David Mason on Starting and Starving in the Book Trade

Mason, David. “A Tale of Illusion, Delusion and Mystery: Booksellers and Librarians.” Descant 91 26:4 (Winter 1995): 15-37. What really occurs is this: one buys books (without really having any idea if they are books that anyone wants) until one has a few thousand, rents an office or store and settles in to starve toContinue reading “David Mason on Starting and Starving in the Book Trade”

Cats and Bookstores

Mason, David. “Reflections on Scouting.” CNQ 78 (Winter): 40-52. Concerning the “tiny bookshop run by the Crippled Civilians on Jarvis Street, familiarly known to the regulars as ‘The Crips,’ but now renamed more politically correctly Goodwill Services” circa 1967: There was an ugly, fat cat in the shop, Mr. Fraser’s special favourite. It was horriblyContinue reading “Cats and Bookstores”

Steven Temple in Interview with Don McLeod, on Bookselling

McLeod, Don. “An Interview with Stephen Temple – Collecting English-Canadian Literature: Boom or Bust?” CNQ 56 (1999): 4-11. CNQ: So what’s the problem with CanLit? ST: The problem with CanLit is Canadians. That’s the problem! It’s not the books, it’s Canadians. It’s the Canadian character. CNQ: They don’t appreciate their own literature? ST: Canadians tendContinue reading “Steven Temple in Interview with Don McLeod, on Bookselling”

William Hoffer on Canadian Literature (2)

Hoffer, William. List 75: Canadian Literature. Vancouver: William Hoffer Bookseller, Limited, 1990. Occasional lists of Canadian literature will be published, but in future we will prefer to respond to lists of books required. There isn’t very much Canadian literature, and most of it is garbage. It is the junk literature of a junk age. ItContinue reading “William Hoffer on Canadian Literature (2)”

On Bernard Amtmann and Bookselling

Mappin, John and John Archer. Bernard Amtmann, 1907-1979: A Personal Memoir. Toronto: The Amtmann Circle, 1987. Bernard Amtmann enjoyed the theatrical aspects of bookselling, a field that lends itself naturally to the pyrotechnical. He understood instinctively the marketing principle that it is not the streak that sells, it’s the sizzle […]

William Hoffer on Canadian Literature

Hoffer, William. “Cheap Sons of Bitches: Memoirs of the Book Trade.” Canadian Notes & Queries 51:1 (1997): 25-30. I became a dealer in Canadian literature somewhat opportunistically, and because, when I first commenced bookselling, I was worried that I wouldn’t want to sell books that I actually liked. Canadian literature recommended itself. There was aContinue reading “William Hoffer on Canadian Literature”