Used Bookstores in Montreal

I went to the Annual QWF Awards Gala last night, and on the way out, as I worked my way through the swag, I picked up a bookmark from the Used Book Circle that listed the second-hand bookstores (specializing in English-language books) that can be found in “mid-town” Montreal. As a fan of used bookstores, it occurred to me that this is a very nice and useful analog resource that could used a web-based companion.

If you’re awake, you’ll realize I just linked to, which is a nice catch-all resource for used bookstores in London (Ontario), Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Victoria. However, my very sketchy and not so empirical test reveals that it doesn’t show up well on Web searches. (Although it does include a lot of useful information beyond just bookstore addresses.) This blog, on the other hand, has, after almost eight years in existence, notched up a decent Google ranking.

Therefore, as a public service, I hereby pass on the Used Book Circle’s Montreal list, under the highly Googleable heading of “used bookstores in Montreal” (alternatively, “second-hand bookstores in Montreal”).

Used Bookstores in Montreal

Westcott Books
2065 Ste-Catherine West [Map]

Librairie Astro
1844 Ste-Catherine West [Map]

Odyssey Books*
1439 Stanley [Map]

Cheap Thrills*
2044 Metcalf [Map]

460 Ste-Catherine West, #406 [Map]

The Word*
469 Milton [Map]

S. W. Welch*
225 St. Viateur West [Map]

Ex Libris
2159 Mackay St. [Map]
Tel: 514-284-0350

(Update: closed.)


* Personal favorites
Note: cash only.


Bernard Wolf, owner/operator of Odyssey Books and the originator of the UBC, contacted me this week (late August 2009) with some additional information. He would have left it in the comments, but comments for this post are closed. Here is Bernard’s additional information, verbatim:

  1. The main function of UBC is to allow people to find a particular book locally before they head off to the WWW. On the left side of the UBC main page is a book request form which, when filled in, goes out to all of the ‘participating’ bookstores. By ‘participating’, we assume those on the list will check their shelves for the book in question and then get back to the potential customer to inform them of condition and cost. Of course, if all is satisfactory, the ‘client’ can then pick up the book . This is the main intent and function of UBC.
  2. The book store listings are always kept up to date and current.
  3. Their are quite a few more bookstores on the list than you indicate. Some
    are French.
  4. Not all bookstores in Montreal are on the list although they should be. Some just don’t ‘get it’. As there is no cost to anyone other than me – my personal contribution to the used book scene – I do not understand their reasoning and/or lack of business acumen. Just this week I ‘delivered’ over $175.00 worth of books through UBC.

Warning to Cyclists on Rachel Bike Path

While it is incumbent upon all parties to work together to ensure equal, fair, and safe access to our roadways, people who use Montreal’s Rachel Street bike path should be aware that the intersection of Rachel and St. Laurent is particularly dangerous for them.

I say this as someone who has both driven and cycled through that intersection many times. What I’ve noticed when driving is that if I’m heading west on Rachel and I want to turn right (North) on St. Laurent – which involves crossing the bike path while the cyclists also have a green light – it is really hard to keep track of, and to see, everything that’s happening.

Picture it from the driver’s perspective: the light is green and you’re allowed to make that right turn. When you look ahead, you see cyclists coming towards you, so you wait for a break. You get the break and you look behind you too see if anyone’s coming from the other direction. But the line of parked cars between you and the bike path make it really hard to see if anyone’s coming, so you move slowly. In the meantime, the gap from the first direction is closing. Add to this the jaywalkers who see that you’re not gunning it so they just walk in front of your car. There you are with four different things to watch out for, and your window of opportunity is closing quickly because the green light (for turning) lasts less than a minute.

Yes, it’s tricky. Unfortunately, in this town of impatient drivers and easily frayed nerves, that also means it is dangerous, as a lot of drivers will just gun it around the corner as soon as it looks like they might have a break. Crunch! In that argument, it’s the cyclist who always loses.

Just to be clear; I’m not defending drivers who act like that. I’m just pointing out the reality that it is a difficult intersection for drivers to get through safely without an inordinate amount of patience. And we all know that Montreal drivers are inordinately impatient.

So be warned, and be extra vigilant if you’re cycling through that intersection. It doesn’t matter who is at fault if you get hit; all that matters is that you will be the one going to the hospital (or the morgue).

Add to the mix a row of parked cars over the driver’s right shoulder blocking the view of west-bound cyclists (no cars were parked there when this satellite image was taken).

Computer junk recycling

This Public Service Announcement (PSA) is brought to you by the Blork Blog. No purchase necessary.

Over the years I’ve accumulated a lot of computer and electronics junk. I’ve got a couple of near-dead laptops, an old cell phone, a Palm PDA, couple of printers, and a scattering of barely recognizeable parts. But what to do with them?

Computation is a Toronto-based computer recycler with satelite operations in Quebec. They’re holding a special event this week (April 16-22) to coincide with Earth Day. They’re inviting people who are looking for an “environmentally sensitive and privacy ensured method to dispose of [their] unwanted computer equipment” to drop it off at their facilities in Toronto and Montreal.

The address in Toronto is 2444 Bloor St. West, and in Montreal it’s 7080 rue Alexandra, (near the corner of Jean-Talon and St. Laurent).

If you have junk to get rid of, this is your chance. They take your stuff for free, and either re-use the components or dispose of them in a certified environmentally manner. They also have privacy assurace, which I take to mean they completely wipe any hard drives before disposal or re-use.

Here’s the press release for the recycling event that lasts until Sunday. Here’s a list of the stuff they take, along with some blurbs about their various certifications.