Third best in the known universe? How about that?

munrosI see by a news item that Victoria’s Munro’s Books has been named the third best book emporium in the known universe. Well, the actual designation, according to National Geographic which bestowed the honor, was third best on the planet. But since no other planets apparently have a literary bent, I will stick with my suggestion.

Quite an amazing thing for this store. Not only was it co-founded by a Nobel Prize winning author, as in Alice of the same name as the store but now this.

It is deserved, in my esteem. Munro’s is one of my ‘musts’ whenever I am in Victoria and I have parted with a fair amount of cash in the place. I like wandering around its shelves in its lovely home that was at one time a classically appointed bank building from the days when banks looked like banks. I mainly like the place because it sells books and that is a good thing.

I have bought many books in my life. I have bought waaaaaaaaaaaaay too many books in my life and someday before I croak I am going to have to offload some of them. Our living room bookcases are abrim, and all three bedrooms are chock-a-block with tomes. And that’s not to mention the garage. No, I asked you not to mention the garage.

When I travel I am sucker-punched by bookstores, and especially vulnerable to iconic ones. A wander up Charing Cross Road in London is almost a sexual experience – I said ‘almost’, nothing is exactly a sexual experience other than sex – because that rickety West End street is the home of bookstores of every strip from cheap smut shops to the renowned Foyle’s, the biggest bookstore in the world. I have been to Foyle’s a few times and it is amazing in its masses. Frankly there is too damn much in the bound volumes department therein for a mere mortal to actually savor the astonishing nature of the place. I believe I bought my first Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in Foyle’s.

I fell in love with bookstores when I was in university and had no money but I would still take myself down to Duthie’s in Vancouver just to be in the presence of volumes I wanted to buy.

Anyway, I am happy about Munro’s. In the age of the repellent shit of a Trump, and the horrors of Brussels it was the feel-good story I needed today.



8 responses to “Third best in the known universe? How about that?

  1. You would love The Book Shop in Penticton. I have had guests come stay just to go there! will give you some idea. A veritable rabbit warren of all topics under the sun! Come visit!


    In Portland, OR the Powell’s main bookstore is an entire city block and is said to be the largest in the world. You could get lost in it! maybe you should stay away…just sayin’!


    Just wonering if you have read all your books, or just a book hoarder…

  4. Gotta love a good bookstore I can lose myself for hours in a bookstore. I will admit though, to buying way less paper tomes since I was gifted my first kindle. I wasn’t sure I’d like it, but soon realized I loved the stories way more than the support. Plus there’s something very reassuring about being able to cart around 1000 different books for a person who can’t go to the corner store without bringing along something to read “just in case”.

  5. Ian, when you are ready to offload those treasured tomes, consider me kindly,

    I love a good read and have not had the privilege of being in a Munro’s, A mind, as they often say, is a terrible thing to waste.

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