Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Belated Toronto

Finally thawed out from my Toronto trip and decided it was time to file a quick report. Toronto, in my estimation, is one of the most underrated cities around and doesn't get the props it probably deserves. Great restaurants. Friendly folks. About the only disappointing part for me was the bookstores. I found one that was okay -- but nothing outstanding -- for what I'm looking for. The others were so-so. Maybe I didn't find the right ones. But I didn't bring home any books, which is rare for me.

Here's the "World's Biggest Bookstore," which some research revealed isn't really the largest bookstore anymore. I didn't find it to be anything special and walked out after a quick browse.

Here's another, Eliot's, that I visited on Yonge Street. It carried mostly very used paperbacks, not the fine/fine first editions I read and collect. About the only book that caught my eye was a yellowed, paperback copy of The Siege of Krishnapur, which was on J.G.'s list. It was $7, but I declined on condition. It turned out to be $7 saved, as she found a beautiful hardback copy at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair (see her previous post):

I shopped at two other stores. One belonged to a high-end dealer who specialized in leather-bound books. The other was a place on Queen Street owned by a man named Temple. No photo of it as one enters his store through a narrow, streetside doorway and climbs a long flight of stairs. He had a few books, slightly overpriced, that interested me. And he told me his uncle was Johnny Temple, a pretty good shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds back in the 1950s and early 60s. But I walked out empty-handed.

I'll be returning to Toronto on a baseball trip in June, when the weather should be warmer and bookstore exploration is more conducive to my Florida blood. As always, I'll expertly pack my suitcase so that it weighs 45 to 46 lbs., allowing me a few pounds to play with when it comes to buying books and bringing them home.


  1. I never mentioned the world's biggest, it kind of sucks...in fact I forgot about it, that's how far it is off my radar....

  2. I've never been to Toronto, but I hear great things about it. I hope to visit one day.

    You know, things labeled "the world's biggest or greatest" usually don't live up to their name do they?


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