Thursday, April 22, 2010

Montreal Bookshop Bookmarks: T. Westcott Books

T. Westcott Books: Having lived near this bookshop during the 1990s, I would drop by almost daily for a browse. Often I would warm up on the way back from evening university courses and have a chat with Terry's stalwart evening stand-in, the ever affable Andrew. Terry had two cats, Eliot and Emma who brought additional character to the store, Eliot often spread out on a top shelf in dream state, and Emma forever hiding. The shop was always well-stocked, and one sensed that there were always more books than shelf space. I bought a fair number of books there. Terry's prices were good and the stock was constantly changing. No doubt still is.

He opened a second location for awhile at 1917 St. Catherine Street West, a shop right beside the well-known Montreal institution, Argo Bookshop where he had worked for many years. It was a small space, neater for it, and had some very nice books. He also had another cat I remember, a rare breed he saved from an Upper Westmount home where he was buying books. I believe he called it Jaguar for its unusual colouring.

Terry Westcott has had the great privilege of working for two well-respected bookmen in Montreal, Reg Russell of Russell Books, and Mr. George of Argo. He has never issued much in the way of bookmarks, but he certainly has the books. T. Westcott Books is another great stalwart bookseller in Montreal who has managed to stay the course.

A write up can be found here.
Addendum: My wife reminded me that during the ice storm of 1998 in which we were personally in shivering darkness for 3 days--days I have tried to forget--Terry's nearby bookshop and a wonderful noodle resto next to him were fortunate to have electric power. A pocket of light on an otherwise cold and dark street. Big bowls of hot and sour soup went down very well with a long browse in a warm bookshop.

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