We welcome a new staff member -Stephanie Caldicott- to help us with the fall surge in business. Stephanie has lots of bookstore experience. She began her career with Books Canada and then worked for Ivy’s Bookstore in Victoria for 10 years before returning to Ottawa and spending 13 years at Nicholas Hoare Books. We all look forward to working with her.
1.”The Dogs are Eating Them now” by Graeme Smith History
2. “The Massey Murder” by Charlotte Gray History
3.”The Orenda” by Joseph Boyden Fiction
4. “The Inconvenient Indian” by Thomas King History
5. “How the Light gets in” by Louise Penny Fiction
6. “Fire and Ashes” by Michael Ignatieff Politics
7. “The Painted Girls” by Cathy Marie Buchanan Fiction
8. ” My Antonia” by Willa Cather Classic
9. “The Yellow Birds” by Kevin Powers Fiction
10. “The Racketeer” by John Grisham Fiction
11. “The Son of a Certain Woman” by Wayne Johnston Fiction
12. “Children of the Revolution” by Peter Robinson Fiction
13. “And then there were Nuns” by Jane Christmas Travel
14. “At the Table:Nourishing Conv..” by T. Keenleyside Cookery
15. “”The Cookbook” by Ottolenghi Cookery
The fall brings a flurry of activity at the store in preparation for the November/December peak in sales. We are busy bringing in new stock and adding to our collection. Books make an ideal choice as a Christmas gift that can be adapted to the recipient’s interests. If you can’t quite decide what to get, gift cards are always welcome. The store is about to introduce new customized electronic gift cards which will be more convenient for the customer. Just ask at the counter.
The staff are always willing to help you search for books and ready to put their vast knowledge at your service. However, for those who prefer to search or just browse by themselves, we’ve added a search computer at the rear of the store. There you can search our stock on-line and search the stock of our major suppliers. You can also order books on-line if you wish. The same search facility can be accessed at home by going to store.booksonbeechwood.ca
Fall and winter activities are off to a good start. Our book club was so successful last year that we’ve expanded to two clubs this year (but discussing a common set of books). You’re welcome to join the new club on the second Wednesday of each month. (see the Book Club page for details).
A major new adventure for us is the Books and Brew Series put on in collaboration with the Clocktower pub next door. This involves dinner at the pub combined with readings or presentations by selected authors and a question and answer session. The series debuted with a sell-out crowd to hear the ever popular Charlotte Gray talking about her new book (The Massey Murder). It was a very successful. It’s interesting to see “reading” becoming such a social event. Future Books and Brew nights are planned as follows:
Monday October 28; Nathan Greenfield with “The Forgotten: Canadian POWs, Escapees and Evaders in Europe 1939-1945
Monday November 11: Don Newman with his memoir “Welcome to the Broadcast”
Monday November 25: Mary Lawson with her new novel “Road Ends”
In December, the nights switch to Sundays including
Sunday December 1: Denise Chong with “Lives of the Family”
Sunday December 15: Robert Sibley with “The Way of the 88 Temples”
Come and join us! Proceedings begin with dinner at 6.00 p.m. Reservations with the Clocktower pub will be necessary most nights. Some special discounts apply.
As usual, we have many book signings planned within the store during the coming months. These often feature local authors. Watch our events page for details.
We look forward to serving you whatever your interests.
We will be closed on Monday, September 2nd for Labour Day.
Regular store hours will resume on Tuesday, September 3rd.
Have a wonderful long weekend!
Smoke billowed from the building, sometimes black then green or yellow. Flames shot into the air as the fire consumed the various chemicals, fertilizers , barbeque fluids and bricks and whatnot else, all very flammable. The hardware store had only recently acquired its stock of those toxic substances for the season.
Firemen worked diligently spraying water from aerial ladders. There were paramedics but thankfully they were not needed. Police cruisers with their lights flashing blocked off the street for many hours. People were warned away from the scene and residents were told to close their widows.
Thus came to an end the better part of a block of stores on Beechwood Avenue in the New Edinburg neighbourhood of Ottawa. Adjacent buildings around the corner on MacKay Street also suffered mostly from water damage. Students and other roomers lost their possessions in the fire. An art galleryÏ†s precious contents were carefully loaded into a city bus and taken to safety.
All this happened about 18 months ago. Nothing has happened since except that the area was boarded over to spare the passerby from scenes reminiscent of a war zone. The Village, as I like to call it, has lost much of its essential facilities, a barber shop, dry cleaner, watch repair, United Parcel Service, Epicuria that supplied the neighbourhood with goodies as well as a small coffee shop that sold wonderful gelato, are all gone. Not a full list by any means. Some have relocated nearby but others have moved out of the area. Undoubtedly the hardware store is most missed. Will ever come back, is a frequently asked question.
The locals have wondered about the future. When will we hear of redevelopment. Roumours have come and gone. But businesses that have remained have also sensed a significant decline. One especially, Books on Beechwood, a wonderful independent community book store that I wrote about in one of my Spirit Quests a few months ago has announced their closing at the end of January.
