Baker Street, specializes in carefully curated, quality books on a nice range of subject matter including art, history, classic literature and Canadiana.

Where to find them: 106 -  402 Baker Street, Nelson
Hours of operation: Tuesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m., Monday closed
How to contact them: Phone 250-352-1225

Coles/Indigo

There’s a familiar Coles Bookstore in many communities across Canada, and Nelson is no exception. Located in the Chahko Mika Mall, this Coles location carries a wide variety of new books for all ages and tastes, as well as stationery, giftware and gaming supplies.

Where to find them: Chahko Mika Mall, 1107 Lakeside Drive, Nelson
Hours of operation: Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
How to contact them: Phone 250-352-0057

Notably, A Book Lover’s Emporium

The newest addition to Nelson’s bookish community, Notably opened their doors in June of 2021. This independently-owned store caters to literary lovers of all ages and stocks a far-reaching range of fiction and non-fiction titles. They also carry a nice selection of high-end stationery and gift items.

Where to find them: 454 Ward Street, Nelson
Hours of operation: Monday to Wednesday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday closed
How to contact them: Phone 250-354-0148, email [email protected]

Otter Books

This locally-owned independent bookstore carries a great selection of local interest titles, current and bestselling books as well as items like puzzles and giftware. They regularly hold events like meet the author/signing days and have a great bargain section of books to browse through.

Where to find them: 398 Baker Street, Nelson
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday closed
How to contact them: Phone: 250-352-3434, email [email protected]

Interior shot of Packrat Annie's, showing long row of books and shelves.

Books, books and more books (and vinyl records too!) can be found at Packrat Annie's in Nelson. — Photo courtesy Packrat Annie’s Facebook page

Packrat Annie’s

This wonderfully eclectic spot in Nelson houses an ever-changing collection of used books—you never know what you’ll dig up at Packrat Annie’s! As well as a wealth of books, the store sells new and used vinyl records and CDs.

Where to find them: 411 Kootenay Street, Nelson
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
How to contact them: Phone 250-354-4722, email [email protected]

Bookstores in Revelstoke:

Fable Book Parlour

Whether it’s in the guise of the Fable Bookmobile or their newly opened storefront, this independently-owned business is all about sharing their love of community, arts and culture . . . and books, of course. They believe in carrying a carefully curated selection of quality new and used books that will appeal to everyone, whether it’s a visiting tourist or a local looking for the newest read.

Where to find them: 102 - 311 First Street West, Revelstoke
Hours of operation: Monday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday closed
How to contact them: Phone 250-683-9904, email [email protected]

3 female owners of Fable Book Parlour smiling into camera, holding books and sign.

(From L to R): Stacy Batchelor, Allie Bruni and Kristin Olsen are the excited co-owners of Revelstoke's new bookstore, the Fable Book Parlour. — Photo courtesy Fable Book Parlour Facebook page

Bookstores in Rossland:

Gold Rush Bookstore

Housed in a circa 1914 heritage building in downtown Rossland, the Gold Rush Bookstore is all about taking a step back from the rush of daily life. Enjoy a bit of quiet time and take in the wealth of new and used books found at this friendly little bookstore. A nice cross-section of titles can be found, from best-sellers to uniquely “Kootenay” books from local authors.

Where to find them: 2063 Washington Street, Rossland
Hours of operation: Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
How to contact them: Phone 250-362-5454, email [email protected]

Outside storefront of Gold Rush Bookstore in Rossland.

There are treasures to be found at Rossland's Gold Rush Bookstore. — Photo courtesy Gold Rush Bookstore Instagram page

Bookstores in Trail:

Crockett Book Company

Even though the Crockett Book Company is a small, independently-run store, they carry a surprisingly large, well-rounded selection of books and magazines. From local tourist guides, maps and reference books to graphic novels and children’s titles, there is something for everyone. They also carry a large selection of award-winning card and board games for adults and kids.

Where to find them: Waneta Plaza Mall, 109 - 8100 Rock Island Highway, Trail
Hours of operation: Monday to Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
How to contact them: Phone 250-364-1123, email [email protected]

Page One Used Books

With a stock of over used 65,000 books, this unassuming little bookstore garners rave reviews from many repeat customers. It’s cluttered (as any good used bookshop should be) but well organized into categories. The proprietor is friendly, knowledgeable and happy to suggest new authors to try out.

Where to find them: 1703 - 2nd Avenue, Trail
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday closed
How to contact them: Phone 250-231-3573, email [email protected]

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

Interior view of Crockett Book Co. in mall.

The Crockett Book Company is located in Trail's Waneta Plaza Mall. — Photo courtesy Crockett Book Company Facebook page

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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