Monday, April 19, 2010

Montreal Bookshop Bookmarks: S. W. Welch Bookseller

Unlike The Word Bookstore who have had the very good fortune of never having to move their location, S. W. Welch Bookseller have experienced a few moves over the years. Their first shop at 5285 Decarie Boulevard at the corner of Isabella, looked out to the Head Office of Zellers across the Decarie Expressway. It was a shop that was a series of small rooms having originally been an apartment. On entering the shop, it had the feel of Sam Spade's office in a way. The book selection was very good and the bookseller a larger than life character. The bookmark to the left is one from that period and I have always liked the design. A certain hard-boiled noir feel to the image.

They then moved to 5673 Sherbrooke Street West in N. D. G., a large, deep retail location with a good display window. They issued a couple of bookmark designs during the years spent there, the television sets being one of them. I sort of like it too. It has a postmodern ironic retro look.

A third move brought them to 3878 St. Laurent Boulevard and it must have been a hell of a move for they had a lot of books. The bookmark design for this third location shown here looks like the work of the graphic novelist/cartoonist Marc Bell and reflects the newer layer of trendy hip graffiti culture which moved into the area.

They made a fourth move in 2007 to 225 St.-Viateur West, just a stroll away from St.-Viateur Bagel. Nice. Having not been in Montreal since 2002, I will have to drop by for a browse and a bagel and see if they have a new bookmark. Stephen Welch is one of the stalwart booksellers of Montreal and he may very well share the record of bookshop moves with the wonderful Joe Block of Bibliomania Bookshoppe, and the great Reg Russell of Russell Books each having moved shop four times as far as I know. Pretty good company.
addendum: thanks to the comment of SWW the artist of this bookmark is Billy Mavreas

1 comment:

sww said...

The bookmark loosely attributed to Marc Bell is drawn by Mile End cultural icon Billy Mavreas.We refer to it as the penis bookmark(with affection)......sww