An employee explained it this way to me. It is estimated that about 300 visited the hardware store daily. Perhaps 10 or 20 may also have dropped into the local coffee shop and bookstore to browse and buy. That dozen or so are gone which in itself is quite a blow.
Of course independent bookstores are an endangered species with ebooks and chains chewing into their business. Amazon promises 2 to 3 day delivery of any book on the market which the independents can’t match. What they can supply is a knowledgeable and affable staff that can advise and recommend from personal experience and often just offer a listening ear.
Recently when a grieving Jean Barton, owner of Books on Beechwood apprised me of her decision to close rather than await bankruptcy, I felt hollowed out. So have others with whom I sought to commiserate. Some of the friends have talked. Can Books on Beechwood be resurrected? Is there a fairy godmother or rich uncle somewhere in the woodwork? Its all been thought about and mooted. Are any of those dreams just that, like the smoke that poured from the hardware store to blow away and dissipate?
In my story about my love affair with books I recalled my first home whose walls were lined with precious volumes. None of them were to be underlined or dogeared or handled with unclean hands. All that reverence for the written word has changed. I recall a facetious article in the student newspaper at Queen’s. It was purported to be a research report. Books in the Douglas Library were examined to determine what drinks or foods were consumed with certain subjects by the stains on the pages. I admit I am much less reverent about books but my love for them has not abated. But I do underline.
Books on Beechwood was started by Jean Barton and Mary Mahoney in a small house on Beechwood Avenue 18 years ago. The house, now empty, remains an eyesore in the village along with several other hovels that their owners have ignored.
Books on Beechwood wasn’t just a store to buy books, it was a place to browse, to meet friends and read. I am often reminded of the caption in a bookstore on Queen Street East in Toronto, it read: ‘This aint the Rosedale Library’. Often my wife took our granddaughter for a scone to the cafe next door and then to the bookstore where they picked from its large collection of children’s books to read while sitting in one of their comfortable chairs and then to buy.
The store also hosted book launches, book signings by local authours, a book club. I cannot imagine the Village without the bookstore but I suppose I shall have to reconcile myself to buying my reading materials elsewhere in the city.
Independents have struggled and many more will lose. Few have been the source of wealth. Except for the chains its most likely motivation is the love of the sport.
The New Testament of the Bible begins,Â ‘In the beginning was the Word.’
whether cuneiform or papyrus. There were large storages of early volumes where monks slaved over manuscripts to reproduce them. Cities like Alexandria in Egypt, in Athens, Babylon and Rome had magnificent reservoirs of books. Some of these libraries burned down with a tremendous loss of history and knowledge,. Umberto Ecco in his The Name of the Rose describes such a fire. The word went up in smoke. Books are casualties in wars . How many libraries were destroyed by the saturation bombing of Britain and Germany in W.W.II?
Books have a way of regenerating and I hope so do bookstores. Since the Gutenburg era and into the digital age the written word has proliferated. I see it on my own bookshelves, also in the coffee shops where customers are seen cradling their Kindles.
I comfort myself and my friends that there is a Spirit that proliferates knowledge and stories. Of course they are not all of the same value . Secretly I hope that a book store however small will emerge in the Village.
The Bookstore is Dead: Long Live the Bookstore!
Jean’s been cleaning out her bookshelves and is selling off some great Canadian novels at fantastic prices – $5.00 each! Is there a Margaret Atwood book that you never got around to reading? Are you trying to brush up on your Michael Ondaatje? Maybe you’re looking for a great Canadian biography by Charlotte Gray, or some fantastic fiction by Timothy Findley or Elizabeth Hay. No matter what Canadian author floats your boat, you’re bound to find something good on Jean’s bookshelves!
Bridget was a guest book columnist on CBC’s All in a Day; July book panel: haunted teenaged narrators and local mystery writers. CBC has the episode available on their site, or as a downloadable podcast.
About the book:
“In the mid-21st Century, amidst a world entrenched in corporate power and greed, brilliant young physicist Damien Bell emerges to create quantum communications and the AI phenomenon of quantum entities – poised to make global scarcity a thing of the past. Here Damien’s journey begins – thrust into the reality of global business influence and national security – to prove that “we are all ONE.”
In this first book of the trilogy, Bruce M. Firestone creates a thrilling new genre that captures the essence of science fiction, adventure, romance and the entrepreneurial spirit.
To learn more about Bruce M. Firestone or “Quantum Entity” visit Bruce’s website at:
Or check out the “Quantum Entity” Facebook page at:
You can also follow along on Twitter:
The Novel: https://twitter.com/#!/quantum_entity
The Author: https://twitter.com/#!/ProfBruce
Our Organization: https://twitter.com/#!/Exploriem
The meeting in June has been changed to the 20th. The downloadable poster and the one on display in the store have both been updated accordingly!
For more details, see our Book Club page
Closed December 25th, 26th, and 27th
December 28th and 29th
New Year’s Eve
Closed January 1st and 2nd
Regular Store Hours Resume January 3rd
We Wish You All a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!