A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘bookstores

[PHOTO] Eleven photos of Eliot’s Bookshop, Toronto

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Eliot’s Bookshop, located the intersection of Yonge and Wellesley at 584 Yonge Street. Since my first visit to Toronto in 2002, and long before then for others, Eliot’s has been a centrepiece of Toronto’s used book market, the three stories of the building being packed with used books of all kinds spilling off their shelves. How sad, then, that rising property taxes on Yonge mean that Eliot’s will have to close up shop, the owner of the building and the bookstore hoping to find a more profitable business to take over his lease.

Eliot's Bookshop (1) #toronto #yongestreet #yongeandwellesley #eliotsbookshop #bookstore #usedbooks #books

Eliot's Bookshop (2) #toronto #yongestreet #yongeandwellesley #eliotsbookshop #bookstore #usedbooks #books

Eliot's Bookshop (3) #toronto #yongestreet #yongeandwellesley #eliotsbookshop #bookstore #usedbooks #books

Eliot's Bookshop (4) #toronto #yongestreet #yongeandwellesley #eliotsbookshop #bookstore #usedbooks #books

Eliot's Bookshop (5) #toronto #yongestreet #yongeandwellesley #eliotsbookshop #bookstore #usedbooks #books//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Eliot's Bookshop (6) #toronto #yongestreet #yongeandwellesley #eliotsbookshop #bookstore #usedbooks #books

Eliot's Bookshop (7) #toronto #yongestreet #yongeandwellesley #eliotsbookshop #bookstore #usedbooks #books

Eliot's Bookshop (8) #toronto #yongestreet #yongeandwellesley #eliotsbookshop #bookstore #usedbooks #books

Eliot's Bookshop (9) #toronto #yongestreet #yongeandwellesley #eliotsbookshop #bookstore #usedbooks #books

Eliot's Bookshop (10) #toronto #yongestreet #yongeandwellesley #eliotsbookshop #bookstore #usedbooks #books

Eliot's Bookshop (11) #toronto #yongestreet #yongeandwellesley #eliotsbookshop #bookstore #usedbooks #books

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Written by Randy McDonald

September 18, 2017 at 11:00 am

[URBAN NOTE] Four notes about the past and future of queer life in a dynamic Toronto

  • In the Toronto Star, Emma Teitel wonders how long Church and Wellesley will last as a hub as the queer community develops and migrates away.
  • Trevor Corkum, also in the Toronto Star, explores the important role of the Glad Day Bookshop in modern Toronto’s gay and literary scenes.
  • Brian Bradley tells the story of Craig Russell, an early drag queen who became a star and started a still-living cultural tradition of drag performances in Toronto.
  • In NOW Toronto, Vaughn Grey tells the story of how he successfully escaped Jamaica to claim refugee status in Toronto.

[NEWS] Some Wednesday links

  • Bloomberg looks at the recent surge of Chinese investment in Southeast Asia.
  • Culture.pl looks at why Nietzsche falsely claimed Polish ancestry.
  • Foreign Policy suggests that this is a new age of German prominence in the West.
  • The New Yorker finds Amazon’s new brick-and-mortar bookstores lacking.
  • The Toronto Star shares claims that learning a second language provides mental benefits.
  • Universe Today notes the discovery of potentially habitable super-Earth Gliese 625 b.
  • Vice’s Motherboard notes how the popularization of ayahuasca-driven spirit quests has actually hurt traditional users.
  • Vox notes the latest Russia-Ukraine history fight on Twitter.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Centauri Dreams looks at evidence that Ceres’ Occator Crater, an apparent cryovolcano, may have been recently active.
  • Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin wonders what would have happened had Kerensky accepted the German Reichstag’s proposal in 1917.
  • Dangerous Minds looks at some fun that employees at a bookstore in France got up to with book covers.
  • Cody Delistraty describes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s utter failure to fit into Hollywood.
  • A Fistful of Euros hosts Alex Harrowell’s blog post taking a look at recent history from a perspective of rising populism.
  • io9 reports on a proposal from the Chinese city of Lanzhou to set up a water pipeline connecting it to Siberia’s Lake Baikal.
  • Imageo notes a recent expedition by Norwegian scientists aiming at examining the winter ice.
  • Strange Maps links to an amazing graphic mapping the lexical distances between Europe’s languages.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is on the verge of a new era of population decline, and shares a perhaps alarming perspective on the growth of Muslim populations in Russia.

