Monday, 24 August 2015

My Canada Book Haul

My absolute favourite thing about visiting North America has to be book shopping. Not only do I adore the binding of US and Canadian books (so floppy!) but, although fiction tends to be widely published across the Atlantic, non-fiction is often more localised and there's always a ton of good stuff that I can't find in the UK. Not to mention, bookshops are just infinitely more interesting to browse when a large number of the titles are completely new to me.

Both Montreal and Toronto were blessed with numerous bookshops, secondhand and new. In Montreal I've already written about my love for Drawn & Quarterly, which is well worth a visit should you ever find yourself in the city. In Toronto, She Said Boom on College St was a small but exceptionally varied secondhand book and record store, filled with excellent stock of both fiction and non-fiction. On Queen West was Type Books (pictured above), a stunning space full of well-selected books and magazines. We visited on our last morning, by which time we had no room left for books in our luggage, yet still ended up buying four titles between us.

My total book haul was a not-too-shabby eight (pretty much all I could cram into my already over-full backpack, basically, plus a couple that had to go into my carry-on). From feminist cartoons to fat non-fiction, I got it all.

The books I was looking for
I enjoyed Michelle Tea's novel, Valencia, and read all of her columns about trying to conceive on xojane, so I'd had my eyes peeled for her memoir since it came out last year. I had no luck finding it in the UK, but Drawn & Quarterly in Montreal came up trumps.

The Infinite Moment Of Us is a YA romance. I'd read an extract in the UK-published anthology Love Hurts, but then struggled to track down a copy anywhere in this country but Amazon (boo). So I was thrilled to find it on our last day in Type Books.

The cartoons
While in Drawn & Quarterly I wanted to get something from their extensive graphic novel and comics section, and as soon as I saw this - The Big Feminist But: Comics About Women, Men and the IFs, ANDs & BUTs of Feminism - I knew it would be coming home with me. An extensive anthology featuring work by a range of artists, I can't wait to dive in.

A Bunch Of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy was, ironically enough given the subject matter - consumerism and spending - an impulse buy after I picked up a copy at the till in Type Books.

The Canadian book
I'd had some interesting chats with my Canadian uncle and one of my cousins about the First Nations in Canada and how reparations have failed to be made for the exploitation and theft of their land, so when I saw this new release for a bargain price in She Said Boom it seemed the perfect way to educate myself about the issues. Written by a Native American author, it comes garlanded with praise and I'm very much looking forward to reading this.

The bargain non-fiction
BMV Books in Toronto is a four floor behemoth of used and remainder books, and it was there I stumbled upon these three bargains, which together cost be about £6. Judging A Book By Its Lover is an example of a genre I always enjoy: books about books and reading. Scoot Over Skinny: The Fat Non-Fiction Anthology was super cheap and, with essays by David Sedaris among others, I thought it might be a fun read. Record Collecting For Girls appealed to the music fan in me. Who knows whether they'll be any cop, but at that price, it's worth the risk.