Friday, February 1, 2013


New beginnings.

Thursday night I went to the 'Meet the New Owners' party at Books on Beechwood in Ottawa. This has got to be the best good news story of the year. If you're an Ottawan, you'll remember the shocking news in late fall that one of the few remaining general independent bookstores in town, Books on Beechwood, would be closing its doors in the new year. Not only had the store been an important part of that community for close to twenty years but it also was a destination point for book lovers throughout the city.

Jean Barton and her warm and knowledgeable staff were always happy to help with book requests and suggestions. The store was bright and inviting with comfy chairs and shelves upon shelves of books. And, as an added benefit, right next door, in fact sharing the main entrance, is The Scone Witch, an equally inviting place to peruse your purchases over tea and a freshly baked delicious scone.

The closing of Books on Beechwood would have been a loss on many levels. However, the book gods were watching and almost at the last minute (well, the last months anyway), three customers stepped up and bought the store. Now with a new carpet and paint job, the store is as inviting as ever and promises to continue to keep cutomers happy for a long time to come.

It was a pleasure to meet two of the new owners, one who happened to be a former customer of Prime Crime Books for many years, Brian Sullivan. As I said to him, it's interesting how life unfolds -- he was once my customer and now I'm his.

Welcome to the wonderful world of bookselling, fellows! And thank you for keeping it going. And many thanks, too to Jean for her many years as one of the intrepid independents.

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase

Berkley Prime Crime, now available
A KILLER READ, also available at your favourite bookstores and online.

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