[URBAN NOTE] “Indie bookstores angered by Toronto Arts Council grant to IFOA”

NOW Toronto‘s Susan G. Cole notes how independent bookstores in Toronto are upset by a grant of money by the Toronto municipal government to a literary festival.

A grant from the Toronto Arts Council to the International Festival of Authors, bestowed last fall, has outraged programmers for the city’s independent bookstores.

“The decision to fund IFOA feels like a nail in the coffin for indie bookstores and shows the Arts Council’s lack of concern for the financial health of independent booksellers,” says Another Story event organizer Anjula Gogia, representing other indie stores and festivals as well, including Pages Unbound and Glad Day Books.

The IFOA’s new program called Toronto Lit Up has received close to $300,000 over three years and is designed to assist publishers in launching new books by Toronto authors.

IFOA director Geoffrey Taylor explains that a committee – comprised of himself, author Dionne Brand, Quill and Quire’s Allison Jones and Hazel Millar, representing the Literary Press Group – has been formed to allocate the monies and is accepting applications from publishers and authors seeking funds for launches.

The problem, according to Gogia, the former programmer for the now shuttered Toronto Women’s Bookstore, is that indie stores could very well be squeezed out of the launch scene that’s so crucial to their businesses. Books sold at launches represent their bread and butter.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 27, 2017 at 5:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “The fascinating history of Toronto’s oldest bookstore”

blogTO’s Phil Villeneuve shares the story of Toronto’s Glad Day Bookshop, the oldest GLBT library in the world still operating.

Very few book stores in the world have been fought off widespread hate, battled censorship at the Supreme Court, and acted as home base for an entire community of people. Toronto’s Glad Day bookshop has, which is why it’s even more special that it’s not only Toronto’s oldest bookstore, but the world’s oldest LGBT bookstore.

Glad Day took the title after New York’s Oscar Wilde bookstore closed in 2009 because of low sales and high rent. That shop opened in 1967.

Glad Day was opened in 1970 by Jearld Moldenhauer out of his home in the Annex. The residential space also doubled as the office for The Body Politic, a gay and lesbian political paper, which eventually morphed into Xtra and then to the now online-only DailyXtra.com.

After folks moved in and out of the home, Moldenhauer and a group men bought a place in Cabbagetown at 138 Seaton Street and operated the shop out of there.

It was a time when a gay and lesbian bookstore could exist out of someone’s living room and word spread wide enough for the city’s queer population to know exactly where to go — all very much on the down low and in fear of violence.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Cardinal Rule shacks up with Glad Day on Church”

NOW Toronto‘s Natalia Manzocco describes another good reason to go to Glad Day Bookshop: Roncesvalles diner Cardinal Rule is setting up shop in the location’s kitchen. I really like this addition to Glad Day’s business model, not least because the idea of indie businesses collaborating for greater profit for everyone has a lot of appeal for me.

Even with all the cultural clout that comes from 47 years in business, Glad Day Bookshop had to face up to a tough truth last year: It’s tough for a business to survive on book sales alone.

With a move to spacious new digs in the heart of the Church-Wellesley Village (499 Church, at Wellesley, 416-961-4161, gladdaybookshop.com) at the end of 2016, the world’s oldest surviving gay bookstore gained a few new titles – bar, cafe, and multi-use event space.

Its latest sobriquet: restaurant. Before the shelves of books (several of which are on wheels – all the better to make room for dance parties!) were brought in, the ground-floor unit was home to Byzantium, a martini bar and Continental kitchen that served the community for 23 years.

“Byzantium was mostly known as an eating spot. It was a bit of a martini bar in the 90s, but in the last 10 years, most of the people came for the food,” CEO Michael Erickson says. The space was already fully outfitted for cooking and backing, and though meal service was always in the cards for the new space, they weren’t sure if they were up to the task themselves.

“When we talked about what we wanted to do for food, we were like, ‘We want it to be like Cardinal Rule’,” Erickson says. “And then we thought, ‘Why don’t we just ask them?'” Looks like it all worked out. Last week, the beloved queer-owned Roncy diner (co-owners Katie James and chef Marta Kusel are a married couple) debuted its first slate of menu items out of Glad Day.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 16, 2017 at 7:15 pm